Thursday, October 18, 2007

Parents irked by school's costume ruling (NST)

Parents irked by school's costume ruling

Thursday, 18 October 2007, 09:23am

©New Straits Times

SEREMBAN: The parents of several non-Muslim students of SMK Datuk Sedia Raja in Rembau are unhappy that their children are required to wear traditional Malay costumes for a school function next month.

One of the parents, G. Rajendran, of Taman Koperasi Chembong in Rembau, said he was shocked to learn that the school had made it compulsory for non-Muslim students participating in the school's certificate presentation ceremony on Nov 5 to wear baju kurung, baju melayu and songkok.

"There are six male and eight female Indian students involved in the ceremony. The reason given by the school is to make the ceremony more uniform."

He said the parents were against the move because the students had their own customs, beliefs and traditional costumes.

"The school needs to be more sensitive in this matter."

He said this was not the first time the school had come up with such a decision as previously the school's Red Crescent Society had compelled non-Muslim female members to wear the tudung during a march.

Yesterday, several parents submitted a memorandum to the Negri Sembilan Education Department to protest against the school's decision.

"Only a few of the parents signed the memorandum because they are worried that the school might take action against the students, who will be sitting the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination this year," Rajendran said.

State Education Department director Datuk Mohd Yasin Mohd Yunus declined to comment on the matter.

Efforts to contact the school's principal, Datin Azimah Alis, as well as other senior assistants proved unsuccessful because of the school holidays.

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