Get to the bottom of it, says unity deputy minister over Johor school’s ‘unthinkable’ race-in-sports condition

National Unity Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker has urged the relevant parties to unearth why the administration of a school in Batu Pahat, Johor saw it acceptable to restrict students based on race for certain sports and clubs.

The episode comes some two months after Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched the National Unity Action Plan (Blueprint) 2021-2030.

“Something is very wrong … not only the principal but the entire school system,” Ti told Twentytwo13.

“Of all things, why did it happen in a school?

“The Education Ministry must look into this to understand why this is happening in a school. It’s not only unprecedented but shocking. It’s unthinkable.”

Ti, however, was quick to add that the incident involving SMK Datuk Bentara Luar was an “isolated case”.

The school came under fire after a circular, restricting students of certain races to participate in certain sports and clubs, made its rounds late last week. Football and speak takraw, for example, were restricted to Malay students; basketball and table tennis to Chinese students, while only Chinese and Indian students could join Interact Club.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, and Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, were among the first to voice displeasure over the episode.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, who is also MCA president, said the condition set by the school was against the nation’s education philosophy. Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon had instructed the school to reverse the move and amend its notice immediately.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Jidin, while insisting Malaysian children should play together, said on Saturday “action has been taken” against the school. He, however, did not elaborate on the type of action.

The school’s principal, Abdul Razak Hamid, issued an apology yesterday, claiming it was unintentional.

The issue even caught the attention of Tunku Ismail Ibrahim. The Crown Prince of Johor, via Facebook yesterday, said he would meet the school’s administrators today.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

PHASE TWO OF NATIONAL COVID-19 IMMUNISATION PLAN STARTS TODAY

Phase Two of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which prioritises the elderly (aged 60 and above), those with morbidities and persons with disabilities, started this morning with close to 10,000 people scheduled to receive their first Covid-19 vaccine shot today.

A total of 2,698,134 people have registered under the second phase that will run until August.

PARTNERS UNDER PHASE TWO CAN GET COVID-19 VACCINE SHOTS TOGETHER

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is also the Coordinating Minister of the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme, said married couples who have registered under Phase Two can get their vaccinations together.

Khairy explained that husbands and wives can register together via the MySejahtera mobile application. If the husband and wife had registered separately, Khairy said they can call the contact centre at 1800-888-828 to request vaccination at the same time.

FOOTBALLERS, ATHLETES FALL UNDER ‘NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE’ CATEGORY

National footballers, preparing for the World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers, received their Covid-19 vaccinations today. Several national athletes have also received their first dose recently.

Khairy said the athletes were of “national significance” as they will be representing the country in major meets, including the Olympics.

“Some athletes will also be competing in tournaments to qualify for the Olympics and as such, they need to get their shots,” said Khairy.

“Even New Zealand has vaccinated its athletes preparing for major tournaments, as it is deemed of national significance.”

NO REPORTS OF COVID-19 AMONG PRIVATE HEALTHCARE WORKERS WHO RECEIVED VACCINE

The Association of Private Hospital of Malaysia (APHM) says there has not been any Covid-19 infection among private healthcare workers after they had received both doses of the vaccine.

“Our view is the vaccination is important and we have seen increased confidence levels in our healthcare workers during their duty of managing Covid-19 patients in private hospitals after completing the vaccination,” said APHM president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh in a statement.

The Health Ministry recently revealed 40 healthcare workers had been infected with Covid-19 after receiving their shots.

Dr Kuljit also urged more people to register for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

DIRECTOR, SINGER NABBED OVER ONLINE GAMBLING RAYA VIDEO

A director and a singer were among five people arrested in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor last night over their alleged involvement in a video promoting online gambling.

Thirteen others had been arrested earlier over the video that encouraged gamblers to make extra cash ahead of Hari Raya.

TIME TO RESTORE OUR EARTH

Friends of Bukit Kiara (FoBK) will be hosting a series of webinars with Think City Institute in conjunction with Earth Day on April 22.

Climate leaders, grassroots activists, community leaders, artists, influencers and the leaders of tomorrow will come together to push towards a better world and remind the public of this year’s Earth Day theme, ‘Restore Our Earth’.