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JOHOR BARU, April 19 — Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Iskandar has today reminded the public that all schools in Johor are a place to encourage unity and not to divide society, following a racial incident in a Batu Pahat school.
In a Facebook post, he said he has told them that the incident where students were ethnically segregated for extra-curricular activities should never have happened and it must never happen again in any school in the state.
“These actions are not in line with ‘Bangsa Johor’ that promotes unity of all races under one identity for all Johoreans. Such incidents must be avoided to maintain harmony and unity amongst the people,” said Tunku Ismail.
His latest post follows a letter that went viral on social media last Saturday, prompting public backlash against SMK Dato’ Bentara Luar’s management for segregating students according to ethnic grups for clubs and associations as well as sports.
The list among others stated that the Chinese language club is only open to Chinese students, football (Malays), basketball (Chinese), table tennis (Chinese), netball (Malays) and sepak takraw (Malays).
Earlier, Tunku Ismail received an audience from SMK Dato’ Bentara Luar principal Abdul Razak Hamid, Batu Pahat district officer Ismail Abu, Johor Education Department deputy director and acting director Sahilon Abdul Halim and Batu Pahat district education officer Suhaimi Ismail at his official palace in Pasir Pelangi here today.
Yesterday, Abdul Razak had apologised for segregating students registering for co-curricular activities based on their race and gender.
He said SMK Dato’ Bentara Luar will restart registrations for all after-school activities, which include football and firefighting, and ensure diverse membership in each of the school clubs and teams.
The apology only came after the Education Ministry said it would be taking swift and appropriate actions against the school.
Education Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin had on Saturday said the guides issued by the school were against the objectives and foundation of implementing sport programmes in schools.