Education institutions, especially public schools and universities should not impose Islamic dress codes on non-Muslim students

Press Statement
by Chong Eng

(Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday): DAP calls on the Education Minister to issue clear instruction to public schools and universities to prohibit the authorities concerned to impose Islamic dress code on non-Muslim students as this is against the spirit of constitution which guaranteed freedom of religion and it practices.

Our above call should not be interpreted as anti-Islam. We respect the wish of Muslim to practice Islam. We hope the non-Muslims right to practice their religions and cultures will be reciprocated in return.

We believe Islam is not a religion by force. The Parliamentary secretary to the Education Ministry, Datuk Mohd Mahadzir Khir  had on April 4 said in the parliament that the ministry did not issue any directive requiring female non-Muslim students of the International Islamic University to wear tudung.
However, the Discipline of students Rules 1084 of IIU , under rules of attire for female students clearly stated that "the attire should cover the
whole body except the face and palms", and rule 2.4.1 stated that " the head cover should properly cover the head and does not reveal the hair, neck,
chest and shoulders".

Mahadzir challenged DAP to show proof that non-Muslim female students at the IIU have been forced to wear tudung. We now provide him with proof and we expect him to response immediately what is he going to do to prove that the ministry and the Barisan National government are sensitive to the religious and cultural rights of the non-Muslim female students.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Mahathir had accused some over jealous public servants "hijacked" national schools by introducing Islamic values into the schools resulted non-Muslim parents did not want to sent their children to national schools. Could the IIU case another "hijack" by certain offiers in IIU?


* Chong Eng, MP for Bukit Mertajam and DAP  Women Chairperson