Why another case of insensitivity against the Indian community?

Yesterday, DAP Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer called on the Education Ministry to cancel its compulsory briefing for teachers invigilating in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) examinations on Nov 1. He slammed the ministry for being insensitive to Indian teachers who would be celebrating Deepavali the next day.

It is shocking that the Education Ministry could be so insensitive and could choose a date which is Deepavali eve.

Last week, it was reported that the ritual slaughtering of cows was carried out in a school compound of a Kuala Lumpur national school where there are multi racial children.

School headmasters and Ministry officers are especially people who should be sensitive to racial and religious sensitivities, yet why are they not? Deeapavali eve is when Hindus, in a time-honoured tradition, gather for family reunions and offer prayers to their ancestors.It is therefore totally unacceptable for the briefing session to be held on Deepavali eve.

In 2011, the Prime Minister had requested the Parliament Speaker to cancel the Parliament meeting scheduled on Deepavali eve after I and Pakatan Rakyat MP s made a protest.

In July, 2011, during the launch of the 1Malaysia Indian Students Movement at Universiti Malaya, Najib had also announced that the curriculum and exam schedules in Malaysia would be revamped to ensure that it did not clash with Deepavali.

This was because for the past 20 years, Indian students s were stuck with the problem of examinations which invariably always fell either a day before or on the day of the festival.

Since Najibí»s announcement, an official circular from the Education Ministry asking universities to reschedule exams and classes in order to provide a longer break for Deepavali has already been implemented in public universities.

Buy why is there insensitivity again against the Indian community by arranging the above briefing session on Deepavali eve?

Is it because the general election is over and the question of insensitivity can be ignored?

I call on the Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin to immediately direct that a new date be scheduled.

M. Kula Segaran DAP National Vice Chairman & MP for Ipoh Barat