No further action will be taken by the Education Ministry over the Christian prayer row in Penang’s Methodist Girls’ School (MGS), Penang, last month.
This was conveyed to the Federation of Christian Mission Schools, Malaysia (FCMSM) by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik, after both parties met last week in Putrajaya.
FCMSM chairman Moey Yoke Lai said a full report of the incident was submitted to the minister by the chairman of the board of governors and managers of the school.
“The minister allayed the fears and anxiety that had arisen among the mission school community, saying that no further action would be taken with regard to the MGS Primary, Penang incident,” Moey said in a statement today.
“The minister assured FCMSM that the status quo of the practices of the mission school will be observed and its ethos, character and traditions will be maintained and respected.”
MGS came under fire after a police report was lodged alleging that Christian prayers were recited in school during an awards ceremony on speech day on September 27.
The complainant accused the school of proselyting to its Muslim pupils, saying in his police report that the school had 347 Muslim and only 161 non-Muslim pupils. He also said there were 26 Muslim teachers and 14 non-Muslim teachers.
The school subsequently received a warning from the director-general of Education while some Muslim parents threatened to take their children out of school.
The school authorities have maintained that it was not a Christian prayer but a speech on unity that was presented at the event.
Meanwhile, Moey expressed concern over the way the school and board had been treated.
She said the director-general’s reprimand to the headmaster, the Penang Education Department’s WhatsApp message to Christian mission schools and subsequent circular that were sent out in response to the complaint were precipitate.
“They were done without a thorough investigation being carried out first,” said Moey, adding that the documents should be withdrawn while the education ministry should make efforts to reconcile with MGS Primary, Penang.
She said the minister and the director-general had claimed to be unaware that the deputy state Education Department director had sent out a WhatsApp message to the heads of Christian mission primary and secondary schools
“He (Maszlee) said that WhatAapp should not be used to convey formal instructions from the MOE,” Moey said.
“The minister added that the ministry appreciates the contribution of mission schools in Malaysia, adding that he recognises and acknowledges the essential role played by the boards in the development and progress of the schools.” TMI