The Education Ministry is investigating an examination paper that apparently described controversial preacher Zakir Naik as “one of the icons of the Islamic world”.
“We are conducting an investigation,” Education Minister Maszlee Malik’s press secretary ZF Zamir was quoted as saying.
An uproar broke out on social media over a university examination question which appears to praise Zakir by calling him an “icon in the Islamic world”.
The question appeared in a Universiti Malaysia Perlis examination paper on Ethnic Relations.
A screenshot of the question was posted on Facebook by MIC vice-chief Sivarraajh Chandran.
The question reads: “Zakir Naik is one of the icons of the Islamic world. He is very active in spreading true Islam and following the Quran and Sunnah of Rasulullah SAW. He is able to reason and to answer every question that is asked to him. However, in Malaysia, he is no longer allowed to deliver his preaching. In your opinion, as a Malaysian, why does this happen?”
Students are given a multiple-choice answer with these reasons:
1) Malaysians do not bother to receive information
2) Malaysians were sensitive and feel threatened for no reason
3) Malaysians just follow the crowd without verifying any information
4) Malaysians are ignorant about their own religion.
Sivarraajh questioned why such a question, deemed to be insensitive to people of different races, had been included in an examination for a module that was meant to foster racial and religious understanding.
“I cannot understand why questions that do not respect racial sensitivity is produced as an examination question for a subject intended to improve students’ understanding of the different races and religions.
“I hope the UniMAP management will come forward to verify and explain the matter,” Sivarraajh said in a Facebook posting.