Mariam Mokhtar on racism in sports in Malaysian schools

233
- Advertisement - [resads_adspot id="2"]

Racism is the curse of Malaysia.

Racism in sports in Malaysian schools has been around for decades, but some former senior civil servants dismissed my concerns. I hope they read the latest expose on school sports and open their eyes. Having one Lee Chong Wei or Nicol David is no proof that racism does not exist.

When I took part in a Bersih rally, a few university students confided that at secondary school, they were very good at sports, but their coach said that their inclusion in the school teams would exceed the racial quota for their particular race.

It appears that the excuse given for rejecting the students concerned, despite their excellence in their chosen sport, was that the racial quota for their race had been filled.

Affirmative action policies will create mistrust and anger when talent is not recognised, but race is. Why do we divide our students in this sickening and discriminatory manner?

So, who authorised this unwritten policy? Few people in authority will want to admit it exists.

Teenagers who juggle their training with their studies and work hard, both physically and mentally, to be the best in a sporting field will be thoroughly demoralised, when in the end, they lose out to politics.

I wrote an article last January about this. The responses from various former civil servants ranged from:

  1. You are incorrect to claim that there is Ketuanan racial discrimination in school sports.
  2. How do you know it exists?
  3. How can you say there is discrimination? Many of the top players representing Malaysia are non-Malay, like Lee Chong Wei, and Nicol David. They received much support from the government.

To these former civil servants and current civil servants, I say.

  • Which school head which practises Ketuanan Melayu is going to advertise this fact? Most people at the top either know about it and close both eyes, or at worst, are not told anything by their aides.
  • Do you think any school student dares to complain? There will be repercussions.
  • Do you think any teacher who disagrees with Ketuanan will also complain? He/she will be out of a job or transferred at the earliest opportunity.
  • Any parent who complains on behalf of their child, will receive repercussions.
  • The culture of fear and hate in Malaysia starts in schools. Racism is the curse of Malaysia.
  • The presence of Lee Chong Wei or Nicol David does NOT mean that there is no racism in school sports.

Just think! If we have no Ketuanan policies, and allowed talent to thrive and excel, we could nurture more international quality sporting stars, not just mediocre athletes, who qualify only because they are from one race.

To the civil servants and people who think there is no racism in school sports, have you read the article below?

The excerpts are:

SMK Dato’ Bentara Luar listed the racist and sexist criteria for the registration of co-curricular activities in student sports.

  1. Football and sepak takraw club. Open for “Malay males only”
  2. Basketball club. Only for “Chinese males and females”.
  3. Hockey. Only for students “living in dorms”.
  4. Netball. Only for “Malay girls”.
  5. Handball, bowling, petanque and badminton. “Open to all”.

First Cop-out: The school’s principal Abdul Razak Hamid claimed that the “conditions” were necessary because of the lack of sporting facilities for the students.

Second Cop-out: FMT contacted the Johor exco for education, information, culture and heritage, Mazlan Bujang. He declined to comment and told FMT to contact the education minister instead.

One school was exposed. How many are still silently promoting Ketuanan racism and sexism in sports? – Rebuilding Malaysia