Personal Reflection of Rev. Datuk Ir. Jerry Dusing on Maszlee the Dunce
Sunday, December 23, 2018
I meant dakwah to spread good, not convert. Actually to preach hatred against the Jews and Non Muslims of Sabah and Sarawak. Mazlee, you are a failure, a sad joke and an idiot. Enough said. Cut the crap Maszlee. We know the common usage and meaning of dakwa... Stop trying to twist and turn. Just resign already......................
Via Whatsapp 19 December 2018
Press Statement : For Immediate Release
(He is the current Chairman of Community Empowerment Initiative (CEI) Sabah and President of Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) Sabah. He is also a professional engineer)
I refer to the recent response of the Federal Education Minister in Parliament to a question relating to the shortage of religious teachers in Sabah. The video clip has gone viral and has not been received well by many Sabahans especially the Non-Muslim community.
We are shocked at his statement in Parliament where he appealed to the ustaz and ustazah from Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah who are teaching in Sabah and Sarawak to remain in Sabah and Sarawak and make these two States their battleground for ‘dakwah’ or Islamic evangelism. This statement shows how insensitive he is to the religious equilibrium here.
What does he mean by making Sabah and Sarawak battlegrounds for Islamic evangelism? Is he promoting Islamic evangelism to non-Muslim school children who are below the age of majority?
I am not sure if any of our MPs have questioned the Minister on this, I hope they have.
For the non-Muslim community in Sabah, this has come to us as worrying news and is a cause for grave concern. Why? In the past, we have anecdotal evidences of Muslim religious teachers from Malaya converting minors in schools by both persuasion and coercion. One of the most prominent example is the incident that happened in SMK Kinarut 3 years ago. A religious teacher was found to have proselytised a non-Muslim student without her parents’ knowledge.
On other occasions, parents have found that their children were being taught Islamic prayers and some have been forced to wear the tudung. When we raised these issues with the previous government, they simply denied this. Now what is the current government’s stand on this?
We appreciate teachers from Malaya and Sarawak who have dedicated and are dedicating their lives to educate our children here. We acknowledge their contribution and thank them. In fact, we have accepted and embraced many of them as our Sabah family.
However, Muslim religious school teachers are supposed to provide Islamic education to only Muslim students in our schools. They are not supposed to evangelise and convert other minors. More importantly, we do not want an influx of religious teachers with extreme religious philosophy which is offensive to us in Sabah. A Federal Education Minister encouraging advocacy of Islamic evangelism by teachers who are civil servants is totally unacceptable.
It is plain to see why Dr. Mazslee’s statement has been widely condemned.
In Sabah, this is the feedback that I have received from parents and educationists around the State. The policy and practice of the Education Ministry is to allocate 1 Muslim religious teacher for every 5 Muslim students in both government and our Mission schools. We have never made any objection to this policy. If there is a shortage of teachers in Sabah, then yes, the government may source from Sarawak or Malaya.
However, what about the need for non-Muslim students? While Muslim students are required to take religious instructions at public schools, non-Muslim students have been denied the option for non-Muslim faith classes to be held during school hours.
Further, presently, in Sabah, there is a requirement for non-Muslim students to study a third language, either Mandarin or Kadazan . However, as there is a lack of Mandarin and Kadazan language teachers in the interior parts of Sabah, our students have been made to learn the Arabic language?
We wonder why there is a third language requirement when our students are struggling with English. The three periods allocated for third language study could be better used to improve the teaching of English, Maths and Science which we are far left behind in the international PISA rankings.
It is high time for Sabah to take back our rights to Education under the Malaysia Agreement 1963. We do not need to fully depend on policies from the Federal Government and we certainly do not want policies which are inconsistent with MA63, our culture and which are leading us towards a narrow mindset.
In our open society, we need to develop critical thinking in our children. The use of English and native languages should be brought back in our schools and in our society. There is a host of provisions in the IGC Report, MA63 and the Federal Constitution that safeguards our right on this matter and the power to decide rests on our Sabah State Government. If we face an issue of shortage of english, native languages, mandarin, science and maths teachers, then focus should be on how to train more teachers to cater for this need.
We have high hopes that our Sabah Ministry of Education will take a bold stand to chart our State’s education future by customising our education policies and practices according to our values and needs, and to prepare our children to be globally competitive. Sabahans have our own traditions and we take pride in our culture of respect and honour of each other’s religious beliefs. This we should preserve and should be reflected in clear non-discriminatory policies and practices. My hope is that our Ministry of Education will strive to impart fair and just policies for the sake of our next generation.