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In Sarawak, conversion without consent is lamentable

We in SUPP are very relieved that all the related parties had met and talked over this very unfortunate controversial “Conversion”. It is good to know that despite all the publicity given before this, the student concerned is still a Christian and has not been converted.

This unfortunate controversial “Conversion” should not have happened in the first place. We should ask ourselves, in the land of religious and cultural harmony, what have we learned from this?

The party feels strongly that schools are for children/students to acquire knowledge and not places for conversions. The primary role, or the only role of teachers, as educators, is to teach, guide and impart knowledge, inculcate good values to our young. They should and must not be involved in the conversion of students to other religion. There should not be any ambiguity at all.

The law is very clear and is there to protect children of tender age and most of them, if not all, are below the age of 18 in schools – they are minors, naïve and innocent.  Our society is duty bound to give them the best and be there to protect them. We too must play our part.

The Principal is the head of the school and is in charge of and responsible for all things that happen in that school. Any such incident involving any student of a school must first be reported to the Principal and it will be up to the discretion of the Principal to decide what is best in the given circumstances. The parents must also be informed as soon as possible.

We would like to suggest that the Ministry of Education should again write to all the Principals of the schools in Malaysia to remind them of the sensitiveness of this issue, in particular the schools in Sarawak.

This is very important as a form of closure of this unfortunate incident and to be fair to all parties concerned. It is understood the teachers concerned are no longer teaching in the school

In this respect, we would also like to congratulate YB Minister Datuk Fatimah for her quick arrangement to call all parties together with the view of finding the facts of the matter and finding a solution.

Our thanks too, to the Director of Education Sarawak for her immediate response to this matter and her personal trip to Miri to resolve it.

Perhaps as a reminder, we would like to affirm that in Sarawak, we have always enjoyed Peace, Racial and Religious Harmony and more importantly, a total acceptance and genuine respect for each other.

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