Don’t be so sensitive, minister tells Dayaks

KUCHING: Dayak interest groups and parents of a rural school have been urged to stop being “racially and religiously sensitive” about the appointment of an ustaz from Kelantan as the new headmaster of a rural school in Sarikei with a mainly Dayak enrolment.

Fatimah Abdullah, the state minister for education, said it was unfair to assume that Ustaz Roslin Che Mood was an extremist out to convert Dayak students just because he is a religious teacher and comes from Kelantan.

“In fact, he is gentle, not a religious extremist, and has no inclination towards PAS,” she said according to Malay Mail Online.

Roslin is expected to assume his duties on Monday at SMK Sungai Paoh in Sarikei.

Fatimah said the federal education ministry had thoroughly scrutinised Roslin’s background as officials were aware of sentiments among Dayaks against religious teachers from the peninsula.

“If he is found to be so bad later, then the parents and NGOs have every reason to complain,” she was quoted as saying.

Dayak groups have protested at the appointment of ustaz Roslin and urged the chief minister, Adenan Satem, to intervene.

Last year, state land minister Dr James Masing had criticised the education ministry for failing to monitor religious activities in schools, after reports of the conversions of 50 poor Dayak students of SMK Balai Ringin in Serian district.

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian had also alleged that Muslim teachers have attempted to convert pre-schoolers in his Ba’Kelalan state constituency.

In March a police report was lodged by a 13-year-old schoolgirl who said she was forced to convert to Islam by two religious teachers at SMK Lutong in Miri and that they gave her RM250. The two teachers have since been transferred out of Sarawak.-Free Malaysia Today

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