Kuala Lumpur: A high school in the state of Johor of Malaysia – SMK Dato Bentara Luar, had imposed a racial and gender segregation policy on certain co-curricular activities.
The policy stated only boys and girls from the Malay ethnic group were allowed to pick football, sepak takraw, and netball while basketball and ping pong were restricted to “Chinese boys and girls only”. Other sports such as handball, chess, petanque, volleyball, bowling, and badminton were open to all.
The school’s principal, Abdul Razak Hamid, was reportedly still defending the segregation policy last week, saying the policy was put in place due to lack of space and sporting facilities.
However, social media were quick to fire back at the school with angry words such as “disgusting”, “unacceptable”, and “racist”.
The Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Iskandar met with Hamid and two other individuals on Monday, then posted a message on Facebook saying he had told them that the incident where students were ethnically segregated for extra-curricular activities should never have happened and it must never happen again in any school in the state.
“These actions are not in line with ‘Bangsa Johor’ that promotes unity of all races under one identity for all Johoreans. Such incidents must be avoided to maintain harmony and unity amongst the people,” said Tunku Ismail.
Malaysia’s badminton legend, Lee Chong Wei, also condemned the racism and discrimination policy imposed by the high school while posted the message below hoping everyone to embrace a sense of unity, inclusion, and respect.