Someone asked that I consider writing in my next installment for KLue about the recent situation in Penang… And since I don’t really want to get the publication into trouble (I’ve done so at least once before), I thought I’d pick up my cudgel needle & thread and string some thoughts together here.
So… I have this theory. But before we begin, some background on the issues at hand:
- The Siti Inshah Mansor incident, where the school principal who allegedly hurled abusive racist statements at her students during one morning assembly, occurred on Thursday, 12 August 2010. News broke around the 17th (Tuesday).
- The alleged use of CM Lim Guan Eng’s name instead of the Agong’s in some Penang mosques during Friday prayers was carried by Bernama around the 19th (Thursday).
Hmm. What a curious development. Here are some questions and thoughts, first, on the headmistress issue:
- The Education Director-General, on 18th Aug (a day after the issue surfaced), had said that the entire Johor “racist” headmistress fiasco had been resolved.
- Yet the Education Minister and DPM Muhyiddin Yassin on 20th August (three days later) took a different stand on the Siti Inshah Mansor issue.
- Was the Education DG not telling the truth on the matter?
- Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on 22nd August said that racist principals are a minority. What kind of impression – of the primacy of education and the role of chief educators – is he giving with a statement as this?
Secondly, on the Penang “do’a khutbah kedua” issue:
- 19th of August – when Bernama carried the report – is a Thursday. Since the alleged incident must have taken place on the previous Friday (13th August), it took Zahid Hamidi and Penang Umno nearly one week to raise the matter in public. Why this lateness? Isn’t the matter of serious concern to be raised nearly immediately?
- PM Najib Razak responded to the “do’a” issue by making a statement on 21st August (two days after the issue broke) urging the police to conduct swift investigations into the matter. Why the urgency here?
Based on the timing and sequence of these reports, I propose the following: that the Penang “do’a” issue is in fact a red herring to draw the attention of the Malaysian populace away from the “racist headmistress” issue, which was beginning to unravel (since another headmistress in Kedah had allegedly told her Chinese students to “go back to China if you don’t like it here”).
What do you think?