BY AMBIGA SREENEVASAN
President of the National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) Ambiga Sreenevasan today shared her thoughts on the erroneous information contained in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) teaching modules regarding Hindus and Sikhism.
In an open letter to UTM vice-chancellor Wahid Omar, she outlined the root causes of such incidents, and suggested solutions.
Below is her letter in full:
Open Letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Prof Ir Dr Wahid Omar
Dear Vice Chancellor,
Your apology and expression of remorse together with your commitment to investigate the Titas slides is most welcome.
Let me, however, offer you a perspective which I hope you will consider.
What happened at your institution is, in my view, merely a symptom of a much larger problem that the country is facing. Years of brainwashing, racist supremacist statements by our leaders, and a system that condones and encourages racial polarisation have brought us today, to those infamous slides. As an educator, I am sure you are equally alarmed at where we are, given that this is the 21st century we are talking about and we are no longer a young nation.
The systematic creation of a narrow and bigoted thought process may help in a political agenda, but does nothing for the recipients of such tutelage. We can only rewrite history and social science so much. I hope that you share my view that those who have manipulated our young minds into becoming so closed have done the community a great disservice. They have also done a great disservice to those who are made to feel they are lesser mortals.
Indeed, what they have done is to stunt the potential of our youth, both in heart and mind, making it difficult for them to compete in the global village. Read more