Malaysiakini tells us that the school’s given reason, the usual one in such compelled dressing, has been about uniformity.
If we recall, the police under the former IGP, Mohd Bakri Omar, who was then currying favour with UMNO MPs to oppose the PM’s promised IPCMC, also provided the same reason when he forced non Muslim policewomen to wear a tudung (headgear for female Muslims) when on parade.
See my previous posts Policewomen forced to wear tudungs on parade!
Then the DAP MPs went berserk, blasting the former IGP’s explanation of ‘uniformity’ as an unacceptable excuse because it went against the principle of freedom of religion.
I then commented on an irrefutable historical fact that gave lie to the former IGP explanation insofar as 'uniformity' on formal parades was concerned. I stated that “for decades, yes decades, in the Royal Malaysian Police or any branch of the Armed Forces, the Sikh members of these two Services have worn turbans without other members required to wear the same turban to show ‘uniformity’ on formal parades. The only requirement has been for the turbans to be in the colour of their respective regiments or Services.”
“When Sikh personnel in their magnificent turbans were/are on parade with their non-Sikh colleagues in the Armed Forces or Police there was no discernable lack of uniformity but instead a fantastic Malaysian picture of smartness and unique characteristic which we have been and still are all proud of.”
I added that DAP MP Fong was absolutely spot on in accusing the former IGP of jumping on the Islamic bandwagon which had been, I reckoned in his case, to score brownie points for himself and the organisation he headed, and nothing to do with Islam. Then of course, being kaytee, I challenged that former IGP to tell his male police officers to all wear turbans in the next Police formal parade which involved a Sikh member, purely for 'uniformity' of course.
As to be expected of a disgraceful and utterly repugnant police officer like him who deliberately politicized the police force, he couldn’t come up with coherent explanations. And I wonder about the absurdity of AAB’s eulogy for this useless policeman when he retired - well, at least thank goodness for small mercy he retired.
In this country, there are two types of people who champion Islamic practice or apparel – one is the true believer whom you may disagree with but at least know they are (religiously) sincere, while the other are those who unscrupulously exploit a great religion to score political points or curry favour, usually for their own interests. Obviously that former IGP was one of the latter when he called for non Muslim policewomen to wear the tudung against the historical fact of Malayan/Malaysian police uniforms.
Once there was an Australian model who became the world’s most pious Muslim, OVERNIGHT – from her modelling of scanty virtually-no-dress, after she was arrested in Bali for possession of ecstasy pills (long jail sentence probable) she took the Islamic equivalent of the ‘Road to Damascus’ and wore the burqa to hide all parts of her body, almost compelling the Australian Navy, out of compassion, to donate a periscope to enable her to walk around without bumping into objects.
After she was released from a short 3-month prison term (stories of humongous bribing led to the 3 Indon judges trialling her being hauled up before an inquiry) she abandoned her burqa like a kera discarding belacan and reverted to tight tank-top and hips hugging jeans, which led all naval male personnel to ‘up periscope’.
For more, see my previous posts:Back to Sekolah Menengah Dato Sedia Raja - One of the students’ irate parent stated that this was only the tip of the school’s proselytizing iceberg. He stated:
"Last year, non-Muslim Red Crescent Society members were told to wear tudung for the school's sports day march. And I was told by the students that this is an ongoing practice in the school."
He further added that he was called for a meeting by the school principal Azimah Alis yesterday, which was attended by state education director and school parent-teacher association (PIBG) chairperson.
The parent said: "The principal washed her hands off the issue. She claimed she has no idea of what was happening. They also wanted me to call the press, to withdraw my statement."
If it was not the principal, then who was it who issued that insensitive directive.
Malaysiakini also reported that the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has submitted a letter to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi protesting the school's directive yesterday.
The letter read: "In March last year, we issued a statement strongly condemning your directive to non-Muslim female personnel in the police force to adhere to then IGP compelling them to wear headscarfs at official functions."
"We then voiced our fear that your irresponsible directive would be followed by other government departments to impose Islamic values on non-Muslims and it has now turned out that SMK Dato Sedia Raja has taken the bold and arrogant lead to compel non-Muslim students to wear Malay costumes in the name of uniformity."
Hey, maybe this is part of Islam Hadhari?
But the question I need to ask, has the school’s proselytizing directive been a true Islamic drive or a cynical attempt to derive political brownie points, either at a personal level or national level?
I conclude this post by apologising to Allah swt for the gross and blatant misuse of his name in the name of Malaysian politics and the ambitious career aspirations of Malaysian senior public servants.
Related: Magic of the 100th name of God