‘Boy in caning controversy not a Muslim’

KUCHING: The boy who was caned by a senior assistant of a primary school here recently for allegedly bringing fried rice with pork sausages to school is not a Muslim, said her mother Angela Jabing.

She substantiated this with the boy’s birth certificate.

According to Angela, the boy has been practising Christianity like herself.

The birth certificate she showed The Borneo Post here yesterday states that the boy’s father, Beginda Minda, has no religion (‘Tiada Agama’).

When asked to further comment on her son’s case, Angela said the senior assistant concerned had apologised for caning her son.

However, Angela said during her meeting with the school authority, she had requested that the senior assistant be transferred for the good of both parties.

“My son is still traumatised by the whole incident and it would worsen whenever he meets the senior assistant in the school compound,” she said.

Angela also revealed that the senior assistant is a local.

According to Angela, the boy got his name from his late great grandfather Bishop Datuk Basil Temenggong, who was the first local bishop of the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei.

Angela was asked to comment on a Bernama news report yesterday which quoted Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz that the government had asked the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to investigate the religious status of Beginda also known as Noor Azman Abdullah.

He said only after this was done could investigations proceed into the caning of the boy.

Mohd Nazri said if Beginda has been determined to be a Muslim, according to a decree issued by the National Fatwa Council, if one of the parents is Muslim, then the child also has to be a Muslim.

“Only after this can a conclusion be drawn as to why his son was caned,” Mohd Nazri said when debating on the Supply Bill 2011 for the Prime Minister’s Department in Dewan Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 10.

The case was highlighted by the local media including The Borneo Post on Nov 5 after the 10-year old boy’s mother, complained to the Sarawak Education Department about the caning.

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