Monday, August 26

Baju kurung incident highly ‘un-Malaysian’, says Balang

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KUCHING: The barring of Britney Nicole into a secondary school in Cheras for going against its dress code is highly uncalled for.

SPDP deputy president Datuk Nelson Balang Rining regarded such act was being very ‘un-Malaysian’.

On Wednesday, Britney was told by a teacher of SMK Seri Mutiara that she was given a ‘final warning’ for wearing a baju kurung uniform to school, adding that she would not be allowed to enter class unless she wore a pinafore.

The Form 3 student, a Lun Bawang of Long Semadoh in Ba Kelalan, has been living with her aunt in Kuala Lumpur since she was 12.

“I have been in touch with her aunt and I hope that this kind of misunderstanding would not recur as it only reflects badly on our society – known to be moderate and tolerant,” Balang told The Borneo Post here yesterday, adding that he had sent some money to Britney for her to get new school uniforms.

Following the incident, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin issued a warning to schools to not to come up with rules that were not in line with the directives under the Education Ministry.

“The ministry has never issued a directive stopping non-Muslim female students from wearing the baju kurung to school as it is in line with the ministry’s policy to promote unity,” said Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister.

On political matters, Balang was confident that he could wrest back Ba Kelalan from the Opposition in the next state election – provided that he would be chosen as a Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate.

In the 2011 polls, Balang was not fielded for the Ba Kelalan seat, which was won by state PKR chairman Baru Bian by a slim majority of 473 votes against BN’s candidate Willie Liau.

Balang claimed that due to the constituency being under the Opposition since then, the people there had been deprived of at least RM6 million in terms of Minor Rural Project (MRP) grants.

Balang said although he was no longer the assemblyman, he still went to the ground to assist the folk there in whatever ways he could. Last weekend, he gave away free school bags to pupils of SK Ba Kelalan, SK Long Semadoh, SK Long Luping, SK Long Sukang, SK Long Sebangan and SK Long Tuma.