| Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 14 July 2016 | Asia Samachar |
The Johor-based Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) lecturer responsible for the controversial slides belittling the Hindu and Sikh faiths have been sacked.
Malaysian Higher Education Minister Idris Jusoh made the announcement in a radio interview in Kuala Lumpur this morning.
“They (UTM) are autonomous … they hired the lecturer and they have the right to fire him. And I was told yesterday that he has been fired,” he said in a morning Breakfast Grille talk show at the BFM radio station.
The lecturer was teaching the Tamadun Islam Tamadun Asia (Titas), a compulsory subject for all university students in Malaysia, whether public or private.
The matter came to the public eye when the erroneously and ridiculously worded slides, supposedly used to teach the subject at UTM, were shared on the social media last month. Asia Samachar first reported on the issue on 13 June 2016, see here.
The exposure of the slides led to a storm of protest and expression of disgust of the a wide segment of the Malaysian community, with the highest ranking UTM official expressing ‘utmost regret and deep remorse for the lack of sensitivity’ on the part of its lecturers.
The university had then moved to investigate the matter.
When asked if Titas was still relevant, Idris told the listeners that it was the lecturer who “went out of the way”.
“He was not using the co-curriculum provided by the ministry and that has got to be fully understood…We are telling the lecturers that they have to be in line with the Government policies,” he said, according to one media report.
Asia Samachar understands that the lecturer responsible who was on contract with the university.
The slides shared on the social media suggested that the Sikh faith was introduced by Kabir and later spread by Guru Nanak. It added that Kabir did not thoroughly understand Islam, hence he got influenced by the Hindu ways.
The actual text, in Malay: “Dikemukakan oleh Kabir yang kemudiannya dikembangkan oleh Guru Nanak….Kabir yang tidak memahami secara mendalam ajaran Islam terpengaruh dengan persekitaran kehidupan masyarakat Hindu telah merangka gagasan awal agama Sikh ini.”
Bhagat Kabir is one of the Muslim saints whose writings are contained in the Sikh scripture called the Guru Granth Sahib.
The reference notes on the Hindu faith were downright derogatory. It suggested that Islam introduced courteousness to the Hindus in India, and thought them the importance of hygiene.
“Islam memperkenalkan kepada masyarakat Hindi di India erti kesopanan dalam kehidupan…Islam juga telah mengajar masyarakat Hindu tentang pentingnya kebersihan tubuh badan dan penjagaan kesihatan,” read the slide.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
Reference material on Titas slides has no credibility, not authentic: UTM (Asia Samachar, 28 June 2016)
MGC, Hindu Sangam meet Malaysian education minister on erroneous university slides (Asia Samachar, 23 June 2016)
UTM slides shows trend to to put down religions other than Islam, says MGC (Asia Samachar, 16 June 2016)
MGC: Disciplinary action should be taken against UTM Lecturer (Asia Samachar, 16 June 2016)
We have sacrificed excellence for mediocrity, meritocracy for overdose of social reengineering (Asia Samachar, 15 June 2016)
Arrest author of insulting UTM slides, says former lecturer (Asia Samachar, 15 June 2016)
Hindus, Sikhs in Malaysia appalled with university textbook ridiculing their faiths (Asia Samachar, 13 June 2016)
Singapore interfaith buka puasa by kidney support group (Asia Samachar, 9 June 2016)
President Obama to appoint Sikh to presidential advisory council (Asia Samachar, 14 May 2016)
MGC fears Akaal Ustat Semagam can split Sanggat, cause disunity (Asia Samachar, 21 April 2016)
Foreign maids voted at Ipoh gurdwara AGM, MGC ‘regrets’ police presence (Asia Samachar, 3 March 2016)
Interfaith council welcomes Malaysia’s Federal Court decision on demarcation of civil/syariah courts jurisdiction (Asia Samachar, 11 Feb 2016)
PM appoints Jagir, Dr Sarjit to Malaysia’s interfaith committee (Asia Samachar, 4 Feb 2016)
Conversion ruling in Malaysian court affects all, Sikhs included (Asia Samachar, 6 Jan 2015)
MGC passionately protects religious rights of Sikhs, others in Malaysia (Asia Samachar, 19 Nov 2015)
Surjit joins Singapore’s Presidential Council for Minority Rights (Asia Samachar, 2 Apr 2015)