JOHOR BAHRU: A national school in Batu Pahat, Johor has been criticised over its move to segregate sporting activities according to the race of its students.
According to a note issued by SMK Dato’ Bentara Luar on the registration for co-curricular activities, the students’ choices for sports were limited by their race.
Football and sepak takraw club was open for “Malay males only”, while the basketball club was for “Chinese males and females”. Hockey, meanwhile, was opened only to students living in dorms, while only Malay girls could join the netball club.
Sports like handball, bowling, petanque and badminton, however, were open to all.
When contacted, the school’s principal Abdul Razak Hamid confirmed the note and claimed the “conditions” were necessary because of the lack of sporting facilities for the students.
“We are a hockey school, so the existing field has to be used for the sport, so there is no other field that can be used for other sports.
“So, we have to set conditions like that to attract Malay students who are not interested in sports to join the various clubs.”
Social media users have slammed the school, with some saying sports is a platform to unite the people not divide them. Others described the move as racist.
Johor exco for education, information, culture and heritage Mazlan Bujang declined to comment. He asked FMT to seek a comment from the education minister instead.