The SPM workshop has exposed the FAILURE of the teachers and HEAD in Johore CIJ.

If you are a former pupil of the Holy* Infant Jesus Concent, then you will remember your school motto, “Simple in virtue, steadfast in duty.”

In the Johore SPM workshop scandal, the head and teachers, ignored the school motto. Shame on them! Perhaps, they are not products of the wider CHIJ family.

Agama & more Agama lessons will make Mat & Minah dull pupils

Most people may only ‘see’ the racism and discrimination of the Convent school when it held an overnight workshop in a hotel, to assist poor performing Malay students.

More importantly, what most people neglect to see is the failure of the school’s teachers, and most importantly, the head of the school. At the same time, it is the failure of the ministry and education department.

The workshop was held because Malay students had failed in history and a few other subjects?

So don’t the authorities engage experts to find out why Malays perform badly in these subjects.

I may not be an educator, but I’ve heard that nowadays, Malay students have agama classes, and more agama classes and yet more agama classes to attend.

More agama classes will not increase the brain cells. More agama classes may actually stunt the child s development. Agama. Agama. Agama.

An overdose of agama lessons and NOT focussing on STEM subjects, or sports, and art, and music, and creative lessons will make Mat and Minah dull children indeed.

So, why are the Malay students not good at some subjects? Is it because they have to spend a lifetime on agama classes in schools? By the time they tackle the other subjects like mathematics, history, chemisty or English literature, they have no more energy or brain power left to absorb any more information?

The workshop was held because the head did not want the school’s position in the league tables to be affected, and so a workshop was arranged just for Malay pupils.

When will this tick box culture end? If the head is really worried about his poor performing Malay pupils, then he should ask why the teachers have failed but actually, in truth, it is the head who has failed.

Minister Fadhlina Sidek: Should she stay or should she go?

Meanwhile, the Education Minister, Fadhlina Sidek, must deal decisively and promptly with the serious allegation about the school SPM workshop that was helping  only poor-performing Malay students in Johore.

Failure to do so will undermine her own position and more importantly, will render meaningless the latest Madani Malaysia initiative, by Prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim. The calls for her to resign or be replaced, are getting stronger.

As the facts slowly emerge and more people come forward with their past  experiences, Fadhlina knows that a Pandora’s Box has been opened in the ministry.

The exposé  was first highlighted by Twitter user, Anne Louis, when she said that a few days ago, the SMK Convent of the Infant Jesus held an SPM workshop only for Malay students. The workshop would help students revise Islamic studies.  

The SPM Preparation Workshop was held at the Hotel Suasana, in Johore Bahru, on 19 and 20 January. It was a two-day-and-one-night event.

The participants included  30 girls who had failed their Malay and history subjects, as well as those who were Galus (failed with potential to pass) candidates in several other subjects.

Although it was mentioned that Islamic studies would be taught, subsequent enquiries revealed that  Chemistry and Additional Mahematics had also been included. Were other subjects included?

Had the mention of Islamic studies been planted as the red herring for non-Malay parents?  

When angry parents confronted the headmaster, his list of excuses became more pathetic. Many non-Malay parents were livid and demanded to know why their children had not been notified nor asked to participate?

The charge of racism was denied by the headmaster. Is he not conscious of the ensuing fall out which will undoubtedly harm community relations and more importantly, divide the school community further?

It appears that Malay schoolchildren learn how to become entitled and pivileged early on in life. What happened in this Johore school is institutionalised racism.

The headmaster said that around 40 Malay students might fail their SPM examinations and he claimed that the workshop would help them. He also said that  their failure would reflect badly on the school’s rating in the league table.

The head of the school has failed.

The headmaster appeared to show more concern for targets than he is about  prividing good teaching. He appeared to be more worried that his reputation would suffer and that the 40 poor performers will drag his name through the mud.  

He voiced his fears that failure to achieve targets for SPM would be blamed on the headmaster. So, is it all about him?

Or did he use this excuse  to hide the workshop’s true intentions behind the Ketuanan Melayu mask?

The headmaster said that parents and individuals had donated money to hold the workshop. How fair and how true is this? How did the school or the headmaster  manage to source money from these people, without others knowing?

The actions of the school are discriminatory and racist. Is the headmaster allowed to collect money from parents? Malay parents enjoy the benefits of additional teaching for their children, a chance to catch-up and also tackle the subjects which need serious attention. How fair is that? However, the headmaster’s story is full of holes and he knows it.

Meanwhile, the role of the Johore Bahru District Education Office (PPD) is beyond belief. How could they politicise education? It was reported that the workshop had been an initiative between the Johore Bahu District Education Office (PPD) and the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Parent Support Group (KSIB) and the Parent Community and Private Involvement (PIBKS) to hold the workshop?

Why did the PTA  allow itself to be manipulated with the racist aagenda? Why deny the same opportunities for non-Malay parents? All parents care greatly about their children’s education. How could the Education Department lie about this?

When faced with an angry public, the Department issued a statement that a second workshop had also been organised for non-Malay students.

So, was this another attempt at damage control, to pacify an angry public? The department said that the first event was unsuitable for non-Malays  because of Chinese New Year.  So, when is the second event and will it stick to the same format? Why could the organisers not have timed the event properly. Aren’t all children allowed to celebrate Chinese New Year together? The department appears to be ill-prepared and has been caught doing something wrong.

Fadhlina should put a stop to these discriminatory tactics because they are unfair, they are divisive and they do not help the student. It is alleged that in some cases, students are given questions that may be asked in the examination. This is tantamount to cheating!

Some people have said that similaf sessions have been going on for 40 years. Malays are given extra classes to help them before an examination and in some cases,  they are allegedly provided with the question and answer. The Education department and Ministry must not condone cheating, nor should it be seen to encourage such acts.  

Schools should not be the breeding grounds of racism, and staff in both the education department and in schools, who promote racism, should be sacked.

Fadhlina should not come to the defence of the headmaster and the Johore Education department. It is time she showed courage and integrity in abolishing this morally indefensible act.

(Note: It was alleged that around 40 years ago, the word “Holy” had to be dropped by all Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus mission schools, at the insistence of the authorities.

Fancy being afraid of the word “Holy”…Pathetic!

Says a lot about the insecure people in power.

More on this topic later, eg the ‘cross’ in the school badge had to be removed… even more pathetic….For heaven’s sake, its a mission school, founded by nuns a few hundred years ago. The lebai and 6th century mentality persists to this day.)

Rebuilding Malaysia


  • Robert says:

    First, I congratulate Mariam for her broad mindedness and support for fairness for the nons.

    Second, if I am not mistaken, the principal is a woman.

    And finally, that such thing has happened is not a surprise. And I can bet there will be no punishment meted out too.

  • Ravi says:

    My mother was a Convent school teacher in Muar, when the word “holy” was dropped, in the 70s. But I didn’t know why. Neither did I know the reason why the “cross”-symbol was dropped. Thank you for highlighting this, Mariam. It looks like the ‘chickens have come back to roost’.

  • Lincoln Tan says:

    Malaysia Madani does not condone such “Rubbish” and Anwar our PM has repeatedly stressed in all his speeches that under His administration no marginalisation of the minority race!

    In this episode, it is apparent that the headmaster has not followed the procedures, It is best he apologizes and admits his mistake!

    The minister must still proceed with the necessary investigation. If such a thing is stopped, how to save Malaysia?

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