KOTA KINABALU, Aug 20 ― A religious teacher’s remark on the intellectual quality of locals has upset the Sabah Government Teachers Union (SGTU), which is demanding her apology and retraction of the perceived slur posted on Facebook.

According to the SGTU, the message posted by one “Nur Mastura”, identified as an ustazah (religious teacher) posted from peninsular Malaysia to a school in Tenom, belittled both Sabahans and local educators.

The ustazah had commented on possible restriction on teachers from the peninsula from serving in Sabah, but it is unclear what prompted her remark.

“Klu jbtn Pendidikan sabah x trima guru dr smnjung… Hermmmm Lu fikir la sdri apa akn jd ngn Pendidikan ngeri sabah… Lainlah klu rkyatnya bijak pndai smua n layak jd guru. Fikir lah pnjang skit sblm post apa2”


(If the Sabah Education Department doesn’t take teachers from the peninsula… think for yourself what will happen to the education in Sabah… It would be different if its people are smart and clever, and are qualified teachers. Think it over before posting anything),” she wrote on her Facebook page.

SGTU Tenom branch chairman Jalal Maarof said they have issued the letter to the teacher on August 19, whose Facebook post was captured and disseminated on social media, triggering local outrage.

“For a profession which has to uphold integrity and teaching professionalism, such comments are disturbing and could affect the unity and national integration amongst the local Sabahan teachers as well as their counterparts in the Peninsula and Sarawak.


“If there is any dissatisfaction, there are appropriate channels to go through and not make it public on social networks, such as the Facebook,” said Jalal in his letter.

Jalil also gave a 7 day deadline for the apology.

Separately, Sabah Education Department officer in charge of complaints Hairudin Samsudin said that they have identified the teacher involved and that she has admitted to the statement and shown remorse.

“Further investigations are needed, but she will be reprimanded appropriately if guilty of wrongdoing. Let this be a lesson to all not to make offending statements in our country,” said Hairudin in a text message.

Previously, there have been calls to deploy local teachers in rural Sabah due to language and cultural differences faced by peninsular Malaysians posted to the locations.

It was also more costly to transfer a teacher from the peninsula to Sabah compared to employing a Sabahan teacher.

Sabah Education director Datuk Jame Alip when contacted said they are currently investigating the matter and declined to comment further.