KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — A former trainee teacher who was teaching students the meaning of Malaysia’s national anthem Negaraku in Mandarin had also recorded the song in Mandarin, the head of the board of a primary school in Seremban, Negri Sembilan has said.
Datuk Seri Wong Sin Fatt, who heads the board of SJK (C) Ma Hwa in Kampung Baru Rasah in Seremban, was reported saying yesterday that the recorded incident was understood to have occurred this September.
Wong said a trainee teacher was using Mandarin to teach the students what the lyrics of Negaraku meant.
“But I am unclear how it later became using Mandarin to sing the national anthem, and the video was recorded by this trainee teacher and later uploaded on Facebook. It is not known why this became viral online,” he was quoted saying by local daily Sin Chew Daily, adding that this trainee teacher had previously left the primary school after completing training.
In a separate report by local paper Oriental Daily, Wong was reported explaining that the trainee teacher had conducted the lesson according to the contents in the textbook.
Wong also reportedly said that this trainee teacher had recorded the video with the intention of keeping it, but noted the video had unexpectedly gone viral after being shared online.
According to Wong, the school had been called to provide clarifications and to assist in the Education Ministry’s investigations into the matter.
Yesterday, the Education Ministry said it had found that the singing of Negaraku in Mandarin was only done during a lesson in class in a Negri Sembilan school with the intention of providing understanding on the meaning, purpose and behaviour while singing the national anthem, and that it was not done so during any official events in the school.
“However, the ministry would like to remind all schools to employ wisdom when teaching basics related to national emblems, including the national anthem during classroom lessons so that it cannot be misconstrued by any party.
“The ministry also stressed to all schools that the Negaraku cannot be changed or altered in any shape, way, or form in any formal school event and has to abide by the National Anthem Act 1968,” the ministry had said.
Sin Chew Daily also reported that Internet users have found a video clip uploaded in 2016 showing Negaraku allegedly being sung in Arabic, noting that a social media page named Media Hit Official had also uploaded a short clip of the national anthem being sung in Mandarin, Arabic and the sign language.