KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Some female students subjected to period spot checks in schools thought the practice was a tradition passed down by seniors, Parliament heard today.

Senior Education Minister Datuk Radzi Jidin, during his Budget 2022 winding-up speech, said checks by his ministry found that these students did not know that such checks were not official.

“What actually happened was, whatever physical examination that was conducted, was done by students on to other students; that is the real story.

“Based on the explanation given to us by these students, we were told that they saw the checks as a tradition practised among their seniors, with the practice passed down to the younger generations,” he said.

Radzi explained these accounts were obtained from students during a session he and ministry officers had with them late last month, without the presence of their teachers or wardens.

He provided the explanation when asked by former deputy education minister and Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching on the status of investigations into the claims of period spot checks still happening in public schools.

Radzi included how they are still working to establish whether any teaching staff are involved in instructing the spot checks, and how the tradition came about.

“There were a few versions from the students, but the general answer was that the spot checks were part of some tradition, a way the seniors ensured their juniors adhered to the school rules.

“But if there is proof of teachers being involved, then the appropriate action will be taken,” he said.

He added that once the claims were verified, a directive was issued by the Education Ministry director-general to all public schools that such physical examinations should never take place.

Last month, Radzi visited the school in Setapak where the supposed period spot checks were conducted and had separate sessions with students and teachers in an attempt to find out the truth.

The allegations were brought to attention by a Twitter user who claimed that she had received a message from a whistleblower saying that on October 18, about 30 female students were asked to undergo checks to prove that they were menstruating.