Student ‘misunderstood’ rule on wearing baju kurung, says principal

Britney Nicole (centre), her aunt Agnes Padan and uncle Lawrence Jayaraj (left) at their home. Britney claims she was barred from attending SMK Seri Mutiara in Cheras because she wore a baju kurung uniform. — Picture by Azneal Ishak
Britney Nicole (centre), her aunt Agnes Padan and uncle Lawrence Jayaraj (left) at their home. Britney claims she was barred from attending SMK Seri Mutiara in Cheras because she wore a baju kurung uniform. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — Miscommunication and misinterpretation of information by students and parents resulted in the issue over the wearing of baju kurung by non-Muslim students, a school principal claimed today.    

Mohd Amir Abdul Ghani, principal of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Mutiara, said the school never prohibited any non-Muslim female student from wearing the baju kurung, but only emphasised that the attire had to be correctly worn.                

“If they want to wear the baju kurung, the students have to wear them properly, which means buttoning up all the way. When we tell them this, they say we (the school) do not allow them to wear the baju kurung.  

“The school has never stopped anyone from wearing the baju kurung,” he told Bernama today.              

He said the school’s request that all the buttons on the baju kurung be fastened was meant to protect the decency of the students and for their own safety.

Mohd Amir said a discussion was held among the principal, the parent-teacher association and the guardian of the student concerned (complainant) today to resolve the conflict.                 

He stressed that the female student concerned would return to school and was free to wear the baju kurung.

Mohd Amir said he was not in school on the day the incident happened and claimed that there was a miscommunication between the teacher and student.

The principal believed that if he had been in school on that day, the incident would not have happened and gone viral on the social media.             

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Education Ministry had never issued a directive stopping non-Muslim female students from wearing the baju kurung to school as it was in line with the ministry’s policy to promote unity.                   

Local media reports claimed that a 15-year-old student was prevented from wearing the baju kurung by the school administration because the attire was meant only for Malay female students.   

Mohd Amir said he would really encourage non-Muslim female students who wanted to wear the baju kurung as it was a symbol of a united, plural society in Malaysia.    

He said the majority of students in the school were Chinese and, before this, the baju kurung had never been an issue among them.    

A Bernama check found several non-Muslim teachers of the school wearing the baju kurung. — Bernama 

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