A school in Batu Pahat, Johor has apologised for its mistake of segregating students to co-curricular activities based on their race and gender
According to The Star, SMK Dato' Bentara Luar principal Abdul Razak Hamid issued an apology on Facebook after a school notice showing blatant racism in the division of sports clubs went viral on social media on Saturday, 17 April.
"We thank the public for their concern of keeping the harmony among our multiracial society of Malaysia," said the principal in the post that has since been deleted.
"The school overlooked the information stated in the notice that was sent out to 2021 Form One students regarding student registration for co-curricular activities," he said.
"It was not at all our intention to touch on racial issues as the school upholds the policies and instructions set by the Ministry of Education (MOE)."
The notice that was widely circulated stated that students could only choose to join certain sports and clubs based on their racial background and gender
The circular stated that the football and sepak takraw clubs were open to Malay male students only, while basketball and ping pong were only for Chinese male and female students.
Meanwhile, only Malay girls could join the netball club.
The other sports such as handball, chess, petanque, volleyball, bowling, and badminton were open to all.
The school has since issued a new notice without race and gender limitations
According to the principal, a new document was released to the Form One students and an apology letter was issued to their parents and guardians through a parent-teacher Telegram group.
"The registration for the '1 Student 1 Sport' initiative at the school will now ensure that students will be able to enter a sport or game of their choice," Abdul Razak said.
However, due to limited spots per club, school staff may still have to intervene to make sure each club has a balanced number of students.
"We would like to apologise again and promise never to repeat such an error."