Someone Found A Separate "Malay Canteen" Behind This Public School In Melaka

The canteen operator said it has been around for 10 years.

Cover image via The Malaysian Insight

A smaller canteen with a sign that reads "Kantin Melayu" was recently revealed to exist behind the main canteen of SMK St. Francis, Melaka

The Malaysian Insight reported yesterday, 25 November, that a reader disclosed the information to the news portal.

A canteen operator from the school told The Malaysian Insight that the extra canteen has existed for 10 years

He claimed that many schools have practiced this two-canteen policy, with the exception of Malay schools. 

"Even though we apply for Halal license also they don't want," he said, adding that he had employed a Malay cook in the past whom they did not want as well.

"The plates and forks are different for both canteens," said one of the students from the school. "When you return the plates, it's also separate. Malay canteen on the right and Chinese canteen on the left. So [that] they don't wash together," he revealed, according to the report.

SMK St. Francis' second canteen is reportedly run by a Muslim operator from the main canteen

This is the sign that was spotted in the school:

A sign that reads "Kantin Melayu" at a school in Melaka.

Image via The Malaysian Insight

Following this news, many leaders and netizens have ridiculed the two-canteen policy for it even being a practice in a multicultural nation like Malaysia

"Schools should be where children learn about unity and integration, and should not promote segregation," said Malacca Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin, as reported by The Malaysian Insight.

Lawyer and activist Siti Kasim also took to Twitter revealing that she recently discovered that her own school had a separate canteen.

"This is happening in my own old school. MGSS in Melaka. I was shocked to know about this when I recently had a reunion there. If you don't believe segregation between us is critical, this is just one [instance]," she wrote.

Image via Twitter
Image via Facebook

Meanwhile, Melaka State Education Department director Abu Bakar Saharim claimed that the separate canteens in schools has nothing to do with racial segregation

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via New Straits Times

According to Abu Bakar, two canteens provided are to allow students to have "more choices."

"Why not have separate canteens? It only gives the pupils more choices. This has nothing to do with segregation of races," he said, adding that, "This has been going on for a long time, why pick on it now? It is a non-issue."

"But if this becomes viral, we will get a directive from above," he was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insight.

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