The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) disagrees with the recent initiative by the Ministry of Education to hastily implement “Palestine Unity Week” in its affiliated schools and educational institutions. There are concerns about the effectiveness of this short-term program in genuinely promoting a message of peace and anti-war. Especially in the absence of systematic training for teaching staff, there is a risk that the activities may deviate and turn the campus into a breeding ground for spreading hostile and violent ideologies, ultimately leading to one-sided information and dogmatic teaching.
KLSCAH believes that the Ministry of Education’s promotion of “Palestine Unity Week” in various schools lacks thoroughness and sensitivity. It fails to consider the diverse reality of Malaysia, a society characterized by a mix of different races, religions, and cultures, each with differing viewpoints on domestic issues, let alone the complex historical and geopolitical issues of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Determining right from wrong in such matters is far from straightforward.
KLSCAH urges the Ministry of Education to immediately withdraw its decision to hold “Palestine Unity Week.” This should take into account the diversity on campus, considering that students of various age groups come from different religious and cultural backgrounds. “Palestine Unity Week,” spanning just a few days, appears to be “something rushed haphazardly”, lacking critical teaching support. Relying solely on religious populism to compel underage students to take a clear and one-sided stance in support of one side or the other is clearly not conducive to creating a space for advocating peace, rationality, and non-violence based on universal values.
KLSCAH advocates that the government should focus on the basic education of primary and secondary schools, starting with nurturing critical thinking and mature reasoning skills in students in the classroom. It also encourages higher education institutions to shape a healthy campus public culture, allowing activities such as political salons, seminars, and forums to develop on campuses. Through public discussions and practical experience, students can develop civic awareness and a sense of human rights, leading to a more diverse worldview beyond the simplistic dichotomous viewpoint.
THE KUALA LUMPUR AND SELANGOR CHINESE ASSEMBLY HALL (KLSCAH)