School apologises over saree ban

PETALING JAYA: A secondary school here has apologised to its Indian students and retracted its ban on students wearing saree at its Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration today.

Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Cheras principal Maznah Latif said the school has already informed the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Education Department that it had retracted the ban, and a new invitation letter had been issued to students allowing them to wear the saree.

Maznah admitted that the ban was a mistake on the school's part.

A letter by the school dated July 11 went viral yesterday, and drew flak from netizens, with many describing the ban as a discrimination against the Indian community.

In the letter, it required non-Muslim students to wear their own traditional outfits, but banned the use of saree and jeans.

Earlier, Maznah had told an online portal that the initial decision to ban saree was to avoid an incident where several Indian students were laughed at when they wore saree to a Raya celebration last year.

She added that some of students had worn saree which are revealing.

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) president Kamarozaman Abd Razak, in describing the initial ban as unjustified, said the school should have instead advised their students if they were deemed too revealing.

He said schools should have been more sensitive when it comes to issues involving race.

A similar incident took place June last year when a copy of an invitation by the Ipoh City Council that banned the use of saree for its special Aidilfitri gathering went viral, provoking the ire of netizens.