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Utusan rejected for being too racist, harmful for Chinese students

A Chinese primary school in Kuantan has reversed its decision to accept free copies of the Malay daily Utusan Malaysia following objections from Chinese educational groups and opposition parties.

Malaysiakini quoted the Sin Chew Daily as saying that the reversal of the decision was made by the SRJK (C) Semambu board after a meeting on the night of Wednesday 23 February 2011.

Board chairman Goh Kim Fah told the Sin Chew Daily that the school initially wanted to accept free copies of the Utusan Malaysia, sponsored by a private company, to enhance the command of Bahasa Malaysia among the pupils.

“Indeed, we were careless with this issue. We did not study the impact of the decision (to accept the sponsorship),” Goh said.

He said the pupils, unlike adults, would not be able to compare the Utusan Malaysia news reports, which critics claim are "skewed and fan racism", with other sources.

This was among the reasons the board decided to reject the sponsorship deal.

The issue was raised after the Utusan Malaysia reported that property developer Pasdec Holdings Bhd would sponsor 4,375 copies of the daily for four primary schools and one secondary school in Pahang.

Negative impact on pupils

Among others, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has objected to the sponsorship deal, saying that the Umno-owned daily had a habit of publishing false news about him and stoking racial sentiments among the Malays.

Lim also accused the daily of constantly trying to portray the Chinese community as second-class citizens.

"If we allow our new generation to read this Umno mouthpiece, then the Chinese community would become second-class citizens in Malaysia forever. The rights of non-Malays would be deprived," Lim said in a recent statement.

The Association of Graduates from Universities & Colleges of China, Malaysia, also pointed out that the newspaper would have a negative impact to the pupils.

"The Utusan Malaysia has been spreading racism and lies, as well as distorting facts. It is not a professional and credible newspaper, hence it is not suitable to be read by pupils whose thinking is still not mature," the association said in calling on the school to reject the offer.

MySinchew 2011-02-24


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