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Teacher's 'drink urine' joke misunderstood, Kedah exco claims

Teacher's 'drink urine' joke misunderstood, Kedah exco claims
A letter addressed to the Kedah state education director alleged that a senior teacher at the Sungai Petani primary school had advised non-Muslim students to drink water in the school toilets during Ramadan. Photo: The Malay Mail Online
Published: 9:13 PM, June 22, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR — The teacher who caused uproar for allegedly telling students to consume their own urine had actually made a joke telling them not to do so, the Kedah state executive councillor in charge of education asserted today (June 22).

Mr Tajul Urus Mat Zain, who is also assemblyman for Tanjong Dawai where the school is located, claimed that the senior teacher at Sekolah Kebangsaan Ibrahim was reminding Muslim students about their duty to fast and for non-Muslim students to avoid drinking in front of Muslim students.

He explained that the teacher was telling students to seek permission prior to consuming water outside classrooms when he purportedly joked with them to say “don’t drink your own urine” after informing them that they could also consume tap water in the toilets.

“The speech and message was misunderstood by some of the students and became an issue. A police report has been done by the parents,” he said in a statement.

He also said the teacher has received threats over the phone and has lodged a police report.

Today, the school held a special assembly to “correct” the teacher’s statement about “drinking urine”.

A letter circulating online and addressed to the Kedah state education director had alleged that a senior teacher at the Sungai Petani primary school told non-Muslim students to drink water in the school toilets during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, and if they do not have water, “they can drink from the tap or their own urine”.

The letter, purportedly from an unnamed group of non-Muslim students, claimed the teacher had uttered the words during the school’s assembly yesterday.

The education ministry has also directed its Kedah Education Department to investigate the incident, said deputy minister P Kamalanathan.

While he said the ministry was waiting for the results of the probe, he added the there was no such policy against non-Muslim students consuming water during Ramadan.

“However, at a policy level the allegations if true are definitely not the policy of the Ministry.”

“Also if found true those responsible will be dealt with seriously for breaching the ministry’s policy,” he said in a Facebook post on his page. THE MALAY MAIL ONLINE