School canteen allowed to operate during Ramadan
By Zahratulhayat Mat Arif – April 7, 2022 @ 6:09pm
IPOH: A canteen operator at a primary school in Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur, has been allowed to continue its operation following a controversial decision to close down during the fasting month.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said this was to allow non-Muslim students to buy their meals during recess time, despite the school’s earlier justification that it had consulted parents of students on the matter.
“Based on a report I received, there are only a few non-Muslim students there and parents were consulted before a decision to close the canteen was made.
“Both (school and parents) agreed that non-Muslim students would have to bring meals from home but there were also complaints received from another quarter (who did not agree to bring meals from home).
“The school has re-evaluated its decision and will now open the school canteen throughout Ramadan,” he told reporters after attending Accelerated School Leaders Initiative (ASLI) Programme at MH Hotel here today.
It is learnt that the school has 11 non-Muslim students.
Dr Mah was commenting on a viral Facebook post about a letter from a primary school in Desa Pandan on its decision to close down the canteen during the fasting month.
Among others the posting mentioned the closure was made to “train and respect Muslim students who are fasting” and also to remind students who were not fasting to bring food from home.
“SK Desa Pandan canteen closed for Ramadan”: Non-Muslim parents agreed, school says
YESTERDAY (April 4), a Facebook post went viral apparently showing a letter from Sekolah Kebangsaan Desa Pandan announcing its decision to close down its canteen during the fasting month.
In the post, its senior assistant principal (student affairs) called Noor Ainon was claimed to have said that the school canteen would be closed so as to “train and respect Muslim students who are fasting”.
“If you’re children are not fasting, we hope the parents can provide them with breakfast before coming to school.
“Students are also disallowed from displaying their water bottles in the public,” she was reported as saying.
The post has gone viral on Facebook, receiving over 1,000 comments and 418 shares, with many netizens lashing out at the school for its decision.
When contacted, an official from the school clarified that the Facebook post was not accurate and the matter is being probed by the district education department.
“The notice was actually given out to our Muslim students to show respect for those who are fasting for the first time, particularly pupils in Year 1 and Year 2
“As for the canteen closure, we discussed the matter with all the parents of our non-Muslim students and they were agreeable to this. For your information, our school has only 11 non-Muslim students in total,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told FocusM.
The official remarked: “We have provided a special room for the 11 students to have their meals during break time and they are allowed to bring water bottles from home too.” – April 5, 2022