MOE did not stop schools from celebrating Ponggal

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Cooking rice with milk is symbolic for the Ponggal festival. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 15 JANUARY 2019.

KUALA LUMPUR – The letter issued by the Ministry of Education (MOE) on the Ponggal celebration at schools was meant to reduce the anxiety of Muslim parents on the involvement of their children in the festival.

According to the MOE, the letter was issued based on the guidelines by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM).

The MOE also reminded the schools to abide to the rules and regulations if they wish to celebrate certain events at schools.

“The Ministry of Education is aware that the school is the venue to instil unity among the multi-racial Malaysians. The culture of the different races needs to be known, understood and respected by everyone, including the school administrators, teachers and students.

“As an effort to instil the spirit of toleration, understanding and mutual respect among the multi-racial people, the MOE encourages the schools to be involved in cross-cultural activities.

“Referring to the Ponggal festival celebrated by the Hindus, the MOE has never stopped the said festival from being celebrated in schools,” the ministry said in a statement today.

The statement referred to MOE’s letter with the reference KPM. 100-1/3/2 (64) dated 13 January 2020 which sparked controversies.

The Ponggal festival or harvest festival is celebrated by the Indian communities in the country as a sign of gratitude towards their blessings. – MalaysiaGazette

Ponggal Hindu Muslim schools

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