Higher education minister: UTM Vice-Chancellor to handle slides controversy

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Slides from the religious module caused an uproar after they were posted online, outraging the Hindu community with its claims. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

 

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said he is aware of the religious controversy surrounding Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies (TITAS) module, but is leaving the matter in the hands of its management.

“Prof Datuk Dr Wahid Omar, the UTM Vice-Chancellor, has gotten in touch with me and is looking into the issue,” he said in a brief text message to reporters.

“He has given his assurance that he will get to the bottom of it and take all required corrective steps,” he added.

Slides from the religious module caused an uproar after they were posted online, outraging the Hindu community with claims that they considered the dirt on the body as part of their religious practice to achieve nirvana.

Among others, the slides also claimed that Islam had introduced civility to the lives of the Hindu community.

Wahid had yesterday said the university will be conducting a thorough probe on the slides, which he said were not part of the Massive Open Online Courses endorsed by the Higher Education Ministry and did not reflect the true content of the public university’s TITAS module.

He also said that it was an isolated incident and that the university will ensure lecturers only use ministry-endorsed slides for the TITAS module from now on to prevent a recurrence of the incident.

The TITAS module was made mandatory to all tertiary students regardless of religion in 2013.

At the time, critics of the module had alleged that it was a front to push an Islamic supremacy agenda in the country.

Source : Malay Mail