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Survey Shows 1 In 2 Malaysians Have Faced Discrimination in Schools, Ethnic Indians Had It Worst

Credits: Malay Mail

A recent survey by the Sekolah Semua youth movement has revealed a sad, but not totally surprising fact - most ethnic Indians in Malaysia have suffered racial discrimination in schools more often than individuals from other ethnic groups.

The Discrimination in Education Survey was conducted among 2,441 respondents nationwide to explore how individuals experienced or perceived discrimination during their time in Malaysian school. All respondents were aged 18 and above as the survey aims to be retrospective in nature.

The results found that up to 87% of ethnic Indian respondents admitted that they felt discriminated in schools due to their ethnicity, while 69% of respondents believed it was due to their skin colour, and 65% claimed it was due to religious beliefs.

Meanwhile, 54% of ethnic Indians said they suffered verbal discrimination, while 40% said they were denied access to opportunities because of their identity as compared to other ethnic groups. Sadly, 92% of respondents who reported their experience to authorities said no further action or investigation were taken after their report.

Overall, non-Bumiputera respondents (36% of ethnic Chinese respondents and 40% of Indian respondents) reported greater perceived discrimination from government policies in education as compared to their Bumiputera counterparts (15% Malay respondents and 23% other Bumiputera respondents).

When asked about the source of their discrimination, 74% of overall respondents cited their teachers to be the contributing factor while 73% pointed to their peers. Generally, it was found that one in two Malaysians have felt discriminated in education, regardless of their background.

“With the results of this survey, we hope that Malaysia as a country can start to better confront our discrimination problem,” said Jason Wee, co-founder of Architects of Diversity Malaysia, who manages the volunteer-run Sekolah Semua movement.


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