MALAYSIA’S parliament this week debated whether or not it was right for teachers to cane a 10-year-old boy for bringing pork to school.
The Malaysia Star reported the argument centered on whether the boy, who was caned 10 times across the hand for eating a home-cooked meal of fried rice with pork, is Muslim or Christian. If the boy was Christian he would not have broken any rules by eating pig products.
Angela Jabing said her son Basil was disciplined for eating a non-Halal meal. She is a Christian and her husband, Beginda Minda, has denied being a Muslim.
The Star reported that a decree issued by the National Fatwa Council means that if either parent is Muslim the child must be Muslim.
“I admit I was a Muslim before. But in 1999, I changed my religion. Now I am a non-Muslim,” Beginda said.
The government is now investigating whether Beginda is a Muslim or non-Muslim.
“Only after this can conclusions be drawn on why his son was caned,” said government minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz.