Several Chinese newspapers today gave prominence to reports of a Sungai Petani secondary school principal accusing non-Muslim students of "disrespecting" the fasting month of Ramadan.
According to the report the school cafeteria had closed for the fasting month and non-Muslim students were left to their own devices to find food.
But the sight of a group of them having breakfast at the canteen - a common area - had apparently raised the principal's ire.
Later, at the school assembly, the principal was alleged to have said that the Chinese students - comprising 10 percent of the student population of 780 - had been disrespectful and that "they should go back to China".
It was claimed that when the assembly was over, another teacher approached the Chinese students to say sarcastically that they should take an AirAsia flight, since the fares were cheap now.
Brickbats from BN politicians
The affair had several Barisan Nasional leaders up in arms.
MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong (right) - who is also deputy education minister - said it was wrong and unbecoming of the school headmaster to make such a remark and that he would leave it to education director-general Alimuddin Mohd Dom to resolve the matter.
"The DG should remind principals to be racially-sensitive. No more such incidents!" he exclaimed in his public Twitter account.
However, Wee also agreed that non-Muslim students in secondary schools should be sensitive during Ramadan and that they should respect their fasting Muslim schoolmates.
"Regarding the place to eat for non-Muslims, the school principal should make proper arrangements to prevent any misunderstanding," he said.
Head must face disciplinary action
Meanwhile, Kedah Gerakan called for the principal's head, urging the government to take "stern action" against him.
"If it is true that the school head had made the racist utterances, then the person should face disciplinary action," state Gerakan chief Cheah Soon Hai said in a statement.
He said the government should be strict as schools are places for learning and such degrading and disparaging words from a principal should not be condoned at all.
Cheah - also Derga state assemblyperson - said the people should know from history that Malaysia gained independence because of the genuine efforts of all races.
"While acknowledging the fact that non-Muslims should be more sensitive towards Muslims uring fasting time, the school head's statement has clearly gone overboard. Making statements such as passengers (penumpang) of the country are totally unwarranted," he added.
'Racist' worms creep out of woodwork
Just earlier this week, the nation was shocked after several police reports were lodged against the principal of a secondary school in Kulai, Johor, for allegedly asking the "Chinese students to go back to China", and likening the Hindu prayer bracelet to a dog leash.
In a speech during the launch of the school's Merdeka celebration, she had also "reminded" the non-Malay students of their place in the country.
She had allegedly given the example of owning a Proton Saga and then letting 'Munusamy' and 'Chong' in as passengers.
"Munusamy and Chong are only passengers. They cannot claim any right to the car. This is the same as Malaysia in which the non-Malay students are passengers," wrote a 16-year-old student in his police report on what the principal had said.