Monday, January 16, 2006

SIKH Boy can keep facial hair



Ranveer Singh: Does not need to shave facial hair as long as it is kept neat.KUALA LUMPUR: It is official – Fifth Former Ranveer Singh does not have to shave off his facial hair so long as it is kept neat.

Education deputy director-general (schools) Datuk Khusaini Hasbullah said schools should look at the whole situation when dealing with religious issues.
As such, he said, Ranveer Singh, who was told by his school principal to shave off his facial hair, does not have to do so.

“As long as he keeps it neat and presentable, I don’t see a problem. The policy is that religious practices should be allowed if they are not extreme,” he said yesterday.
For the Sikhs, he said, this meant that they could wear a turban and keep facial hair.
“Boys now reach puberty earlier and mature faster, and we have to consider their physical changes,” he added.

The Star reported yesterday that Ranveer Singh, 17, had been told by his principal that facial hair was against school regulations. The Perak Education Department had said Ranveer Singh could write to the Education Ministry for permission to keep his facial hair.
According to Jasmel Singh, 45, the principal had said if his son refused to follow instructions, he should get himself transferred to another school.

Jasmel Singh described the rule as discriminatory and said it was ridiculous to have to seek permission for a religious obligation.

Acknowledging the sensitivity of such issues, Khusaini cited the case where three boys went to court in Seremban in 1997 through their guardian to seek reinstatement after being expelled for wearing the serban (Islamic turban) in school.

“The serban is considered extreme and is not allowed,” he said.
He advised principals to check the relevant circular if they were unsure about how to proceed.
When contacted, Jasmel Singh said he was happy the issue was finally resolved.
“The issue should not have come up in the first place,” he added.


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