Responding To Vegetarian Student Waytha Calls For Greater Religious Understanding




Understanding each other's needs is the key to unity in this country, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waythamoorthy today in responding to the struggles of a vegetarian student to get food at a matriculation college
The student had written into The Star saying that he had been denied access to vegetarian food while a student at a local matriculation college
"The student affairs officer denied our formally-written request to order vegetarian food from outside and told us to our face that we could either 'adjust' to the food in the college or fill-up the form to leave and quit matriculation for good
"We were hundreds of kilometres away from home, and this was what the officer said to us," he wrote

In response, Waythamoorthy reminded everyone about the importance of understanding each other religious sensitivity as the platform to racial harmony in the country
“It is a known fact that each unique culture is influenced by religion. We cannot deny that religion shapes the way we live, hence appreciating each uniqueness would increase our understanding of each other and ultimately, improve our sense of togetherness as a nation”, he said
Waythomoorthy said that the Pakatan Harapan government was committed to establishing a more open and understanding community
"I will be writing to the Education Ministry to seek their support and action in hopes to address and improve such grievances moving forward”, he addedHe also expressed his disappointment with the lack of understanding and action taken by the student affairs officer even after a formal request was made for the students to cater to outside food
He cited the need for greater involvement of the Committee for the Promotion of Inter-Religious Understanding and Harmony among Adherents (JKMPKA)
The committee’s 2018-2019 session comprises 32 members, representing the Islamic, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Taoist, Sikh and Baha'i religions as well as Orang Asli representatives along with academics, youths and representatives from Sabah and Sarawak. - Mkini

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