The skateboarding community in Malaysia have slammed the Ministry of Education (MOE) over its portrayal of skateboarders as “immoral” individuals in a Form 2 Moral textbook.
The picture, which was uploaded to the subreddit r/Bolehland, showed a group of boys hanging out with skateboards, where three of them were dressed in their school uniform while one was in casual clothing.
It was also accompanied by three questions posed to students regarding the picture:
- How did you feel upon seeing the picture? Why?
- Predict what would occur if such behaviour persists.
- Describe the values they need to cultivate in building good character based upon religion/beliefs.
‘What’s wrong with skateboarding?’
Needless to say, the picture has since come under heavy fire from avid skateboarders, who slammed it for insinuating that those interested in the sport are inherently immoral.
One of its loudest critics was local skateboarding community @sk8msia, who expressed their disappointment in an Instagram post over how skateboarders were portrayed in a negative light.
What is the motive of the textbook’s publisher? What’s wrong with skateboarding activities? Are they aware that skateboarding is an official sport in the 2018 Asian Games in Palembong, the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines and most recently, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
They also tagged Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu and Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin and called upon them to look into the matter.
Netizens were also angered by the picture, saying that it further reinforced existing stereotypes which depicted skateboarders as hooligans and truants. They also argued that a better illustration could have been used to discourage negative behavior among students.
Some also joked that skateboarders were a much better option than mat rempits and mat lajaks who pose a danger to the public.
Cover images via Reddit and Red Bull
Editor: Sarah Yeoh