Discrimination in Malaysian education

 Around half (50%) of Malaysians reported having experienced perceived discrimination in education. Of those, 36% experienced verbal discrimination, 21% experienced harassment or bullying, and 18% were denied access to opportunities because of their identities. 

• Younger Malaysians (18-30) reported more experiences of perceived discrimination (59%) in education than older Malaysians (46+ 43%; 31-45 45%). 

• Indian respondents reported the highest rate of experiencing verbal discrimination (54%) and being denied access to opportunities because of their identity (40%) compared to other racial groups. 

• Non-Bumiputera respondents (Chinese 82%; Indian 85%) were more likely than Bumiputera respondents (66%) to consider race-based exclusion for school admission a form of discrimination.

• Among those reporting being discriminated, Indian respondents reported significantly more experiences of perceived race-based discrimination in schools (87%) than other racial groups. 

• Perceived socioeconomic-based discrimination in education was reportedly experienced by all race, gender and age groups at around the same level (43-51%). 

• Among those reporting having experienced discrimination in education, younger respondents were more likely to report having experienced discrimination from another student of the same age (71%) than other age groups. 

• In the same subset, Indian respondents were more likely attribute their experience of perceived discrimination to teachers (74%). Non-Bumiputera respondents (Chinese 36%; Indian 40%) reported greater perceived discrimination from government policies in education than Bumiputera respondents (Malay 15%; Other Bumi 23%). 

• The majority of those who reported having experienced perceived discrimination in education did not report it to either teachers, school administration, parents or the police (54%). 

• Among those who did not choose to report their experience of perceived discrimination, 61% cited that they did not think it would make a difference as a reason for not doing so. 

• Among respondents who reported their experiences of perceived discrimination to authorities, 48% stated that no investigation or action happened. 

• Malaysians may misunderstand what counts as discrimination, as some did not consider failure to accommodate learning disabilities as discrimination (23%) while others considered non-identity based teasing as discrimination (45%)

Survey Report

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