In a statement on Friday, Malaysia’s Malaysia’s Ministry of Education (MOE) said that the use of replica weapons or symbols containing provocative and confrontational elements as part of Palestine Solidarity Week was not permitted.
“The Education Ministry encourages activities that support humanitarian issues such as peace-themed video screenings and poster painting competitions, recital of humanitarian poetry and fundraising for the Palestinian people to be carried out throughout the week,” MOE said.
“All institutions under the ministry have been asked always to follow the organising guidelines. The Palestine Solidarity Week should be used as a platform to educate students about noble values, tolerance, compassion and mutual respect,” it added.
In one video that went viral on X and TikTok, a man is seen dressed as a militant and armed with a replica rifle at a school.
He leads a procession of other adults, some of whom are waving the Palestinian flag or wearing scarves in support of the Palestinians. Another woman is also seen aiming another replica gun.
Students of various ages can be seen sitting on the floor in the background.
The footage caused concern among users of the social media platforms.
The ministry said that it was aware of public concern regarding the viral pictures and footage.
It said the activities depicted in the images did not follow its guidelines and were also conducted before the start of Palestine Solidarity Week.