Asia Malaysia Chinese-led party defends Mahathir on Islamic calligraphy subject for vernacular schools

Chinese-led party defends Mahathir on Islamic calligraphy subject for vernacular schools

The DAP has come forward in support of Dr Mahathir on the Khat issue. M'sia Transport Minister Anthony Loke also said Dr Mahathir is not scheming to split the Chinese and unite the Malays in supporting the introduction of Khat in vernacular schools

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The Islamists from the Party Islam se-Malaysia are urging the Chinese-led Democratic Action Party or DAP to quit its ministerial posts over a series of controversies.

Malaysia had again been rocked by another tempestuous debate on whether to introduce Islamic calligraphy —called Khat— in local vernacular schools.

The Ministry of Education under the helm of the controversial Minister Dr. Maszlee Malik decided to introduce ‘Khat’ in vernacular schools.

There is a lot of opposition against the Khat. There are petitions also against the move.

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However, the Islamists are challenging the DAP ministers to quit over the perception of ‘conflicting’ issues with other ministers in the cabinet.

The Islamic party’s or PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man says the DAP is not happy with controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and the introduction of khat for the Standard 4 Bahasa Malaysia syllabus for vernacular schools.

The Islamist leader says the Pakatan Harapan component party headed by Lim Kit Siang is still pushing for the extradition of Zakir Naik.

He said the party was also strongly opposed to khat despite Dr Mahathir’s green light.

Vernacular schools, or schools that are allowed to use their own language as the mother tongue, are protected by the Education Act 1996.

The Education Act 1996 allows the existence of ‘national-type’ schools or vernacular schools. The Chinese and Tamil medium schools are allowed to use their respective mother tongues as a mode of communication, provided that English and Bahasa Malaysia are compulsory subjects.

The ministry will introduce the Khat in the Bahasa Malaysia subject. Its introduction, some say, will make it tougher for the Chinese and Indian students to pass the Bahasa Malaysia subject.

If they fail in this subject, they fail in the SPM.

Nevertheless, the DAP has come forward in support of Dr Mahathir on the Khat issue.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke says Dr Mahathir is not scheming to split the Chinese and unite the Malays in supporting the introduction of Khat in vernacular schools.

Loke said this in response to a viral audio clip in Chinese in which a purported DAP member accused Dr M of using the khat issue to create fissures.

He told reporters he disagreed with the statement in the video, saying Mahathir is a statesman, he is prime minister for all Malaysians.

Loke also dismissed the opposition Malaysian Chinese Association’s call for the DAP to oppose Dr Mahathir on the Khat issue.

He says the DAP is serving the people, not the MCA and we do not have to listen to the MCA.

DAP, Loke says, has arrived at a united position on the implementation of khat in vernacular schools, views that the party will convey to the cabinet. -/TISG

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