KUCHING, Sept 23: The state Democratic Action Party (DAP) refutes a statement by Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan repeating a claim by an NGO that Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said that Sarawak and Sabah did not object to the teaching of Jawi and Khat in schools.
Special Assistant to Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen, Sim Kiat Leng in a statement acknowledged the proposal to teach Jawi and Khat in school had caused tremendous objections from the Chinese community all over the country including Sarawak, and therefore the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led federal government had decided that the Jawi writing lessons would be confined to three pages for viewing only. There would be no assessment and examination on it, and parents of students can request that this subject not to be taught in class.
“It was a policy set down by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government in 2015 and such is to be implemented in the Primary Four syllabus in 2020.
“While the issue has caused much dissent among the Chinese community, the objection thereto by the Chinese community has also caused similar reaction among the Malay community.
“Indeed, it is thus a very racially-charged issue created by the previous BN government back in 2015. Any prolonged public altercation on the issue will do no good for the country as a whole,” Sim opined in a statement today.
However, he added, the present PH government was able to calm the situation with the said cabinet decision in mid-August this year.
“It is very puzzling that more than one month after the issue was decided by the federal cabinet, the President of PBK Voon Lee Shan is now trying to bring back to life the issue again, and what’s more, based on an untrue and hearsay statement.
“I, as a young person recently involved in politics, would expect more integrity from a veteran politician,” said Sim.
In a statement today, Voon dislosed that he had learnt about Teo’s purported statement through Seni Khat Action Team. — DayakDaily