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KUCHING, Aug 7: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak maintains its stand that Jawi script calligraphy be made optional for Chinese schools in Sarawak.
According to DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen in a press release today, this was the view of the great majority of the people in Sarawak.
He also claimed that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government is responsible for the present situation as the latter made the policy decision to introduce Jawi script calligraphy in SJKCs and SJKTs’ Bahasa Melayu syllabus in 2014 with the view of implementation in Primary 4 in 2020.
He said that if there been no change of government in 2018, the new syllabus would definitely have been implemented.
Chong, who is Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, was responding to Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing’s criticism against DAP over the issue.
Chong claimed that in the past, whenever such sensitive issues were raised by the Chinese community or educationists, there would be demonstrations and acts of intimidation in an attempt to silence such dissenting voices, while political parties who publicly proclained to protect the interests of the Chinese community ‘spoke softly’ in the Cabinet.
“In the case of DAP and the new PH (Pakatan Harapan) government, we don’t talk big in the press but argue hard in the Cabinet,” he said.
“It is fortunate that we had a change of government. Under the new PH government, there is no suppression of dissident voices,” he continued.
“Under the new PH government, we accept strong and open objections and criticisms, and we argue amongst ourselves in civilised manner.”
DAP, he emphasised, did not run away from taking responsibility as they took the criticisms and did their best to correct the wrong committed by the others.
“This is very different from the previous government,” he said. — DayakDaily