Insisting non-Malays, non-Muslims learn khat is ‘bordering ridiculousness’, says Wan Junaidi

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar - file pic

KUCHING, Aug 8: Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar believes it is “bordering ridiculousness” to insist non-Malays or non-Muslims learn khat calligraphy.

“For the Malays and Muslim students, Jawi is essential. It is the basis of Islamic religion and learning. The knowledge of Jawi facilitates students to unearth religious knowledge from the old books, Kitab and literature.

“Quran is written in Arabic upon which the Jawi alphabet is based on. Most of the religious books are written in Arabic. It’s absolutely essential for the Malays and Muslims to learn Jawi.

“Muslim children could be ignorant of his or her religious knowledge, rights and obligations, if he or she doesn’t know Jawi.

“To insist others who are not Malay or Muslim to learn Jawi on the basis of high proficiency in the language and proverbs is bordering ridiculousness,” according to Wan Junaidi in a statement today.

He said in Malay tradition and history, most of the old letters, memorandums and journals before the 20th century were written in Jawi.

“Students will never know the real contents of these manuscripts, memorandums, agreements and letters unless one knows Jawi.

“There might be translations of these documents but like all translations, it seldom surpasses the knowledge from the original text,” opined Wan Junaidi.

Despite so, Wan Junaidi believed that the learning of Jawi should be optional for those who do not embrace the Islamic faith.

“It is sufficient for non-Malay and non-Muslim students to know Bahasa Malaysia and if they want to know more, they could (study khat) but it should be made optional,” said Wan Junaidi.

Wan Junaidi was commenting on the recent issue where khat calligraphy is to be included as part of the Bahasa Malaysia subject in the Primary 4 syllabus.

However, due to strong objections from different quarters, the federal cabinet decided a few hours ago that khat would be optional for vernacular schools. — DayakDaily