Khat in schools: Don’t use our kids as guinea pigs, says NGO

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KUCHING, Dec 31: Dayak Right Action Force (Draf) strongly objects to making Khat calligraphy a compulsory subject in vernacular schools.

“Please, do not make it a compulsory subject to be taught in vernacular schools. Do not make our children as Guinea pigs. This is a sensitive issue. So, don’t force it as it does not make Malaysia a world-class country,” Draf representative Bobby William said in his speech at the recent National Jawi Congress held in Petaling Jaya.

He also questioned the federal government for not consulting Sarawakians on the matter.

“As Malaysians separated by the South China Sea, our voice from Borneo seemed not to be heard in Malaya.

“This is very frustrating for us, especially non-Muslims.

“The Dayaks in Borneo were not a given a clear explanation of Jawi and Khat calligraphy,” he said.

Bobby, who was the former president of the deregistered PBDSB also questioned why the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) was involved as a body in formulating the Malaysian Education Development Plan (2013-2025).

“I am not anti-Islamic or anti-Jawi. The question is why Jawi or Khat calligraphy is a priority instead of science and technology lessons?” he asked.

Bobby, who is product of vernacular schooling added that he could communicate fluently in both Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia, because his parents believed it would make it easier for him to work with other races.

“The formation of Malaysia in 1963 was based on the understanding of the agreement. So, the focus should instead be on the teaching of Bahasa Malaysia as our national language,” he added. —DayakDaily