By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Sept 26: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan is challenging Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik and Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching to come to Kuching two weeks from today to meet the people to clarify the Jawi lesson issue.
He also requested them to bring the minutes of their meetings with NGOs with regards to the said issue.
In a letter to Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak dated yesterday, Voon put forth his challenge and request.
“In view of the importance of the issue, we are seeking your Pakatan Harapan government to make arrangements to have both the Education Minister YB Dr Maszlee Malik and Deputy Education Minister YB Teo Nie Ching to come to Kuching and bring with them all minutes of meetings concerning Jawi Khat and to meet all NGOs and political leaders and the general public in the town halls in Kuching within two weeks hereof, to explain or to have a debate with the people here about Jawi Khat for school curriculum,” Voon wrote in the letter.
In the letter, he pointed out that over the past few days, many members of the public in Kuching had told PBK that they were against Jawi being introduced in schools.
“We were equally shock (sic) to learn that no NGO from Sabah and Sarawak were (sic) represented during the meeting.
“To us, education is an important matter that has to be done in the interest of all people and the nation and the government has to hear from people of all walks of life before a policy has to be formulated.
“It is learnt the despite opposition by Dong Zong and other NGOs, Jawi Khat will be introduced in schools as scheduled,” accordiing to Voon in the letter.
Voon disclosed the contents of the letter to the media in a press conference held in his office here today.
Voon had on Monday (Sept 23) alleged that Teo told a meeting with NGOs on Aug 21 that Sarawak and Sabah did not object to the implementation of Jawi lesson in primary schools.
In response to Voon, Teo issued a press statement denying the allegation.
“I deny the defamatory statements made against me by PBK president Voon Lee Shan, without seeking any clarification from me or my office and these statements were made in bad faith.
“I have not said the people of Sabah and Sarawak have not objected to Jawi or Khat at the said meeting or during any other occasions.
“In fact, it is indeed unfair to say the ministry is ignorant of the concerns of the people of Borneo,” said Teo. — DayakDaily