Voon calls for khat review, should be elective subject

Voon Shiak Ni

KUCHING, Aug 8: State Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-chairperson Voon Shiak Ni has called on the Education Ministry to consider incorporating khat or jawi calligraphy in art classes as an elective subject in the school curriculum.

She said that calligraphy is an artistic expression of hand lettering of a language.

“It is a form of art and as such, can be incorporated into the Art subject in school as an elective, which means it is optional for students. We thus call on the Ministry to review its decision on this matter,” she said in a pres release today.


Voon was commenting on the recent announcement by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik proposing to introduce jawi calligraphy in the school curriculum, which has been greatly debated.

Noting that jawi calligraphy was already in the textbooks for Year 4 to 6 for five years now, she personally viewed that it was more appropriate to be part of a component of art lesson, as calligraphy is an art of expression.

“I have spoken and listened to some parents and teachers and all of them including the Headmasters Council Miri branch president Choo Chong Lok shared the same view,” she said.

“I also think that there is no need and necessity to go at great length to make it a compulsory subject,” she added.

On Dr Mazlee’s readiness to consider introducing other forms of calligraphy apart from jawi, she expressed doubt that the current school syllabus has the capacity for additional load.

Urging the ministry to reconsider its proposal, Voon reiterated that it would be more practicable and holistic to introduce jawi writing as an elective subject that is optional for students who are interested. — DayakDaily