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Tuesday August 26, 2008

Kedah MB defends use of Jawi on signboards

ALOR STAR: Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak has sternly defended the use of Jawi on signboards following claims that the PAS-led state government was trying to create an Islamic state ambience.

No one should dispute the use of Jawi because it is also acknowledged as the national language, he said.

“The matter is being disputed and debated till today although it is enshrined in the law that the use of Jawi should not be forbidden,” he said.

He said this when Dr Leong Yong Kong (MCA-Gurun) queried at the state assembly if the state government was trying to create an Islamic state ambience by promoting the use of Jawi.

Azizan said it was stated under Section 9 of the National Language Act that the national language be written in Roman script on condition that the use of Jawi, is not disallowed.

“We are not doing anything against the law. Bahasa Jawi has existed since long ago. In the past even Chinese coffeeshops and pawnshops had signboards written in Jawi,” he said.

Azizan said some people made a big issue when his official car plate bore the words “Mentri Besar” in Jawi.

“I personally like the Jawi script. It is artistic. We have to defend our heritage,” he told a press conference later.

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