Pahang local government and housing committee chairman Abd Rahim Muda said the deadline had been extended before and the parties should have been aware of the directive.
Abd Rahim said the state government’s decision to make the use of Jawi writing mandatory was also in line with the King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s wish for wide use of the writing in Pahang. “The order was issued when Al-Sultan Abdullah launched a Jawi writing programme in November last year and other than owners of premises, instructions were issued to local authorities to use Jawi writing on road signs,” he said when winding up the Supply Enactment Bill 2020 at the Pahang state assembly sitting in Wisma Sri Pahang here.
Abd Rahim said there were 28 Jawi writing experts at Kolej Universiti Islam Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah here, who could provide guidance and advice to ensure proper spelling and standard.
During the session, Abd Rahim also emphasised that the use of Jawi writing should not be an issue or seen as promoting Islam because the two were different.
He added that there should be tolerance as there were traders who used Tamil or Chinese characters, although it was not mandatory.
At the assembly sitting, Sim Chon Siang (PH-Teruntum) repeatedly asked for the state government to consider extending the period of the Jawi signboard until March.
Sim said the extension was necessary as the number of signboard makers in Kuantan was limited.
“We have given a year and it is not necessary for them to instal new signboards. The jawi writing can be pasted on existing signboards because our goal is to enhance the use of jawi,” Abd Rahim said.
In response to a question from Lee Ah Wong (BN-Cheka), he confirmed that allowances would be made for small-sized Jawi writing to be used, if the original signboard could not fit both writings. — Bernama