English tagged as 'haram' by opposition


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 06 May 2003

PUTERI Umno chief Azalina Othman Said slammed an opposition party for labelling the movement’s programme English on Wheels as haram (forbidden in the eyes of Islam). 

She expressed her regret at their attitude that the teaching of the English Language through this programme was considered bahasa kafir or the langauge of disbelievers. 

Utusan Malaysia quoted her as saying that their (opposition’s) views were politically motivated over a programme that was mooted to help children at kindergartens and pre-school levels to be proficient in the English Language through quick and easy methods. 

Azalina, who expressed her disappointment, said that at one of their recent sessions in Terengganu, a mother, who is allegedly a member of an opposition party, had scolded a Puteri Umno member for teaching her child English. 

Azalina said politics should not interfere in education, especially when students are given the opportunity to study in another language. 

Despite the antagonism, she said, the programme, which is now being implemented in Sabah, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak and Terengganu, would soon be launched in Johor, Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Pahang and Kelantan. 

Azalina said if the opposition viewed the programme as a sin, “then I must apologise but the opposition leadership is a backward one.” 

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry unearthed about 420 health, supplement and cosmetic companies cashing on the current Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic to market their products as being able to prevent or cure the illness. 

Ministry secretary-general, Datuk Dr Sulaiman Mahbob, told Berita Harian these irresponsible companies were cashing in on people’s fear of SARS. 

He urged the public not to be taken in by claims made by these companies as no cure or vaccine had been found, to date, to eradicate the SARS virus. 

Sulaiman urged people to lodge complaints at the ministry or the Medical Advertisements Board, which can withdraw or suspend the licences of these companies. 

Umno vice-president, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib was reported calling on all Umno members in Terengganu to be sincere, loyal and committed to ensure the party can wrest the state from PAS.  

A Berita Harian article quoted him as saying it was these traits that would determine if Terengganu returned to Umno’s fold.  

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