"The question is, do you want to make it (khat) a subject or elective?
"If elective it is fine; people are into this as a fine art. Do not make it as though we are making you learn khat; it is the most silly thing to do.
"There are other things that need to be learnt," the former international trade and industry minister said.
She was speaking to reporters after her keynote address at the Perdana Discourse Series 21 titled "Factors Impeding Malaysia's Economic Progress and How to Overcome Them”, at Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana here Wednesday (Aug 7).
Rafidah stressed that khat is not Jawi, a language or a subject, but rather calligraphy similar to Chinese calligraphy.
She said the Education Ministry should not make learning khat compulsory, but as an elective subject to increase knowledge and promote it for creativity.
Earlier, in her speech, Rafidah said she texted Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik regarding her objections on the khat issue following the ministry's announcement recently that it would include khat in the Year 4 syllabus next year.
"When you force everybody to do calligraphy, I will be the first one to fail. I have no flair for all these artistic works.
"My fingers don't answer to my brain. It is artistic and, like anything else, is a talent. We don't need that kind of talent to be incorporated as a must-do part of the curriculum in schools," she said.
Rafidah added that it was better to learn a language than calligraphy.
"The education system is overloaded with all kinds of nonsense over the decades. Don't overload the children with unnecessary, frivolous subjects," she said. - Bernama
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