KUALA LUMPUR: Anyone interested in learning Jawi is most welcome as it shows multiculturalism in Malaysia, says MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).
He said the party’s opinion was that the existing Year Five Bahasa Melayu textbooks for Chinese primary schools, which exposes pupils to the art of khat (Jawi calligraphy), Tamil writing and Chinese calligraphy, be maintained.
“It is also okay if khat is introduced as a component in art together with other calligraphy in Chinese primary schools or as a co-curriculum activity. In fact, it is also not a problem if it (khat) is introduced as an elective class.
“However, it must not be made compulsory for pupils to master khat for learning idioms, sayings and proverbs, ” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.
Dr Wee was responding to statements that created a negative perception of MCA after the announcement to include khat for Year Four pupils.
The trilingual 51-year-old MCA president revealed that he learned how to write Jawi when he was 14.
“I always advised Chinese primary school pupils to improve their command of Bahasa Malaysia.
“The national language is a language of unity and the common language of the country, ” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Wee said to learn idioms, proverbs, sayings, poems and literary compositions in verse using khat was considered a less effective pedagogy.
“Why don’t we just learn these in Bahasa Melayu?
“When many of my Malay friends do not have a good command in Jawi, how would a 10-year-old Chinese primary school pupil fare at trying to master three languages (Bahasa Melayu, English and Chinese) at the same time?” asked Dr Wee.
He said MCA was discussing the proposal to introduce khat from next year under the Pakatan Harapan government and not to abolish khat as art in the existing syllabus.
Dr Wee said DAP, which is finding it increasingly difficult to face Malaysians, especially the Chinese, is out to mislead the people and divert attention from the mess it created.
He said DAP is capitalising on the khat issue to attack MCA.
Dr Wee said while he did not want to be drawn into the ongoing khat controversy, he had to put things in the right perspective when DAP’s Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching and the party’s adviser Lim Kit Siang accused MCA, making as if it was MCA which approved the new syllabus to study khat from next year.
He questioned DAP for selectively translating news headlines which did not reflect what were reported.
Dr Wee also attached several news reports in which their translations were twisted.
“This is to make as if MCA is the instigator or the one that triggers disharmony in the country though MCA together with Umno and MIC were the parties which fought and gained independence for the multiethnic nation.
“If DAP want to label Wee Ka Siong as a racist, this is an accusation without basis. I was born and bred in a Malay village where my house was not far from a surau.
“I mixed with Malays since young, ” said Dr Wee who is Ayer Hitam MP.
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