The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) said there were also more important issues to be tackled by the ministry like preparing pupils to be more competitive.
It said that the Bahasa Melayu subject, which was in romanised script, was compulsory for pupils.
“It is uncertain how the ministry has given the assurance that khat will not be an examination paper since Bahasa Melayu is a compulsory paper,” it said in a statement here yesterday.
The ministry had earlier said that the decision to introduce khat was made in 2014 and would begin with Year Four pupils in 2020.
However, critics have claimed that introducing khat would not help pupils improve their Malay language skills.
“The ministry’s argument that khat has been an integral part of Malaysia’s identity is not supported by history.
“Bahasa Melayu is an integral part of Malaysia’s identity but not the Jawi script, which has not been in the mainstream – even for Malays for at least the past 50 years,” it claimed.
“It will be more prudent to include khat calligraphy in the Arts subject. Here, it can be taught as an art – which is what it is – as well as calligraphy of other races.
“The ministry’s argument that khat calligraphy appears on stamps and others is
irrelevant. No one has ever objected to it and it is a different issue altogether,” added the group.
“We call on the Education Ministry to draw up programmes that will unite Malaysians and not those that will divide them.
“At this critical juncture, there are more important issues to be tackled. We should be preparing students for the 21st Century which will be very competitive.
“Science and technology will play an important role. Our neighbouring countries are introducing computer programming language to their young children,” they said.
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