KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia's Youth wing has launched an online petition calling the Chinese educationist group Dong Zong to be banned.
The petition has garnered some 25, 000 signatures since it was launched approximately 16 hours ago, and this is a quarter of its 100, 000-signature target.
"Dong Zong threatens social unity because they are gathering Chinese based non-governmental organisations to protest, saying that Jawi calligraphy is an effort towards Islamisation, " said youth exco member Muzzammil Ismail in a statement posted on the wing's Facebook page on Wednesday (Aug 13).
He said that Dong Zong had previously been very vocal in pressuring the government, to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), particularly Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
The Bersatu online petition comes in the wake of a petition launched by Dong Zong on Sunday (Aug 11) to oppose the teaching of Jawi calligraphy in vernacular schools.
Dong Zong chairman Tan Tai Kim was quoted by news portal Malaysiakini saying that the campaign will be supported by several Chinese associations, education boards, parent-teacher associations, alumni groups and also Tamil education groups.
Muzzammil said such a move by the organisation was akin to "threatening a Malaysian heritage".
He urged Malaysians to unite and support Bersatu's petition in defence of Jawi calligraphy and the Education Ministry's principles irrespective of race.
When contacted, Muzammil said they decided to launch the online petition after Dong Zong had back-tracked on its view that Jawi calligraphy did not amount to Islamisation and was confined to only a few pages in the Bahasa Melayu subject.
"They backtracked and are adamant that they will not accept Jawi. I take it not only as a threat to the Malays but a threat to Malaysians as Jawi is our own identity, our own culture and a part of the history of the national language, " he said.
He added that Bersatu Youth plans to hold a rally and send their online petition to the King and Prime Minister once it achieves 100, 000 signatures.
Last Tuesday (Aug 6), several Bersatu Youth members handed over a memorandum to Dong Zong with regard to the latter's opposition towards the introduction of khat in schools.