PONTIAN: Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has refuted a report in a news portal for claiming that MCA was against the teaching of Jawi calligraphy at school.
''Since Barisan Nasional's time, we have never stated that we are against it.
''We respect the cultural and artistic value of Jawi calligraphy, just like the Chinese and Tamil calligraphy as our national heritage.
''MCA's stance is that it should not be made compulsory, but an elective or optional topic as how society wants it, '' he told a press conference here on Thursday (Nov 14).
The MCA president was clarifying a Malay report which appeared on a news portal earlier on Thursday, quoting Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng.
Ka Siong said that the report, titled ''Tolak Mahathir jika anda tak mahu Jawi dan Himpunan Maruah Melayu - Calon MCA'' was taken out of context.
The report was translated based on a Facebook post on Jeck Seng's Chinese page, refuting Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng of the latter's baseless allegations.
''We have no problem for anyone to learn it. We even encourage the Chinese to learn Jawi calligraphy and the Malays to know more about Chinese calligraphy.
''(They made it sound) as if we supported Jeck Seng, then we are against Jawi calligraphy.
''This is dirty politics and they are taking the issue from a different angle, which is out of context, '' he said, adding that it should not have happened.
Ka Siong has reportedly said on his Facebook on Aug 12 that MCA agreed that khat be made an elective subject or as extracurricular learning in primary school, but not necessarily mandatory in the Year Four Bahasa Melayu textbook, as decided by the government.
The Ayer Hitam MP also criticised Lim for misrepresenting facts when picking on this issue during his ceramah in Tanjung Piai.
''While Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Religious Affairs Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa had openly criticised Barisan for not defending the teaching of Jawi calligraphy, Lim told the Chinese community that the decision was made by Barisan.
''They were saying different things to the Malays and Chinese.
''And following objections from different levels of society, the cabinet had to make adjustments, '' he said, adding that Lim should stop throwing baseless allegations against Barisan and MCA to fish for votes.
''He even claimed that the opposition was the one who challenged the constitutional status of vernacular schools in court.
''He better be careful with his words and stop all his nonsense and lies, '' Ka Siong said.
Ka Siong also said that those who alleged Jeck Seng of any wrongdoing when he was the Labuan Port Authority (LPA) chairman should lodge a report.
''Report if they think there's any element of abuse of power. Don’t simply make accusation during this by-election just to smear the image of the candidate.
''From day one, he has welcomed the authorities to investigate, '' he said.
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