Wee responds to Guan Eng's 'disappointment' over cancelled Dong Jiao Zong gathering

  • Nation
  • Monday, 30 Dec 2019

PETALING JAYA: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has responded to Lim Guan Eng over his disappointment at the cancellation of the Dec 28 Dong Jiao Zong gathering to discuss the implementation of a Jawi calligraphy module in vernacular schools.

“Lim, don’t you have Home Minister (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin)'s handphone number? If you need it, I can give it to you.

“Remember if you go overseas, switch on your phone’s roaming function, there’s a fee of RM38 daily. Just a gentle reminder, ” Wee said in a Facebook post on Monday (Dec 30).

Earlier, the DAP secretary-general said that under Malaysia Baru, the Pakatan Harapan government believes in the freedom of speech and that the police had no reason to prevent the event from taking place.

"There was no reason to prevent the gathering. The Kongress Maruah Melayu was allowed and this (gathering) should have also been allowed.

"Perhaps there are those who disagree with the views expressed (by Dong Jiao Zong) but this is what Malaysia Baru is about, freedom of speech," he said.

Dong Jiao Zong had cancelled the gathering scheduled to be held on Dec 28 after the group was served with a court order the day before.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador had said that the police had obtained the court order as a safety precaution.

To a question, Lim said that parents should be the ones to decide if Jawi is to be taught in vernacular schools as the decision would affect their children.

"Parents decide and they are represented by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). If the school does not have a PTA, the government has given flexibility by allowing school boards to decide on the matter.

"This is a Cabinet decision and I have explained this to Dong Jiao Zong," he said.

It was reported that the educationist group had criticised Lim, asking why the school board of directors was not considered as stakeholders to decide on the teaching of Jawi.

The guidelines issued by the Education Ministry on the teaching of the Jawi script for Year Four pupils in Chinese and Tamil primary schools states that the teaching will be optional.

However, a school will have to teach Jawi calligraphy if 51% of parents vote in favour of it in a survey conducted by the school's PTA.

According to the ministry, Jawi calligraphy was to be introduced in three pages of the Year Four Bahasa Melayu subject starting Jan 1,2020.

This caused an uproar among various groups, prompting the ministry to first let teachers decide if they wanted to teach Jawi to pupils before passing the decision to parents in the latest guidelines.

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