Neither Arabisation nor creeping Islamisation, just a khat-astrophe

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COMMENT | I am in full support of khat being taught as part of Malay language education in national schools.

Before I began my undergraduate studies, I decided to enrol in a one-day introductory workshop on the Jawi script, its history and romanisation of the Malay language.

I recall the wide-eyed amazement of the facilitators, who were young Islamic studies scholars.

“It’s rare for non-Malays to come by our centre these days unless they are researchers from abroad. We are happy that you have decided to join us today,” one of them warmly said.

For me, it was always very fascinating to find out more about the overlap between the Malay and Arab worlds because of its rich intellectual and cultural diaspora.

My interest in Jawi started developing since my schooling days. This was because I realised that many prominent Malay intellectuals, dating back to as far as the 13th century, wrote their contemplations in Jawi...

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