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Kudos political conspirators, now all races feel threatened - Kit Siang on khat
Published:  Aug 11, 2019 6:18 AM
Updated: 7:15 AM

Lim Kit Siang said today that DAP will need time to rebuild the trust of supporters and convince them that they were not betrayed over the recent khat controversy.

In a statement today, the DAP veteran said political conspirators have succeeded in convincing all ethnic groups that their cultures were under threat.

He added that he himself is being blamed for Putrajaya's plan to introduce optional khat writing lessons in the Bahasa Malaysia syllabus, including for vernacular schools.

"There is a media report that referred to me as a ‘proponent’ of the introduction of khat or Jawi script in Chinese/Tamil primary schools.

"Nothing could be further from the truth as the issue had caught everyone, including myself, by surprise, as it is a legacy of the previous government," he said.

"We must commend political conspirators for trapping Malaysia in an extraordinary situation where the Malays feel threatened, the Chinese feel threatened, the Indians feel threatened, the Kadazans feel threatened and the Ibans feel threatened.

“Is it possible for any one person to assume such multiple and contradictory roles – on the one hand, out to eradicate Malay rights, culture and ethnicity on behalf of the Chinese, and on the other hand, out to betray Chinese language, education and culture allegedly at the behest of Malay interests?” 

The DAP veteran politician was the subject of heckling and jeering during a Hungry Ghost festival event at his constituency of Iskandar Puteri yesterday.

This occurred as Lim began to explain the khat issue to the audience, numbering over a few hundred.

In his statement today, Lim said the feeling of distrust among DAP supporters following the issue would see him possibly losing his parliamentary seat if an election were to be called.

“We need time for the people to realise that the DAP has not betrayed them or that we have not given up on our objective of a New Malaysia of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity,” he said.

Referring to the heckling incident, Lim pointed to a meme featuring him that is being shared online.

"Kit Siang’s constituents heckle him - you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain," it reads.

"I am not a villain. I do not want to be a hero," Lim said. 

"I just want to be a patriotic Malaysian to make Malaysia a better nation for all our citizens, regardless of race, religion or region.

"I believe in a New Malaysia that can become a top world-class nation in various fields of human endeavour as four great civilisations – Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western - meet in confluence in Malaysia."

DAP leaders have taken a beating following the Pakatan Harapan government’s decision last month to proceed with the introduction of khat, with several pages to be included in Standard 4 Bahasa Malaysia textbooks.

However, it has repeatedly assured that students would not be assessed nor tested on khat.

Even so, the move raised objections from DAP grassroots, as well as Chinese and Tamil educationist groups, which questioned the motive behind the introduction of Jawi script in vernacular schools.

This despite the ministry having emphasised the move was to foster an appreciation for beautiful writing and not about learning the Jawi script, the traditional form of writing for Bahasa Malaysia.

Following the pushback, Education Minister Maszlee Malik recently announced the initial plan to introduce six pages of khat lessons in the Standard 4 will be slashed to three, and that the teaching method would be optional.

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