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Khat: Since when does PTA decide syllabus? Umno chief asks
Published:  Aug 15, 2019 5:38 AM
Updated: 5:44 AM

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has questioned the Education Ministry’s latest decision with regards to the introduction of Jawi khat to Standard Four students.

The ministry announced yesterday that the lessons would only be taught in national-type (vernacular) schools with the agreement of Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA), parents and students.

Ahmad Zahid asked if this arrangement was proper.

“Since when are the contents of textbooks decided by the PTA?

“Since when does the PTA manage the teaching and learning in national-type schools?,” he wrote on his Facebook page today.

Umno vice president Khaled Nordin similarly questioned if the decision would spell a “tragedy” for the Jawi script and the Malay language.

“Everyone knows that no vernacular school PTA will allow the teaching of Jawi.

“Such is the tragedy faced by the status, integrity and special position of the Malay language which is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

“The Malays will not forget this extraordinary betrayal,” he said in a separate statement, also today.

Once written in Jawi, Malay was converted to the Roman script during the independence of Malaya.

Cabinet ‘rubber stamp’ for DAP

Khaled thus challenged Pakatan Harapan leaders like PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub and Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman to “defend” the national language.

He further characterised the ministry’s latest decision as proof that DAP “controlled” the Harapan administration.

“Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s cabinet is a mere ‘rubber stamp’ to the show directed by Dong Jiao Zong, which was acted and played out by DAP.

“Even a statesperson like Mahathir loses out to DAP’s unreasonable claims,” Khaled claimed.

Dong Jiao Zong is an abbreviation which refers to two Chinese educationist groups - Dong Zong and Jiao Zong.

Both have opposed Putrajaya’s move to introduce Jawi in next year’s Standard Four Bahasa Malaysia syllabus, and want the entire initiative to be postponed so that more discussions can be held.

They continued to protest the move after the ministry made concessions to its original plan by halving the number of pages and making the Jawi khat lessons optional.

This prompted Mahathir to lash out at Dong Zong, calling it “racist” for claiming that the lessons were an attempt to force Islam onto non-Muslim students.

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