‘Khat is so unnecessary’
Published on: Wednesday, August 14, 2019
By: Larry Ralon

KOTA KINABALU: The Bao An Association Kota Kinabalu has rallied behind the Chinese community in Sabah who object the implementation of Khat (Arabic calligraphy) in primary schools saying it is unnecessary and very unhealthy to the whole community. 

 Its President, Datuk Seri Winston Liaw, said the association strongly support the Chinese community led by Tan Sri TC Goh and Datuk Jimmy Yong in objecting the implementation and believe the Government should better focus on making the economy better and up the people’s income.

“This issue is not healthy for the whole community. As you know, we are presently living as a peace-loving and harmonius society. 

“What the national leaders should do is focus on creating and making life better for the people so they will continue to support the Government, instead of forcing and pressuring people to do what they dislike,” he told a press conference, Tuesday. 

 The Khat issue is also not a racial issue, he said, adding the Government should work on strengthening the existing harmony between different races, instead of further widening the misunderstanding between people.  Liaw whether to learn Khat should be left to the people. 

“Also, as you know, action will cause a reaction. For example, we will be expecting more tourists coming from the Middle East. There is no need to force people to study Arabic words or writings, as the tourism players will automatically pick up Arabic language so to easily converse with tourists from that region. 

“As I know there are street kids who can speak eight to nine languages on tourism spots in order to sell  their products to there is no need to force,” said Liaw, who is also Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) President.

 Meanwhile, the government should include Kadazandusun, Murut, Iban and Bajau in the school syllabus as they are the majority populations in East Malaysia if it insists on going ahead with introducing khat into the Bahasa Melayu subject, said practising lawyer Chin Tek Ming (pic).

 He said inserting these natives languages would be a big step in forging national unity as all Malaysian can learn the native languages and cultures. This, in turn, will make West Malaysia to understand more about East Malaysia’s languages and cultures.

 He also reminded the government to give recognition to the unified examination certificate (UEC) instead of concerning with khat.

 He said the PH government promised to give recognition to the UEC the moment they took over the government, but now it is already one and a half years and nothing has been forthcoming.

 He said the people gave PH the mandate to rule Malaysia during the 14th general elections, they should be less politicking now nd focus on improving the country’s economy and implement policies for the benefit of the people.

Chin also said it is common sense that any subject that is put in the textbooks automatically becomes compulsory to study.

 Regardless of how many pages, once it has been gazetted by the Government under the Education Act, it becomes a mandatory subject.

 “There is no option for the students to choose,” said Chin. “He (Education Minister Maslee Malik) said it is an optional subject, this is not acceptable,” Chin said.

“We need the Ustaz (Islamic religion teachers) to teach jawi and not Bahasa Melayu teachers. Are you telling us there will be one Ustaz for every Chinese school just to teach three pages of khat in the Bahasa Melayu subject,” Chin asked.

 He said the khat that the government wants to introduce is nothing more than a jawi calligraphy which cannot be used to ‘cari makan’ (earn a living) in future.

 Both former trade and industry minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council member Tan Sri Rais Yatim has also shared the same opinions, Chin noted.

He also said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should honour his two-year promise to hand over power to Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“He can monitor Anwar’s performance as prime minister to make sure the continuity of the country’s economy. He should handover the rein to Anwar on May 8, 2020 and take the cue from Lee as the model,” Chin suggested. 

“Let’s together forget about politics and build a true New Malaysia” he added. 


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