PETALING JAYA: Johor DAP chief Liew Chin Tong has called on party members to be steadfast in keeping Pakatan Harapan intact amid anger over the introduction of khat in the Year 4 Bahasa Melayu syllabus.
In a speech delivered to grassroots leaders and members in Johor yesterday, Liew also dismissed calls for DAP to quit the ruling coalition.
“Talk of asking DAP to quit PH at all costs is just going to destroy the fruits of democracy won on May 9, 2018 and to open the door for Umno and PAS to return to rule,” he said.
The government’s decision to proceed with the introduction of khat has met with opposition by some Chinese and Tamil educationists.
Some DAP grassroots members have also opposed the move, while the social media pages of some of the party’s leaders have been bombarded with angry comments from the public.
Liew, who is also the deputy defence minister, said everyone was entitled to their views on the matter but called for discussions on khat to be based on facts and not falsehoods.
“A nation that makes decisions based on falsehoods does so at its own peril.
“Whatever one’s view, it should not be based on Jawi phobia. We do not want Jawi phobia or Chinese character phobia or Tamil phobia in Malaysia,” he said.
He also acknowledged that the education ministry should have been more consultative in the matter.
Liew said he understood that the grassroots had suffered in the past few weeks since the khat crisis broke out.
“The truth is, we are governing in a post-truth environment and we who believe in the Malaysian dream need to step up to ensure that no racial confrontation takes place.
“The mandate given to us is to govern in a coalition government to secure Malaysian democracy for all Malaysians from all backgrounds.”