MP says remark on Jawi and porn taken out of context by MCA, Umno

DAP’s Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: DAP’s Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi today maintained that her remarks on Jawi and pornographic material were taken out of context, accusing MCA and Umno of misleading the public and playing up racist sentiments.

In a statement, Wong said the remarks were made in a speech at a dialogue with the Tiong Hwa Kluang Association on Aug 9.

She said she had spoken to members of the association in order to clarify the government’s plan to introduce khat, or Jawi calligraphy, in the Year 4 Bahasa Melayu syllabus for vernacular schools.

“My speech was recorded without permission by an MCA leader who was also present,” she said.

She claimed that Kluang MCA Youth deputy chairman Joan Ng had uploaded the recording to her social media account with a comment in Chinese reading: “Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi supports Jawi writing”.

“The video was deleted after an Umno cybertrooper quoted part of it to claim that I had insulted Jawi,” she said.

“MCA claimed that I supported Jawi with the intent of inciting the Chinese while Umno claimed I insulted Jawi with the intent of inciting the Malays.”

Wong came under fire over the weekend for purportedly linking Jawi writing with pornographic material.

The stir followed the circulation of a video clip titled “Jawi writing used in pornographic books at one point, says DAP”, showing Wong speaking in Chinese before a crowd of what appears to be mostly Chinese members of the public.

Accompanying subtitles suggest that Wong claimed the four book covers that she displayed were of pornographic books that were written in Jawi in the past.

However, Wong said she had only explained that Jawi was used as a general system of writing before 1956, for various types of reading materials in Malay, and was not limited to Islamic texts.

She said she had used three slides to illustrate her points. In the first slide, she said, she explained that Jawi had been used for Bahasa Melayu before the introduction of the romanised script.

“So, the Jawi text was used for Christian writings in the 19th century,” she added.

The second slide provided examples of other reading materials which used the Jawi script, including pornographic reading material, she said.

“In my third slide, I explained that although Buddhists wrote in Chinese calligraphy to present Buddhist manuscripts, very few people would think that Chinese calligraphy is for Buddhist use only.

“All this was to clarify the misconception that the introduction of khat by the education ministry is a tactic for Islamisation.

“For further explanation, I enclose a transcript of the text in the second slide.

“I said: ‘This picture is of an old pornographic book, and is only used here for illustration purposes. If Jawi script is only for Islam, if any Islamist extremists knew of this, they might prevent the use of Jawi by non-Muslims because such material is insulting to Islam.’

“Such materials were published a long time ago and prove that Jawi was a widely-used text. The relationship of Jawi to Arabic is the same as English to German or French. If you understand the ABC, does that mean you also understand French and German?”