Mohamad slams decision to give schools option over Jawi script

Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan says Education Minister Maszlee Malik should step down over the khat, or Jawi script, controversy.

PETALING JAYA: Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan has criticised the Cabinet’s decision to allow vernacular schools the choice to introduce Jawi script as part of their Bahasa Malaysia syllabus for Year 4 students next year.

Mohamad, commonly known as Tok Mat, said this decision was “unreasonable, irrational and not aligned with the spirit of the Constitution”.

“This is a dead-end for Jawi in vernacular schools. Judging from the chauvinistic attitudes of vernacular school supporters in this issue, no parent-teacher associations (PIBG) would agree for it to be implemented,” he said in a statement.

Mohamad questioned the rationale for having a national curriculum that needed the prior approval of parent-teacher associations.

“What role does PIBG have in fulfilling the teaching and learning objectives?” he asked.

He said that Education Minister Maszlee Malik had failed to carry out his mandate to strengthen the position of the national language.

“You must take responsibility for this. You know what has to be done for the country, and I respectfully ask you to step down,” he said.

Mohamad said the Cabinet’s decision had shown that the controversy surrounding the introduction of Jawi script in schools was an agenda to divert the people’s attention from more important issues affecting the country.

“PPBM wishes to be the champion of the Malays and, meanwhile, DAP wishes to be seen as the true champion of the Chinese. Both have failed in their performance this time.

“In the end, the true winner is Dong Zong, the association that has been declared racist by the prime minister.

“Pressure from Dong Zong had caused the failure of the Cabinet ministers to defend the national education system,” he said.

The Cabinet recently decided that khat lessons will be renamed Jawi script and introduced in the Year 4 syllabus in vernacular schools. However, it will be optional and will not be a test subject.

It also decided that Jawi would only be introduced in vernacular or SJK schools with the prior agreement of the PIBG and other parents of pupils.