Stop opposing Jawi or get banned, Gamis warns Dong Zong

Gamis president Saifullah Baiduri talking to the crowd.

KUALA LUMPUR: Around 500 people marched from Masjid Jamek to Sogo shopping complex as Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Se-Malaysia (Gamis) staged a rally against Chinese educationist group Dong Zong.

Gamis president Saifullah Baiduri warned that the coalition would press for Dong Zong to be made illegal if it did not stop opposing the introduction of Jawi in vernacular schools.

“Stop what you’re doing. If you want to continue, we won’t hesitate to mobilise all our students and young people to rally with NGOs and the people.

“We will do it in waves from time to time until Dong Zong is banned and disappears from the face of the earth,” he said in a speech at the rally here today.

Dong Jiao Zong was in the news recently after it planned to hold a congress on Dec 28 in Kajang to discuss the government’s introduction of the Jawi module in schools. The meeting was called off after police obtained a court order to preserve public peace.

Malay and Muslim NGOs have lodged reports against the group, insisting that it could cause unrest.

Saifullah said they would not hesitate to hand over a memorandum to Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah, who has been supportive of Jawi, if the educationist group insists on opposing the introduction of Jawi.

“Don’t continue your agenda, don’t show your communist agenda. Don’t show that behind you is DAP. If you continue, we will seek an audience with the Raja Permaisuri to state our views.

“Whoever is behind you and whoever you are, please respect the country’s unity. We all love this country.”

The rally, joined by PAS Youth members, saw participants carrying placards and banners which read: “Ban Dong Zong”, “The people must rise to defend Jawi”, “Defend the nation’s heritage”.

Meanwhile, just as the rally had started, Dong Zong secretary-general Ng Chai Heng said the group supported Gamis’ right to rally and voice their views, adding that it would “defend to the death your right to say it”.

“Dong Zong is a civilised body that respects the constitutional right to free speech and peaceful assembly for all individuals and groups, including Gamis and any other parties which want to have us deregistered.

“We will not threaten violence or call for the deregistration of our detractors,” he said in a statement today.

However, he called on the cops to keep a close watch on the rally, stressing that action should be taken against those found to directly or indirectly threaten violence.

He said he hoped the rally will reflect Islam as a religion of peace and justice, adding that this was crucial in a multireligious society.