Amazing how ministers rushed to school over CNY deco but silent on Jawi, says Asri

Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin says no ministers want to say that Jawi is also meant for unity of the races.

PETALING JAYA: Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin says he is “amazed” that some of Cabinet ministers who defended a school’s Chinese New Year decorations chose to keep silent on the introduction of Jawi in schools.

This comes after a group of ministers, led by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, visited Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pusat Bandar Puchong I in Selangor in the wake of criticisms it received over its Chinese New Year decorations.

Asri, in a ceramah, said it was not easy for ministers, with their packed schedules, to visit the school.

“Including (the minister) in charge of religion. This was a mark of unity.”

But he said the introduction of Jawi as part of the Bahasa Melayu subject in vernacular schools did not get the same treatment even though it was meant to unite the races.

Since the introduction of Jawi was announced, it had been criticised by various parties, including Chinese educationist group Dong Jiao Zong, Asri added.

He said many ministers were not seen coming out to speak out against such criticisms.

“No ministers went (to say) that Jawi is also meant for unity.

“They said holding Chinese lanterns won’t make someone Chinese.

“We ask, why do we need to defend lanterns? Because of faith? The problem isn’t lanterns; the problem is how you treat an issue,” noting the fear, unfairness and bias in the issue.

Previously, Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) vice-president Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz had threatened to report the school to the authorities over its supposedly “religious” decorations.

Khairul, who is also a lawyer, said the decorations were “unconstitutional” and alleged that Muslim parents had complained against what they deemed to be an attempt to propagate a religion other than Islam to students.

Asri said he did not hate any Cabinet ministers but wanted them to handle issues fairly and maturely.

“When it comes to issues pertaining to Islam, they all seem to bow down. They cannot speak. Rahmatan Lil Alamin (mercy to all creations). What kind of mercy is this?”