PUTRAJAYA: Chinese educationist groups Dong Zong and Jiao Zong (Dong Jiao Zong) today concurred that the proposed introduction of Jawi writing into the Bahasa Melayu subject at national-type schools is not intended to convert non-Muslim students into Muslims.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof said this was conveyed to him during his meeting with representatives of Dong Jiao Zong and 11 Chinese and Tamil education-related organisations at his office here today.
He said they agreed that there was no motive of Islamisation in the move to introduce Jawi writing to non-Muslim students and accepted Jawi as part of the country’s cultural heritage that should be respected by all parties, like Chinese calligraphy, Tamil writing and those of other ethnic groups in the country.
“We also agree that there is no issue of Dong Jiao Zong being against learning Jawi and that Dong Jiao Zong is not a racist organisation.
“The issue that was raised is on the method of implementing it, which requires constructive discussion among all parties,” he said in a joint statement at a press conference shortly after the meeting.
Among those present at the one-and-a-half-hour meeting were United Chinese School Committees (Dong Zong) chairman Tan Tai Kim; Malaysian Association of Chinese School Teachers Association (Jiao Zong) chairman Ong Chiow Chuen; the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) deputy secretary-general Yong Yew Wei and the Global Organisation of the People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) president A Ravendiran Arjunan.
Mujahid said all of them also agreed on the need for all races to collectively oppose any racist agenda to safeguard the harmony enjoyed by the people in the country and avoid racial animosity.
He said all parties also agreed on the need to unite to ease the tension on issues that touched on the sensitivity of others.
Meanwhile, Tan said the meeting was important as it provided an opportunity for them to give their views and stand on the matter, as well as other issues of concern to the public.
“Dong Zong is open-minded and respects diversity. It is prepared to hold dialogues and interact with the relevant parties to resolve any misunderstandings for the sake of the country’s harmony and unity,” he added.