KOTA KINABALU – The government should respect the constitutional rights of everyone, including those who have a conflicting view on khat calligraphy, says the opposition Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).
PBS deputy president Datuk Yee Moh Chai said Dong Zong had voiced their views on the matter but was instead accused of being racist by many, including prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Dong Zong had merely articulated the unacceptability of teaching khat to Year 4 pupils in school, ” he said in a statement here Wednesday (Aug 14).
He said Dong Zong was just saying what many of the Chinese community in this country thought.
Yee said there was no need to immediately accuse Dong Zong of being racist, when racism is the last thing that the Dong Zong was trying to promote by stating their view on the matter.
He said it is agreed that it would be beneficial for children to learn as many languages as possible but in reality, no one can deny that the existing syllabuses and timetable were already too much.
“If this government is serious in improving the educational system, then our students must be imparted with knowledge that would make them more competitive in the region, and globally, ” he said.
Yee said he does not see how learning khat calligraphy can contribute to this and maybe the government could share their thoughts on this matter.
What about Zakir Naik? MP asks as Dr M insists Dong Zong is racist
KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad must also consider preacher Dr Zakir Naik racist if the former believes the Dong Zong education group is racially biased, Jelutong MP RSN Rayer said today.
The DAP lawmaker said the reasons that led Dr Mahathir to conclude that the Chinese vernacular education group is racist also applied to Dr Zakir who was accused of questioning the loyalty of Malaysian Indians last week.
“Going by your own logic Dr Zakir would the racist of the highest order,” Rayer said.
“Why are you ignoring the elephant in the room?”
However, the MP went on to insist that it was wrong to call Dong Zong, the moniker for United Chinese School Committees’ Association, racist for rejecting the proposal to introduce khat in schools next year as the view was shared by many from other races.
Critics of the policy include former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz; the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST); lawyer Siti Kasim and others, he pointed out.
Rayer also said the prime minister should not have accused the education group of racism for expressing its concerns, and asserted that issues in the “New Malaysia” should be resolved through discussions rather than confrontation.
“We as Malaysians depend on you for greater national unity and integration after decades of divide-and-rule under Barisan Nasional and your name-calling of Dong Zong now has only opened the floodgates to a nation of complete disarray yet again.”
Yesterday, the prime minister was adamant about calling Dong Zong racist, saying the group was only ever concerned about the interests of a single race in the country.
He previously dubbed the group racist for its rejection of khat, claiming that it consistently opposed any education policy the government sought to introduce.
Dr Mahathir also defended yesterday his administration’s refusal to extradite Dr Zakir to India where the latter is wanted for money laundering, claiming the preacher could “be killed” if he were to be sent back.
During an event in Kelantan on Saturday, Dr Zakir reportedly claimed the local Indian community were more loyal to Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, than Dr Mahathir.
– Malay Mail