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Gerakan In The News

Gerakan to government: Make Jawi optional, not compulsory

Dec 12, 2019

GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan has urged the Education Ministry to scrap its plans to make Jawi writing classes compulsory in vernacular schools.

Its president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau said the party did not object to Jawi classes but instead to the compulsory nature of the classes.

“They should not make it compulsory but an option for the students.

“It is not right to force students to learn Jawi writing,” he told a press conference at the Gerakan headquarters here today.

In September, Gerakan filed a suit against the Federal government to challenge the government’s decision to implement the teaching of Jawi script in vernacular schools.

Late last month, the High Court here ruled that the Jawi script was part of Bahasa Malaysia and could be taught to pupils in Chinese and Tamil schools.

In dismissing Gerakan’s suit that Jawi script should not be taught in vernacular schools nationwide, High Court Judicial Commissioner Amarjit Serjit Singh said the case ought to be dismissed as Jawi was part of Bahasa Malaysia, the national language.

He had said that the implementation of Jawi classes was not in conflict with the spirit of the National Language Act 1963/1967 and the provisions of the Federal Constitution.

Lau said that Gerakan would be distributing postcards with the words “Mohon batalkan pelaksanaan tulisan Jawi/Khat dalam buku teks SJK” to the public.

“We want the public to flood the ministry with these postcards.

“If you cannot send it, then fill it up and pass it to us and we will send on your behalf,” he said.

He said a softcopy of the postcard could be downloaded from Gerakan’s Facebook page, which the public can either print and post or merely email to the ministry.