‘Don’t poke wasp nest’: PAS Women chief warns Pakatan over Islamic education

PAS Central Committee member Dr Halimah Ali Abdullah speaks during the last day of Muktamar 2019 in Kuantan June 23,2019.  — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
PAS Central Committee member Dr Halimah Ali Abdullah speaks during the last day of Muktamar 2019 in Kuantan June 23,2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUANTAN, June 23 — PAS Central Committee member Dr Halimah Ali Abdullah warned Pakatan Harapan today not to meddle in Islamic affairs, in a veiled jab at DAP.

Speaking during the winding-up speech for PAS’ 65th Muktamar or annual congress here, Halimah warned that any attempt by non-Muslims to meddle in Islamic education was akin to "poking a wasp nest".

“Right now the most pressing issue is that PH and the DAP are trying to poke a wasp nest. They try to meddle in the affairs of Islamic education,’’ she said.

“They have to accept that the majority ethnic group here are Muslims and they want the Islamic education system to be prioritised and even be part of the mainstream education system one day,’’ she said.

Although she did not name her, Halimah was referring to Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching, who earlier this week shared her ministry’s invite for public feedback on how to improve the Islamic syllabus on her Facebook page.

Halimah also said that some in DAP wanted to lodge a police report over a remark made by her wing vice-chief Salamiah Md Nor, who called for the “end of vernacular schools”.

Yesterday, Salamiah reiterated calls for the abolition of Mandarin-medium schools in Malaysia, but this time proposing Arabic as the language of instruction.

She also said she does not want to see Mandarin taking position as the country’s second language.

However, Halimah also praised those who had fought for the vernacular school system, stating that they had pushed for the betterment of the system to the extent that even Muslims families are sending their children to such schools.

"If you see in our Constitution, there is no mention of vernacular schools. But personally, I congratulate those who have fought for the vernacular school system.

"This is because they have worked hard, was able to synergise efforts to raise the vernacular schools' systems up to a point that even Muslims families end up sending their kids to vernacular schools,’’ she said.

Halimiah said such achievements cannot be denied and hoped for Muslim communities to fight for the betterment of Islamic education.