DPM says will meet Dr M to discuss khat backlash

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan lsmail speaks during a press conference after launching anti-sexual harassment campaigns in Putrajaya August 5, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan lsmail speaks during a press conference after launching anti-sexual harassment campaigns in Putrajaya August 5, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 5 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has promised today to address the public’s concern, particularly the ethnic Chinese, on the introduction of khat, or Arabic calligrapy, as part of school syllabus.

She said she will meet with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to discuss the matter, although the latter had on Saturday said the lessons can proceed as part of the Bahasa Melayu subject for Year Four students next year.

“I have taken note of the concerns and will discuss with PM even though he had made his statement.

“Khat is a form of art; it has got nothing to do with religion. That is why we have to discuss further,” she told a press conference after launching the sexual harassment awareness video competition here.

The Education Ministry had in a statement on Friday said the plan will go ahead as scheduled despite several objections by DAP leaders, lawmakers and Chinese vernacular education group Dong Jiao Zong.

Meanwhile, Dr Wan Azizah, who is also the Women, Family and Community Development Minister, launched awareness campaigns against sexual harassment here today.

The campaigns comprise a public creative video competition titled “Hentikan! Stop it!”, and a public survey on sexual harassment.

She said the campaigns were launched to create a better understanding amongst the public on sexual harassment entails.

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