Bersatu education minister tells media to ask DAP colleagues about khat appeal

Education Minister Maszlee Malik delivers his speech during the national civics education launch in Putrajaya August 13, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Education Minister Maszlee Malik delivers his speech during the national civics education launch in Putrajaya August 13, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 13 — Education Minister Maszlee Malik declined to comment on DAP’s plan to again raise the khat issue in this week’s Cabinet meeting, saying he is from Bersatu and not a member of or part of the other Pakatan Harapan component party.

“I am a Bersatu member, not DAP. The reporters should ask DAP ministers,” he told reporters when approached after the launch of national-level civics education in schools here today.

Yesterday, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who is also the Finance Minister, said he will appeal for a review of the policy at the Cabinet meeting this week after similar efforts resulted in the introduction of khat next year becoming optional.

Lim said the push for a policy review comes amid continuing protests over the government’s move to introduce jawi calligraphy lessons to Year Four Chinese and Tamil school pupils despite the government no longer making it compulsory and halving the content.

Vocal complaints over the proposed khat lessons led Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to describe Dong Zong, the United Chinese School Committees’ Association, as racists after it launched a petition to force a reversal of the policy.

This led to a counter petition by Malay rights movement Gerakan Pengundi Sedar (GPS) calling for Dong Zong to be outlawed for allegedly stoking racial tensions.

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