Let’s move on, Anwar says of khat lessons

A man practises khat calligraphy in Balik Pulau, Penang August 6, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
A man practises khat calligraphy in Balik Pulau, Penang August 6, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has called on the public to move on from the controversial khat issue, following feedback from Putrajaya.

According to the PKR president, issues of national concern take precedence over minor ones like the teaching of the Malay-Arabic calligraphy in vernacular schools.

“Let’s work together, move on and save the country. Realise that this is our common duty,” said Anwar during a press conference today after meeting the Federal Territories Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders here at the Darul Puteri Community Centre.

Anwar was responding to Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof who claimed that Malays have compromised too much with “racists” and urged them to rise up.

“This siege mentality and harbouring of racial sentiments, it is an attempt to placate extremist sentiments or rationalise some of our limitations.

“There is nothing stopping us from embarking on more effective efforts to enhance the quality of education and level of proficiency of Bahasa Malaysia to disseminate Islam as a religion of the federation and provisions to protect the provisions under Article 153,” Anwar said.

Article 153 of the Federal Constitution grants the King responsibility for “safeguarding” the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of said Article.

“This has never been sabotaged or opposed by the non-Malays,” he added.

Mohd Redzuan was referring to the objections to the introduction of khat lessons in the Standard Four Bahasa Malaysia textbook.

The Education Ministry has since reduced the planned six pages of lessons to three and revised it to simply an introductory lesson on the jawi script.

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