KUANTAN, Nov 21 ― No time extension will be given to owners of premises in Pahang to place Jawi writing on their signage, before enforcement begins on January 1.

Pahang Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Abd Rahim Muda said the deadline had been extended since January 1 and the parties should have been aware of the directive.

Abd Rahim said the decision of the state government to make the use of Jawi writing mandatory was also in line with Sultan of Pahang, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s wish for the use of the writing be empowered in the state.

“The order was issued when Al-Sultan Abdullah officiated the launching of a Jawi writing programme in November last year and other than owners of premises, similar instructions were issued to local authorities to use Jawi writing on road signs.

“There is nothing to worry about Jawi writing. This is not something new since it was used in commercials in the 60s,” he said when winding up the Supply Enactment Bill 2020 at the Pahang State Assembly Meeting in Wisma Sri Pahang here today.

Abd Rahim said there were 28 Jawi writing experts at Kolej Universiti Islam Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah (KUIPSAS) here, who could provide guidance and advice to ensure proper spelling and standard.

During the session, Abd Rahim also emphasised that the use of Jawi writing should not be an issue or seen as promoting Islam because the two things were different. He added there should be tolerance as there were traders who used Tamil or Chinese characters, although it was not mandatory.

At the assembly meeting, Sim Chon Siang (PH-Teruntum) repeatedly called for the state government to consider extending the period of the Jawi signboard until next March.

Sim said the extension would also need to be considered because the number of signboard makers in Kuantan is limited.

“We have given a year and it is not really necessary for them to install new signboards. The Jawi writing can be pasted on existing signboards because our goal is to enhance the use of Jawi,” Abd Rahim said.

Responding to Lee Ah Wong’s (BN-Cheka) question, Abd Rahim confirmed that some leeway could be exercised for small-sized Jawi writing to be used, if the original sign board could not fit both writings. ― Bernama