Anwar tells Dong Zong not to hold anti-jawi congress, warns of ‘Malay reaction’

PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today urged Chinese education group Dong Jiao Zong not to hold its Chinese Organisation Congress that’s seeking to convince the government to cancel jawi lessons in vernacular schools. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today urged Chinese education group Dong Jiao Zong not to hold its Chinese Organisation Congress that’s seeking to convince the government to cancel jawi lessons in vernacular schools. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today urged Chinese education group Dong Jiao Zong not to hold its Chinese Organisation Congress that’s seeking to convince the government to cancel jawi lessons in vernacular schools.

He said the move will only cause further controversy and suggested that the group have a dialogue instead.

“Holding an anti-jawi congress will only create a pro-jawi congress.

“We must remember that jawi is part of the nation’s culture and the national language Bahasa Melayu began with Arab lettering before changing to jawi.

“Hence, I urge all parties including Dong Zong to return to the dialogue table,” he said.

Prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on December 20 had also warned that the Malay community might respond by organising its own congress demanding Putrajaya to shut down Chinese vernacular schools.

He said while there was freedom of speech in Malaysia, Malaysians must also be sensitive towards others communities.

“If you start making attacks against other races or going against the Constitution, the end result will be chaos, instability and everybody will be poor and we will see a lot of Malaysians migrating to other countries,” Dr Mahathir had said.

The congress is expected to take place on December 28 and intends to rally the support of Chinese NGOs to oppose the Education Ministry’s implementation of three pages’ worth of lessons on jawi script in vernacular school textbooks.

“Malaysia is a multi-racial and multicultural country and we must respect its diversity.

“This initiative must be looked upon as something that will raise awareness across cultures.

“The education sector only seeks to improve the quality of education and I urge my friends in Dong Zong and the Malay associations to not proceed with any anti-jawi or pro-jawi events,” said Anwar.

Related Articles