PAS ulama chief calls Dong Jiao Zong ‘anti-national’, calls for total ban

PAS’ Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh has called for the government to ban the Chinese educationist group for defying a High Court ruling that backed the Ministry of Education’s jawi policy. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
PAS’ Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh has called for the government to ban the Chinese educationist group for defying a High Court ruling that backed the Ministry of Education’s jawi policy. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 ― The head of PAS’s ulama wing has labelled Dong Jiao Zong “anti-national” and a racist organisation for planning this weekend’s protest against the teaching of jawi in vernacular schools.

Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh issued a statement today calling for the government to ban the Chinese educationist group for defying a High Court ruling that backed the Ministry of Education’s jawi policy.

Nik Muhammad, who is Pasir Puteh MP, said the planned gathering has caused racial tension and threaten peace, as disquiet grow among Muslims angered by Dong Jiao Zong’s actions.

“Dong Jiao Zong is insolent for causing tension and anger among Muslims by organising a petition and planning a congress to protest the teaching of jawi,” the statement said.

“The PAS Central Ulama Wing would like to stress that the only acceptable action is to ban Dong Jiao Zong not only for their racist attitude but also for being anti-national by defying a court order.”

Nik Muhammad’s call for harsh action against Dong Jiao Zong is the latest in a series of threats and strong censures issued against the Chinese educationists over the last few days.

The organisation’s refusal to heed advice that it cancel the rally has caused concern that tension could escalate, as more conservative and hardline Muslim groups threaten with reprisals.

Gamis, a student group aligned to PAS, had already warned that the gathering could spark ethnic violence similar to the infamous May 13 riots in 1969. The statement has caused uproar and prompted calls for the authorities to act.

But other PAS leaders have expressed its readiness to hold a dialogue with Dong Jiao Zong together with Barisan Nasional (BN) component member, MCA, in a bid to defuse tension and seek amicable solutions.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said in a statement today, PAS is always willing to hold meetings with any parties, bearing in mind the importance of shared interest, for the country.

On Tuesday Dong Zong had said it agreed with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s call to resolve the jawi quandary through rational and tolerant dialogue.

But the group said it will proceed to hold the Chinese Organisation Congress this Saturday. Dong Zong said it hoped the gathering would convince the government to rescind its decision.

The congress is scheduled 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.

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.

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