KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Se-Malaysia (Gamis) today accused Chinese educationist group Dong Zong of Islamophobia.
Gamis president Saifullah Baiduri said the remarks by Dong Zong secretary-general Ng Chai Heng, that there was a significant fear among the Chinese educationist group members that introduction of jawi script lessons in vernacular primary schools would "Islamise" students, had no basis.
"The Education Ministry has only included three pages of jawi script (lessons to be taught to students in school) which contains three sentences.
"On top of that, these jawi characters are synonymous with the society," said Saifullah in a statement.
He was responding to Ng who made the remarks during a forum held yesterday in which he reportedly said that minority groups have no issues of learning Jawi scripture as it had already been introduced in history lessons within a multicultural context, but the history books is one of the representations of Islam and has drawn fear from parents of Islamisation within the classrooms.
During the forum, Ng also said that miscommunication among stakeholders and a "fear factor" from minority communities are among the reasons why the teaching of Jawi in vernacular primary schools has become an issue.
Ng added that Dong Zong has accepted the existing Year Five history lessons that include the multi-cultural context of the jawi, Chinese and Tamil calligraphy which has been introduced for years.
However Gamis has viewed Ng's remarks as something which did not make sense and was only made to 'save face'.
"What worries us more is that, is Dong Zong only being Islamophobic or has it become a group that is anti-Islam?" Saifullah questioned.
Saifullah also criticised the educationist group for its move to question the teaching of jawi scripts in schools.
"What Dong Zong has done should not have happened as the federal constitution clearly states that Islam is the official religion of the country.
"As a Malaysian citizen in a country that has celebrated 62 years of independence, this resistance should not have even happened," said Saifullah.
Reaffirming its stand, Saifullah called for Dong Zong to be banned and action be taken against those who are behind the educationist group.
"We are sure that as long as they still exist in Malaysia, they will disrupt the country," he said.