KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — PAS has called upon all states to implement the agenda of strengthening jawi by mandating its usage on premises and road signs.
Its deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the party supports the recent decision by the Pahang state government to do so, calling it a good effort in upholding jawi script as a core of the nation’s cultural outlook.
“Many races in the world have lost their writing script, even their culture and customs. The Pahang government’s decision will also strengthen Malaysia’s identity built on the understanding of Islam as the Federation’s religion, Malay as the national language, and Malay culture as the core,” he said in a statement.
Tuan Ibrahim argued that history has proven the first treaties prior to colonisation and during that period were written in jawi.
“Indeed, every declaration of the Conference of Rulers, official government documents, and the currency is written in jawi.
“Yet bit by bit the jawi script has been sidelined from daily life and society today. PAS has constantly worried about this since Khir Johari’s circular in the 1960s which abolished the usage of jawi in the nation’s education system,” he said.
Tuan Ibrahim was referring to the first Education Minister of Malaya, the late Tan Sri Mohamed Khir Johari, who served from 1957 to 1960, and held the portfolio again from 1966 to 1969.
“But of late, the effort to strengthen again jawi script is accurate. Those who oppose such an initiative are to be counted among those who forget their place and are blind to the history of Malaysia’s formation,” he said.
The decision was made last year by the Pahang state government, after the Sultan of Pahang Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah expressed his wish for jawi to be empowered in the state.
Enforcement have started since January 1, with failure to include jawi script on private business signboards can be liable to a RM250 fine and the revocation of business licenses if the directive is refused.
The decision was not without its opponents, as recently Tras assemblyperson Chow Yu Hui filed an application to challenge the mandatory directive to include jawi script on signboards.