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KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Jawi script is part of the country’s identity which should not only be safeguarded but empowered as a catalyst for unity through arts and heritage.
In this regard, he said the ‘Jawi Jiwa Bangsa, Seni Tonggak Budaya’ exhibition, organised by Yayasan Budi was the right step and should be expanded nationwide.
“Of course, as a nation, we do not want to lose our identity and in this case, the spirit and development of Jawi script must always be kept alive.
“The term ‘adat-istiadat’ (customs) here refers to the Malay culture. Efforts by the organiser today are a noble step in the struggle of Malay culture and heritage as part of national identity and heritage.
“I am confident that when this exhibition, and other promotional efforts are mobilised later to other states in the Peninsula, as well as Sabah and Sarawak, they have the potential to nurture the Jawi script to a high level, and be reaccepted by the community for its positive attributes,” he said.
He said this at the launch of the book entitled ‘Budi Asas Tamadun’ and ‘Jawi Jiwa Bangsa, Seni Tonggak Budaya’ exhibition at the Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTiC), today. The event was also attended by Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun.
Muhyiddin said it was in line with Article 160 (2) of the Constitution which defines a Malay as a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, and conforms to Malay customs.
The Prime Minister also hoped that key institutions such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, state governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) would jointly promote aspects of culture and heritage through Jawi characters.
Muhyiddin also called on companies, especially government-linked companies (GLCs), government agencies, local authorities and state governments to increase the use of Jawi script in signages, festivals, events and so on.
He was also of the view that every nation should not neglect its heritage.
In the context of a plural society, Muhyiddin said that for individuals who have the interest and desire to get involved in the arts, culture and heritage, it was only fair for the government to provide the appropriate encouragement.
On the book entitled ‘Budi Asas Tamadun’ written by Rais and 13 other writers, the Prime Minister said that it was highly suitable to be used as a field of thought.
Muhyiddin said that in the effort towards a developed country, kindness should be part of the core of one’s identity and the cornerstone of the Malaysian civilisation, which cannot be allowed to erode due to foreign cultural influences.
He said that the people have the responsibility to jointly build a courteous society, and a younger generation with admirable attributes.
“We are also aware, as stated in this book, that kindness provides a shield for the glory of life, and if it is being practised by the community, I am fully confident and believe Malaysia will emerge as a country with a great civilisation and will be respected by all,” he said. — Bernama