National Economic Action Council member Rafidah Aziz has disagreed with the implementation of khat writing in the Year Four Bahasa Malaysia syllabus, saying one cannot be “forced” to learn calligraphy.
Speaking at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya today, the former cabinet minister said she had even sent Education Minister Maszlee Malik a text message on her objections.
"When you force everyone to do calligraphy, I would be the first one to fail (calligraphy). I challenge you, you will fail calligraphy.
"Artistic right, like anything else, is a talent. We don't need that kind of talent to be incorporated as a must-do part of our curriculum in schools.
"[...]I just texted Maszlee to say, is it not better not to do it as a subject?" said the vocal former international trade and industry minister.
The Education Ministry had last month explained it would proceed with the introduction of khat writing in schools, stating that up to six-pages would be included in the national and vernacular school Bahasa Malaysia subject.
It, however, had repeatedly assured that students would not be assessed nor tested on it in examinations.
Instead, it emphasised that the move was to foster an appreciation for beautiful writing and was not about learning the Jawi script, which is the traditional form of writing for Bahasa Malaysia, which has been romanised.
Even so, the move raised objections from DAP grassroots as well as Chinese and Tamil education groups which questioned the government’s motivation in introducing Jawi script in vernacular schools.
According to Rafidah further, it is better to learn a language than calligraphy.
"The education system is overloaded by all kinds of nonsense," she said today.
"Don't overload (the education system) with unnecessary, frivolous subjects."
Khat should be elective subject – Rafidah
Former Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and Chairperson of AirAsia X Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz speaking to reporters after delivering her keynote address on Perdana Discourse Series; themed, ‘Factors Impeding Malaysia’s Economic Progress and How To Overcome Them’ at
PUTRAJAYA: The khat calligraphy should be an elective subject and not part of the curriculum in schools, said former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.
“The question is, you want to make it (khat) a subject or elective? If elective it is fine; people are into this fine arts. Do not make it as though we are making you to learn khat; it is the most silly thing to do. There are other things that need to be learnt,” said the former international trade and industry minister.
She was speaking to reporters after her keynote address at Perdana Discourse Series 21 titled “Factors Impeding Malaysia’s Economic Progress and How to Overcome Them”, at Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana here today.
Rafidah stressed that khat is not Jawi, a language or a subject but rather is calligraphy like the Chinese calligraphy.
She said the Education Ministry should not make learning khat compulsory, but as an elective subject to increase knowledge and promote it for creativity.
Earlier, in her speech, Rafidah said she texted Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik regarding her objections on the khat issue following the ministry’s announcement recently that it would include khat in the Year 4 syllabus next year.
“When you force everybody to do calligraphy, I will be the first one to fail. I have no flair for all these artistic works. My fingers don’t answer to my brain. It is artistic right, like anything else, is a talent. We don’t need that kind of talent to be incorporated as a must-do part of the curriculum in schools,” she said.
Rafidah added that it is better to learn a language than calligraphy.
“The education system is overloaded by all kinds of nonsense over the decades. Don’t overload with unnecessary, frivolous subjects,” she said. – Bernama