(Dayak Daily - September 23, 2019)
KUCHING, Sept 23: Seni Khat Action Team (Sekat) alleges that Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching has claimed in a meeting that Sarawak does not oppose to the introduction of Jawi lesson in primary school curriculum.
Sekat national secretary Arun Dorasamy who attended the meeting which was held on Aug 21, 2019 at Ministry of Education, Putrajaya was very certain that Teo did make the claim in the meeting. “She said Sarawak did not object to the introduction of Khat. I raised doubt and we spent about 15 minutes talking about it. It was all minuted,” said Arun, who added that the meeting was attended by about 50 NGOs nationwide.
Following Arun’s statement, Sekat Sarawak secretary William Mangor in a press conference today challenged Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen (who is also Sarawak PH chief) whether it was true that DAP had fought hard against the implementation of Jawi/Khat lesson in the cabinet.
“To clear this issue, Sekat Sarawak feels that there is an urgency for both the ministers (Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik and Teo) to come to Sarawak and listen to our feedback and concern about this Jawi Khat issue,” said William. William asserted that if Sarawak and Sabah were to be equal partners in the Federation of Malaysia, the voices of Sarawak and Sabah must be heard.
“If they treat us as equal partner in Malaysian Federation, they should hear Sabah’s and Sarawak’s voices.” “We cannot let Putrajaya decide everything for us,” said William who responding to what Chong said in a press statement on Aug 7, 2019 that Sarawak DAP had fought hard against the implementation of Jawi/Khat in primary schools.
Chong said during Barisan Nasional era, whenever there was a sensitive issue raised by the Chinese community or educationalists, there would be demonstrations or acts of intimidation in an attempt to silence dissenting voices while political parties who proclaimed to be protecting the interests of the Chinese community “spoke softly” in the cabinet.
“In the case of DAP and the new PH (Pakatan Harapan) government, we don’t talk big in the press but argue hard in the Cabinet. “It is fortunate that we had a change of government. Under the new PH government, there is no suppression of dissident voices.
“Under the new PH government, we accept strong and open objections and criticisms, and we argue amongst ourselves in civilised manner.” DAP, he emphasised, did not run away from taking responsibility as they took the criticisms and did their best to correct the wrong com itted by the others.