(Dayak Daily - August 15, 2019 By Karen Bong)
KUCHING, Aug 15: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) will be sending a letter and a petition to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad seeking the removal of Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik and Deputy Minister Teo Nie Ching from the federal cabinet on the grounds of alleged incompetency and incapacity.
Its president, Voon Lee Shan, argued that the controversy over the introduction of Khat or Jawi calligraphy, which touches on some sensitive matters like religion, demonstrated incapacity in their leadership to bring Malaysian education to be on par with other developed
“On Aug 11, during PBK dinner, we collected about 1,000 signatures opposing the introduction of Khat calligraphy in Sarawak schools and seeking the removal of the Minister of Education and the Deputy Minister,” he told a press conference today.“So, I have written the letter, which will be sent together with the petition to the Prime Minister (office) tomorrow.”
Voon acknowledged that the appointment of ministers was the prerogative of the Prime Minister, who he deemed competent and able to fulfil the vision and aspirations of the people of Malaysia.
On the Khat issue, he said the federal government could not come up with reasons why it was so important to Malaysia. Voon stressed that PBK was not opposing people from learning other languages or skills but this Khat calligraphy was not catering to the needs of the nation in the future but instead posed as an unnecessary burden for school children. “A lot of people are questioning the objective of introducing Khat calligraphy to school students. They are worried it would be towards learning the Arabic language and then slowly to one day introduce the Quran into the education system,” he said.
Voon hoped the Sarawak government would oppose the introduction of Khat in Sarawak schools. The federal government, he reminded, must be sensitive on matters related to 3R – religion, race and royalty. “For the Prime Minister to say that Dong Zong is racist in opposing the Khat, I think he is committing an offence himself as it is seditious to call people racist, moreover Malaysians,” he alleged.
“The Prime Minister must understand that he cannot simply put oil to fire because matters that touch on the 3R can create sparks leading to chaos in Malaysia, especially now when the issue of Khat is hotly debated and the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has not been
deported,” he added.
Voon also urged for Zakir to be deported immediately as the objective and intention of the India-born preacher, who does not speak Bahasa Malaysia but English, was questionable.