KUALA LUMPUR: Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (pix) has expressed his readiness to consider the need to introduce other styles of calligraphy apart from khat (a form of Malay-Arabic calligraphy) or jawi writing in the school curriculum.
He said it was an interesting issue to be discussed in details as the country was made up of various ethnic groups with their own artistic identity.
“It is interesting to discuss the issue considering that our art education emphasise artistic elements from various ethnic groups in Malaysia,” he told reporters after attending the Prime Minister’s Cup Debate Competition 2019 finals at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here today.
Maszlee said this when asked for the possibility of the government to introduce other calligraphy styles such as Chinese calligraphy to school children in the country.
The issue has recently been raised following the Ministry of Education (MoE)’s proposal to introduce khat or jawi writing in the school curriculum and despite receiving mixed reactions, the ministry has insisted that the introduction of khat in Bahasa Melayu subject to be implemented next year as scheduled.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad welcomed the introduction of khat and described the objections came from a small part of the community.
The prime minister was reported to have said that the government has always adhered to the shared prosperity policy and never prevented the use of writing of other languages.
Maszlee said he had met with Chinese-language print and electronic media editors to discuss and elaborate on the introduction of jawi writing, that certain things had been improved so that teaching would not further burden the students and teachers.
Meanwhile, Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen suggested the use of khat writing scheduled for next year should be offered as alternative subject especially in the national-type Chinese schools.
Chong, who is also Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, said that ever since the MoE issued a statement to implement the khat writing for Year Four students as part of Bahasa Melayu subject, it had received mixed reactions especially from the Chinese community in Sarawak.
“Therefore, for the time being, I think the implementation is unsuitable and I will bring the Sarawak majority voice to the cabinet meeting next week for discussion,” he said. — Bernama