racial unity Prof Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong thinks that the introduction of the jawi khat calligraphy in Bahasa Melayu to year 4 to 6 students should not burden any political parties.
Principal Research Fellow, Institute of Malay World and Civilisation, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Prof. Datuk Dr. Teo Kok Seong PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 12 DECEMBER 2018.

By Ainul Asniera Ahsan

KUALA LUMPUR – Prof Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong thinks that the introduction of the jawi khat calligraphy in Bahasa Melayu to year 4 to 6 students should not burden any political parties.

The objection from DAP on the jawi khat could be made blindly without any concrete reasons. From the positive point of view, the art of khat calligraphy enables the multi-races in Malaysia to understand the Malay culture.

According to Teo, the Bahasa Melayu has two systems of writing, namely, the Roman letter and also the jawi. The Roman letter is the usual script we are using now, while the jawi is a heritage which has been forgotten, even by the Malays.

Therefore, he said, the introduction of khat should kill two birds with one stone as the it would be taught in Malay idioms, which is also a heritage.

Meanwhile, the khat writing is chosen for idioms as it contains the aspects of the Malay literature.

“Therefore, what’s the problem that it needs to be objected?

“Do the people who objected to this know that Malay language is the only language in the world that has two systems of writing? English, the international language only has one system. Even the Chinese language uses one symbol only.

“As Malaysians, we should be proud of this but we are opposing it instead,” said Teo who is baffled by the move made by DAP.

Teo, who masters Jawi said that learning khat will not make a race weak as it is a knowledge.

He also did not find that the learning of khat is a subtle way to turn the Chinese or Indians into Malays or Muslims.

However, the belief is purportedly blown out of proportion by DAP as the party fights of equality – Malaysia Malaysian and not Malay Muslims as in our social contract.

“To me, the objection is a manifestation of disunity among Malaysians. There is a deficit of trust, people don’t trust each other. The non-Malays don’t trust the Malaysia and vice versa. Thus, whatever is done will be seen negatively.

“I used to be very worried if things like this will happen. Now, it has obviously happen. We start doubting good things. The discord among the multi-races in Malaysia is in a dire state.

“The country will be destroyed if we, as its people, do not share the same aspiration,” he said.

Compared to the previous Barisan Nasional (BN)’s administration, the current administration under Pakatan Harapan (PH) could be facing a tougher situation as the current coalition is more liberal, practices reformation, freedom of speech which brings to the freedom to propose and criticise although it may cause unrests.

Meanwhile, the more conservative BN is more careful and avoid speaking about sensitive issues openly, therefor the rift was not as bad as now.

“During the BN administration, we could see how UMNO controlled MCA and MIC. MCA and MIC were not vocal outside as they respected the social contract.

“However, in the PH coalition, everyone is equal and they cannot control each other’s party. Therefore, they are free to object as they hold the same status. When we look at PH, they are equally vocal and liberal and the freedom is sometimes misused against each other.

“This is the problem. leopard never changes its spots.

“The liberal and borderless practice has also caused the condition to become worse. Basically, Malaysians are still not ready, therefore, we are getting the negative impacts,” he added.

Elaborating further on the objection, Teo thinks that the Malays have paid their part in the social contract by allowing the usage of Mandarin in Chinese schools in vernacular education, unlike the other South East Asia countries.

This is not seen in Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. Therefore, as a Malaysian, we should not forget about the social contract agreed upon when we reached our independence.

“If the Malays have done their obligations in the social contract by granting citizenship to the non-Malays and the non-Malays need to accept Islam as the official religion, Bahasa Melayu as the national language and respect the constitutional monarchy system.

“The non-Malays must respect and accept the symbol and process of the Malaysia culture being lifted as the national identity. This includes, the language and khat,” he added.

Teo also thinks that the Ministry of Education need not consider the introduction of other forms of calligraphy into the system in order to please the people who objected to the introduction of jawi khat.

The jawi khat should be accepted sincerely, without any strings attached by the people.

“The decision is based on the consideration of education, not on other justifications. Therefore, we should not break the people apart merely for politics. The national unity will go to waste!” he emphasized. -MalaysiaGazette

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