Dong Jiao Zong has never opposed Jawi script It is striving to resolve impasse through dialogues

Statement by Dong Zong

21 January 2020

Dong Jiao Zong has never opposed Jawi script

It is striving to resolve impasse through dialogues


In a recent media interview, Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng criticised some Chinese organisations for advocating pluralism but opposing Jawi script, leading to rising level of repulsion in the Malay community. He also claimed that such a trend was set off by the unwise move of the Chinese organisations. Dong Zong does not agree with such remarks made by the Minister and we hope that he can really understand the principles and stands adopted by the Chinese and Indian communities with regard to this issue so that such a problem could be resolved in a realistic and practical manner.


Dong Zong wishes to reiterate that pupils in Chinese and Tamil primary schools have to learn three languages. We certainly hope that the pupils can enhance their learning of Bahasa Malaysia and all along we have never opposed Jawi script per se. What Dong Jiao Zong strongly opposes is the teaching of Jawi script in Chinese and Tamil primary school based on the following reasons: (1) to avoid adding to the pupils’ burden of learning at school; (2) to safeguard the sovereign rights of the boards of directors of Chinese and Tamil primary schools; and (3) to advocate a pluralistic approach in education policies. We have also proposed an alternative formula, i.e. requesting the Ministry of Education to refer to the existing Standard Five Bahasa Malaysia syllabus for Chinese and Tamil primary schools and introduce in a pluralistic manner the calligraphic arts of the different communities.


Earlier on, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Mujahid met representatives from various organisations including Dong Jiao Zong on 9 January 2020. Subsequently he said he had come to understand that Dong Jiao Zong is not a racist organisation and neither is it opposing Jawi script; instead, what it does not agree is the way of implementing the relevant policy. As such, there is a need for frank and sincere dialogues.


Should New Malaysia continue to waste time and resources in populist sentiments or should it forge ahead through democratic dialogues? In choosing between these two options, the wisdom of the politicians and government officers will be put to test. Dong Jiao Zong had on 2 January 2020 submitted to the Ministry of Education our joint statement as regards the Joint Congress for the Chinese Community scheduled to be held on 28 December 2019 but was forced to be cancelled. Since then, we have maintained close contacts with the Ministry of Education and the parties on both sides of the political divide for organising dialogues regarding the teaching of Jawi script, anticipating to resolve differences of opinion through dialogues. We hope that DAP will join our discussion. We also call upon the authorities concerned to adopt an accommodating attitude in continuing to dialogue with us and to use their utmost sincerity to prevent our society from being torn asunder. Only then will our country achieve sound and steady developments to break away from the impasse.