Joint Statement

Joint Statement

August 20, 2019


1.   In response to the latest directive on Jawi scripts learning released by the cabinet, we herewith repeat our adamant objection on the implementation of Jawi scripts learning and writing in vernacular schools but not its brief introduction, yet we embrace the proficiency promotion objective of Bahasa Melayu in national-type primary school curriculum. We believe, the government has made the correct move by attending to non-Muslims and made apposite amendment to the measure to avert qualms.


2.   We deplore the government’s decision to make the Parent Teacher Association, parents as well as students decision makers on the Jawi scripts learning implementation as it bothers on effective execution and ensues qualms. It is a general fact that many national-type Chinese primary schools in East Malaysia are operating without Parent and Teacher Associations and their Board of Directors generally engaged members from parents, teachers and alumni. As such, we believe the Board of Directors of the schools should be given the mandate to make the final decision on the said matter.


3.   The decision of the Ministry to turn the introduction of Seni Khat into a brief introduction of Jawi scripts plays a critical role in relieving qualms among non-Muslims. For practice reference, the Ministry may refer to the model used in the existing Grade Five Bahasa Melayu coursebook, which consists solely the brief introduction of Jawi calligraphy.


4.   Due to the fact that many doubts-provoking details are yet to be clarified in the implementation, we therefore beseech the Ministry of Education to promptly release its related curriculum, contents of the coursebook and executive procedures, as well as ensuring the draft has reached a consensus beforehand with stakeholders including Dong Jiao Zong and Tamil educational organisations for the assurance of maintaining the unique characteristics of vernacular schools. It is our belief, if the Ministry engages continuous communications with stakeholders in a rational manner, disputes will be resolved and eventually cross racial harmony and unity to stay.


5.   Attributed to the ongoing scenarios, accessible materials will be gathered, later studied with relevant stakeholders and associations abreast, including the Ministry of Education for a holistic grasp of the situation to inform ensuing responses.


Undersigned Organisations and Associations:

  • Dong Zong
  • Jiao Zong
  • The Chinese Assembly Hall
  • The United Chinese School Alumni Association of Malaysia
  • The Federation of Alumni Associations of Taiwan Universities, Malaysia
  • Merdeka University Berhad
  • Lim Lian Geok Foundation
  • Malaysia Chinese Language Council
  • The Association of Graduates from the Universities and Colleges in China, Malaysia