MELAKA, Aug 3 (Bernama) -- The introduction of khat (a form of Malay-Arabic calligraphy) as part of the Bahasa Melayu subject for Year Four students next year can go ahead, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
Referring to protests by certain quarters over the matter, the prime minister said those objecting voices were from only a small segment of society.
He said the government was steadfast in its policy of shared prosperity and had never stopped the use of other languages’ writings.
“We have never objected to other writings (including) in Chinese as this is something special in our country.
“Chinese language writings are not allowed in other countries such as Indonesia, for instance, (and in) the Philippines and Thailand, they use their own (language) writings,” he said when answering a question on the khat objections posed by a participant of the Semarak Merdeka Town Hall session with the Prime Minister here.
His reply was met with thunderous claps by the hundreds who attended the session held in conjunction with the prime minister’s visit to Melaka to launch the National Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign at Dataran Pahlawan, Bandar Hilir here tonight.
The media reported that several DAP leaders and state assemblymen had urged Cabinet ministers from the party to object to the plan to introduce khat in the Year Four Bahasa Melayu curriculum next year.
However, the Education Ministry, in a statement yesterday, said the plan will go ahead as scheduled.
Dr Mahathir said khat was a high level form of art, adding that during his recent visit to Turkey, he observed that the people there were skilful in the writing despite also using the Romanised script.