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Monday, December 2, 2019

Cease preoccupation with symbolic issues, Zaid 'silat' chops Maszlee

Zaid Ibrahim has censured Education Minister Maszlee Malik for his preoccupation with symbolic issues such as Jawisilat and dakwah (preaching).
“Is he trying to use schools as part of national identity rebuilding for the country? If so it will be divisive, a hangover of days gone by,” he told Malaysiakini this afternoon.
The former law minister said Malaysians must accept diversity and all its quirks if they want harmony and peace.
“We don’t have to assume that disloyalty runs deep amongst the non-Malays just because of vernacular schools and the occasional upside-down or wrong flags,” he added.

According to Zaid, the introduction of Jawi khat (calligraphy) and silat are “totally useless” for modern education.
Yesterday, Maszlee said the Education Ministry plans to make silat a co-curricular activity in schools, as well as an elective credit course in universities to uphold the traditional heritage.
He added that the ministry also plans to make silat as a course in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) so that the students could be given certificates to advance their careers in the related fields.
However, Zaid urged the Bersatu lawmaker to focus on more pressing issues under his portfolio instead.
“The non-stop reference of the social contract by his vice-chancellors and officials is wrong and divisive. What is he doing about this?
“Shouldn’t he try to find out why young Malay boys are not receiving normal education but are in tahfiz/religious school. Is he doing something about this?” he asked.
Zaid also questioned what is Maszlee doing regarding the proliferation of private and international schools, which require parents to spend more on education.
“With more private schools, the best teachers leave government schools for better pay. What is he doing about this?
“In short, there are pressing and critical but less sensational issues he should be concerned with. Is the minister of education or more than that?” he added.
Malaysians, who were hoping to see the education system revamped following Pakatan Harapan's victory in the last general election, have been largely disappointed with Maszlee's performance.
Commenting on this, Zaid took a sarcastic swipe at Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who picked Maszlee to helm the important portfolio.
“I know he is handpicked by our iconic PM and strongly supported by DAP but he should be a normal education minister first,” he added.
Initially, Mahathir had wanted to assume the role of education minister as well but was forced to abandon his plan due to pressure since the Harapan manifesto promised that the prime minister would not hold any other ministerial positions. - Mkini

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