Rafidah: Khat Should Be Elective Subject

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“Iron Lady” weighs in on khat.

The khat calligraphy should be an elective subject and not part of the curriculum in schools, said former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

Najjua Zulkefli/TMI

“The question is, you want to make it (khat) a subject or elective? If elective it is fine; people are into this fine arts. Do not make it as though we are making you to learn khat; it is the most silly thing to do. There are other things that need to be learnt,” said the former international trade and industry minister.

She was speaking to reporters after her keynote address at Perdana Discourse Series 21 titled ‘Factors Impeding Malaysia’s Economic Progress and How to Overcome Them’, at Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana today.

Rafidah stressed that khat is not Jawi, a language or a subject but rather is calligraphy like the Chinese calligraphy.

She said the Education Ministry should not make learning khat compulsory, but as an elective subject to increase knowledge and promote it for creativity.

Earlier, in her speech, Rafidah said she texted Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik regarding her objections on the khat issue following the ministry’s announcement recently that it would include khat in the Year 4 syllabus next year.

“When you force everybody to do calligraphy, I will be the first one to fail. I have no flair for all these artistic works. My fingers don’t answer to my brain. It is artistic right, like anything else, is a talent. We don’t need that kind of talent to be incorporated as a must-do part of the curriculum in schools,” she said.

Rafidah added that it is better to learn a language than calligraphy.

“The education system is overloaded by all kinds of nonsense over the decades. Don’t overload with unnecessary, frivolous subjects,” she said.