Siti Kasim: Don’t Bow to Threats by Political Leaders

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Malaysians should not submit to threats from political parties with personal interests, activist Siti Kasim said today.

She was referring to warnings from political leaders against Chinese education group Dong Jiao Zong to not defy Cabinet’s decision on the introduction Jawi to primary students.

PAS leader Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali At-Takiri recently told Dong Zong not to proceed with its plan to hold a congress to protest against the introduction of Jawi modules in the Bahasa Melayu subject.

Khairuddin had also called on police to intervene in the group’s plans to prevent an incident similar to the Seafield temple riots in 2017 from breaking out.

“Should we as Malaysians be scared of the threats by political parties who have their own interests?” Siti told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

“We should not submit to their threats,” she said.

Branding detractors as hooligans, Siti said she was waiting for the police to act.

“He (Khairuddin) is already in breach of the Penal Code. That is an offence,” she said.

Gabungan Seni Khat Action Team (Sekat) will hold a National Jawi Congress on December 29, a day after Dong Zong’s event.

Meanwhile, Siti said police can already take action without a report as the act can already be considered a threat.

The lawyer added that the group has the right to organise the congress, similar to what the organisers of the Malay Dignity Congress did.

“We want to hold a congress. Just because it is not to their liking, should we be afraid of them?” she asked.

Kamal Aiffin/TMI

“No, I think Malaysians must rise above this,” she said.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had also warned Dong Zong that its insistence on holding the rally could lead to other repercussions, such as Malay pressure groups reasserting their calls for vernacular schools to be shut down.

Commenting on this, Siti said the prime minister could have been ill advised, adding that Dong Zong and Sekat’s move has not breached the law and is within democratic rights.

Meanwhile, Sekat national secretary Arun Doraisamy said the intention behind Sekat’s congress is to clear doubts on the issue.

Arun said it was important to understand the root cause of the opposition, so that people are more informed.

“It (the congress) will not create chaos. It will soften the problems we have now,” he said.

He also added that statements by politicians have sparked problems.

Sekat will be conducting its congress in the national language so that it can have a greater reach, especially to the Malay community.

The group has also extended its invitation to Education Minister Maszlee Malik.

Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Jawi Teaching Special Committee coordinator Eddie Heng Hong Chai said the Sekat event will complement Dong Zong’s event, with an invitation already extended to its head. – TMI