The Malaysian police has sought a court order against an education group, Dong Zong, to stop it from holding the Chinese Organisation Congress, a gathering of Chinese associations who are against having Jawi script lessons in Chinese schools.

Earlier, the education ministry had established that both Chinese and Tamil schools would have to include Jawi lessons in their Malay language syllabus. Historically, Chinese schools have been protective of their mother tongue education. 

Read the full article on Channel News Asia: Court order obtained to stop anti-Jawi gathering in Malaysia


The Malay community has been very upset with the resistance to the introduction of Jawi lessons to the syllabus as they view the Jawi script as a national heritage. It is hoped that students would better appreciate Malaysia’s heritage by being exposed to Jawi on the bank notes and stamps.

While Jawi might be considered an important part of Malaysia’s cultural heritage, are Malay language classes the best place to learn Jawi or to begin appreciating it as part of their heritage? Would it take precious time away from the students to gain a better grasp of Malay? 

Questions for further personal evaluation: 

  1. What do you think are the best ways for students to learn more about their national heritage of the Jawi script? Why? 
  2. How does Singapore help its students learn more about their national and cultural heritage? Is this effective? Why or why not? 

Useful vocabulary: 

  1. ‘vernacular’: the language or dialect spoken by the ordinary people in a particular country or region
  2. ‘repercussions’: an unintended consequence occurring after an event or action, especially an unwelcome one