Datuk Seri Dr. Wee Ka Siong underscores that better initial clarification of the “Imam Al-Nawawi’s 40 Hadith” appreciation module could have prevented misconceptions. The MCA president highlights that unclear terms like “perintis” (pioneer) and “memperluaskan” (expand) led to community doubts. He emphasizes the need for comprehensive explanations to avoid misinterpretation and discusses how a direct conversation with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim provided better understanding. The Education Ministry’s statement later elucidated the module’s scope involving only Muslim teachers and students. Dr. Wee also addresses Penang state government decisions, venue shifts, and the recent songkok requirement for ceremonies.
Addressing the matter, Dr. Wee reflects, “Because it was not explained clearly, people had their own interpretation of the module being expanded to schools.” He underscores the importance of accurate articulation to obviate confusion, underscoring that a more comprehensive understanding could have been fostered from the start.
Dr. Wee recounts a conversation with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during his visit to Johor, where he discussed the situation and received clarification on the module’s underlying purpose. He highlights that the Prime Minister’s subsequent elucidation, coupled with a clearer statement from the Education Ministry, helped alleviate the misunderstandings.
Speaking during the opening of the Perak MCA convention, Dr. Wee reflects on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s statement, who had emphasized that the module’s introduction aimed to provide a solid foundation for Muslim youth to comprehend the true teachings of Islam. Anwar Ibrahim expressed concerns that inadequate understanding of Islamic teachings among the younger generation could lead to undue influences.
Dr. Wee further iterates that the module’s intent is not to impose its teachings on non-Muslim students, stressing, “So please do not misunderstand as we are not forcing non-Muslim students.”
Regarding another matter, Dr. Wee raises the question of the Penang state government’s decision to relocate an upcoming concert venue, highlighting a perceived inconsistency in actions compared to past statements.
Additionally, he comments on the new requirement for men to wear a songkok (a traditional Malay headgear) during the Penang state executive council swearing-in ceremony. Dr. Wee draws attention to the irony of the situation, recalling how DAP had previously criticized MCA for the same practice. He emphasizes the need for consistency in actions and messaging.
Lastly, he acknowledges the recent introduction of a songkok requirement at the Penang exco swearing-in ceremony, a departure from past ceremonies. The new rule raised eyebrows as it differed from prior state ceremonies that didn’t necessitate the wearing of songkoks.