Penang Free School “free”

by Lim Wee Seong

Dear YB Lim,

There was an article written on your blog by Mr. Allen Chee titled “Unfree Penang Free School” regarding the jawi writing on the main entrance to Penang Free School.

Many attempts were made for many years to remove but no one had the guts to do it. It is my great pleasure to inform you and readers of your blog, in 2013, with the new headmaster En.Jalil Saad (an Old Free) together with The Old Frees Association (PFS Alumni), manage to do the school justice by changing the jawi signage to a new one signage, announcing the celebration of 200th year Anniversary in 2016.

Thank you.

  1. #1 by keithrozario on Saturday, 11 January 2014 - 11:53 am

    I don’t understand what the big deal is over the Jawi wording. It is ignorant to think of Jawi as synonymous with Islam–it isn’t. The Malay language can be written in both Jawi and Romanized letters, and to equate writing something in Jawi on the front of the school as islamization is both stupid and destructive.

    Destructive because it is precisely this level of ignorance that weakens the case for the Allah debacle–the pro barisan bloggers have a field day with this.

    Unless the wording in Jawi was something offensive, there really is nothing wrong with it. You may not like it, and it may be part of the school culture–but don’t equate this to an effort to “covertly undertaken to islamize the school”.

    Please la.

  2. #2 by daniel on Saturday, 11 January 2014 - 8:02 pm

    Same thing with my alma mater SSP. Name changed to SMKSP and the school crest is headed with some jawi words which most of us do not even know, in place of the school name. And Bravehrt’s analysis on 20 June 2009 – 4:58 pm, applies as well. Sigh.

  3. #3 by undertaker888 on Saturday, 11 January 2014 - 8:31 pm

    they want to be Arabs more than the Arabs. But Arabs will look them down like spit.

  4. #4 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 11 January 2014 - 11:30 pm

    You don’t have a ‘Before’ and ‘After’ photos to show all the readers about this ‘miracle’ ?

    Maybe only under a Pakatan government can this sort of things happen. Not under a BN / UMNO government.

    Tomorrow, Awang Selimut and Abraham Ali will have high blood pressure and blow their tops. And UMNO Penang folks might run amok.

  5. #5 by good coolie on Sunday, 12 January 2014 - 12:12 pm

    The right way for the school would have been to put a Malay transliteration or English translation next or below the Jawi script. Respect history and tradition, fellows. Let us not be jingoistic.

  6. #6 by Cinapek on Sunday, 12 January 2014 - 6:10 pm

    We are still in hot debate over the increase in usage of English in schools. Would it help to introduce a new element in the form of Jawi to complicate the matter further?

    BM should be given priority.

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