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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Punjabi classes in schools?

KUALA LUMPUR: THE government is prepared to consider the teaching of Punjabi language in schools if there is a request for it and there are enough students for the lesson, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin, who is also the education minister, said if this was carried out, it would enable young Sikhs to master their mother tongue, while others, too, could learn the Punjabi language, in line with the 1Malaysia spirit.

"It is important for all of us to learn about other people in this country, because this will bind us together," he said at the Vaisakhi open house at Gurdwara Sahib Sentul here yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin making capati during the Vaisakhi open house at Gurdwara Sahib Sentul in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Bernama pic
Bernama reports that Muhyiddin spent an hour mingling with the more than 200 people at the open house.

Present were Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and Gurdwara Sahib Sentul president Gurdiall Singh.

Muhyiddin announced a RM500,000 allocation for the gudwara, which is more than 100 years old.

He said although the Sikh population in the country was small, the community played an important role in the country's social and community development.

"There are 250,000 Sikhs in this country. The small number does not mean they don't play an important role in Malaysia's development.

"We don't care about the number. What is important is that Sikhs contributed to the development of the country. We want them to continue this role for many more years."

He said it was important for Malaysians to be united and live in peace and harmony so that the aspiration of 1Malaysia was achieved, which would turn Malaysia into a developed nation by 2020.

In his Vaisakhi message, he said Ma-laysians must learn about Sikhs' culture and celebrations to promote understanding and interfaith unity.

He said only through understanding the culture of others could people learn respect and strengthen the ties between people of different races and religions.

"It is a Malaysian practice to use celebrations to appreciate each other and to strengthen our national integrity.

"Today, Sikhs will celebrate Vaisakhi, another celebration that represents our multicultural society."

He said Sikhs were recognised as part of the country's pluralistic society and had always been appreciated and respected.

"I have always been fascinated with the uniqueness of Vaisakhi, which symbolises Sikh values and culture.

"The celebration to commemorate the foundation of Khalsa Panth by the 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh, in 1699 is truly an event of great importance to Sikhs."

He added that the annual celebration would be an exciting event not only for Sikhs, but also for all Malaysians.

More importantly, he said, Vaisakhi was a time to strengthen comradeship among Sikhs.

"Let us appreciate and live prosperously in our peaceful and harmonious country.

"My wife and I would like to wish Happy Vaisakhi to all Sikhs in Malaysia."

Read more: Punjabi classes in schools? - General - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/punjabi-classes-in-schools-1.73787#ixzz1s3zElQYJ


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