Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin urged more schools in the country to launch the Criminalise War Club (CWC) to create awareness among students that war is a crime against humanity. NST/ Mohd Yusni Ariffin

PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today urged more schools in the country to launch the Criminalise War Club (CWC) to create awareness among students that war is a crime against humanity.

Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said students needed to be made aware that war was a crime against humanity and, as future leaders, they needed to be brave and active in fulfilling the agenda of criminalising war through meaningful activities and programmes in order to energise peace and harmony in the country.

"War violates every right of a child, such as the right to be with the family, the right to education, the right to health, the right to be nurtured and protected. We are concerned that unless wars are criminalised, more children may become victims in the future.

"It is my sincere hope that more schools will launch CWC across the nation," he said in his speech at the launch of the CWC at Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah Putrajaya here. The text of his speech was delivered by Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching.

Muhyiddin acknowledged the founder and chairperson of CWC, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, for initiating the noble cause to protect Malaysian students against war by forming the CWC.

Also present at the launch were Trustee of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War Tunku Datuk Dr Sofiah Jewa and Chairman of the Perdana Global Peace Foundation Tan Sri Norian Mai.

Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah Putrajaya is the third school in the country to have a CWC. The first CWC was launched at the Tunku Kurshiah College, Seremban, on April 11 last year, and the second at the Cempaka International School in September last year.

CWC aims to build a community having the full knowledge, awareness and understanding of the effects of war, especially on women and children.

Meanwhile, Siti Hasmah said students, as the leaders of tomorrow, must fully comprehend the Charter of the CWC to blaze a new trail of peace and friendship with all, irrespective of race and religion.

She said Malaysia enjoyed peace and stability that had enabled it to become a developing country. However, at the same time, the children had not known what conflicts, protests and riots could do.

"This is the very reason why we have CWCs, to teach them that they have to distance themselves from war and killings and conflicts of any nature.

"I am happy with the establishment of a CWC in Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah as it shows that there are those who understand our mission, what we are trying to achieve and why it is important to have such CWCs in schools in the country.

"I am sure that Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah will play a leading role in getting not just its own CWC fully functional but paving the way for other schools to follow your example," she said.

Siti Hasmah thanked Muhyiddin and the Education Ministry as well for its help in compiling a handbook that spells out how a CWC is to be run.