‘If Interlok stays, MIC should leave’

Petaling Jaya, Jan 19 - MIC should pull out from the Barisan Nasional coalition if the controversial Interlok novel is not removed from the school syllabus, said an Indian business group today.

Malaysian Indian Business Association (Miba) president P Sivakumar said if the Cabinet resolved to retain the book despite MIC's strong protest, it would be nothing short of disrespect.

"Following yesterday's meeting between Indian reps and Education Ministry officials, the Indian community is waiting to see if MIC is powerful enough to remove the book," he told FMT.

"The decision to remove the book should have been made the moment MIC objected to show respect to the BN's long-term component party.

"MIC president G Palanivel repeatedly aired his dissatisfaction, he was inflexible in his stand and the BN leadership should have heeded this," he added.

Sivakumar also urged MIC's central working committee member S Vell Paari to make good on his threat to take legal action if the Interlok novel was allowed to remain in the syllabus.

"He should proceed with the court action if the Cabinet decides otherwise, the Indian community is very angry and something must be done about it," he added.

Last week, Vell Paari said he was considering filing a writ of mandamus to compel the Education Ministry to remove the book.

The Interlok novel had been incorporated for the Malay literature subject for Form Five students starting this year.

MIC and other Indian groups said the book, penned by national laureate Abdullah Hussain in 1971, contained inaccurate facts about the community and used the disparaging term "pariah" (outcaste).

However, certain quarters like the National Writers Federation (Gapena) defended the book, and rejected the calls for amendments to be made.

Meanwhile, Sivakumar said apart from the offensive term "pariah", the author had also made baseless sweeping generalisations about the Indians.

"It is strange that educated groups like Gapena can defend such offensive words. Does the organisation want to see students taunting each other and getting involved in fights because of this?

"Is this how a responsible institution like Gapena hopes to promote racial unity?" he added.

In another development, several Indian-based NGOs urged the Education Ministry to ban the Interlok novel, failing which, they said, they will take to the streets to protest.

The NGOs - represented by well known names such as the Malaysian Indian Students Association (MISA), Malaysian Indian Youth Council (MIYC), Tamil Youth Bell Club, Malaysian Indian Wellfare Association, Malaysian Indian Youth Wellfare Association and others - have given the minister one week to impement the ban on the controversial novel.

MISA president G Kishur told a press conference that the contents of the novel could be misconstrued by students as it was being used as a school text.

He added that the teaching methods implemented by teachers for the novel could be subjective and will involve individual opinions, emotions and perceptions of teachers.

"This could lead to cases of racism in schools," he added.

A representative from MIYC, Reghu Devan Lopez, meanwhile slammed the Malaysian Youth Council (MYC) over its support for the novel.

He explained that MYC's stand did not reflect the stand of its members, adding that only three associations under the umbrella body supported the novel.

Free Malaysia Today

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As usual they will caryy balls and eat whats left only !!! These people are really a shame for the indians in Malaysia. For god sake try to live a life with dignity !

INDIANS STOP DRINKING & SMOKING ! .

yOU ARE CALLED KAKI BOTOL N NOW PARIAH ??? ARENT U ASHAME ??? for once think using your head !!!

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