UMNO's hypocrisy in introducing "Interlok" to divide and rule the races in Malaysia

The real issue here is “ketuanan Melayu, ketuanan Islam”: that Malays and Islam are superior to others, so you all keep your mouths shut. Only their sensitivities are allowed to be expressed. Others just keep quiet and accept your plight. That is what it is all about. Unfortunately, what is so ketuanan about Muslims and Islam? The moment Malays mention this, then the Malays must be prepared to be challenged. They cannot practise ketuanan and expect other races/religions to keep quiet, especially when the Malays/Islam have nothing superior. Dr M has raised the question as to why Chinese/Indians don’t embrace Islam out of love. The reason is obvious. There is nothing that attracts me. The way it is practised makes me wonder whether they are allowed to think. Malays must do something to themselves so that they can be “ketuanan”. At the moment they are “kosongan”.


I have read the book. It is full of geographical, cultural errors which do not reflect a National Literature Laureate. I am sure there are works of better quality, even from this same writer. This book does not meet the standards of a literary text.

The Indians have felt hurt by the word ‘keling’. Now the word ‘pariah’ might be freely used by students on Indian [Malaysian] students in school. Why is it that the Malays are telling the Indians it’s not sensitive? It is sensitive indeed to the Indians. The caste system that existed in India is something the majority of Indians want to forget. Many young Indians, including students, may not have known that such a word existed.

Indians are saying it is offensive. Please remove it from the schools. Don’t argue that it is history. It is literature, and that is subject to interpretation.

Will the ministry allow the f-word in school books? The word ‘pariah’ is [possibly] even worse for Indians.

A good government would listen.

Literature must be judged on its own merit devoid of any other possible interferences, be it politically or racially driven ones. Read it, analyse it, and judge it on its own merit. No need for fatwas to be issued a la Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. Many books and other media have made fun of and insulted my race (fortunately not my religion as I am, *gasp* an atheist), but you don’t see me kicking up a ruckus over it.

Well, one must understand that Interlok was written 40 years ago, and we do not know of the author’s reference materials. Please think rationally. We are talking about 1Malaysia. Aren’t we happy to see our children mingle with other races peacefully? What happens when the Malay and Chinese [Malaysian] students read this book?

[...] Choose a literature book that will help to unite all students and respect each other. Please do not poison the young hearts of students at the tender age of 17. The book [...] is setting a bad example and precedent.

“It might only be dispiriting confirmation that the national discourse favours the sensitivities and sensibilities of one particular group or race over another.”

But of course, the same is apparent in the case of lawyer Ng Kian Nam, who wrote a letter asking a mosque in Kampung Kerinchi to lower the volume of its azan call. Was there anything wrong with what he did? I don’t think so.

Why are the sensitivities of Chinese, Indians and Lain-lain not taken into consideration, where these races are awakened by a prayer call not directed towards them?

On the other hand, I think the controversy surrounding Interlok is uncalled for. The Indian [Malaysian] committee has a lot of issues it could better put its time and resources to instead of making an issue out of literature. For starters, education for children of estate workers, so that they can break out of the vicious cycle they are trapped in. Domestic issues (alcoholism, domestic abuse, etc). And the economic problems plaguing the community.

Anyone will tell you there are more important issues to focus on. Issues that are bigger than you and that will bring about a change long after you are six feet underground.

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