Friday, February 4, 2011

Fight against Interlok not over, says Hindraf

(Malaysiakini) Hindraf Makkal Sakthi will be organising a march for solidarity against racism on Feb 27 at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC).

hindraf anti interlok rally poster 030211Hindraf national coordinator W Sambulingam said the scheduled rally was to protest against Interlok, the controversial novel that Form Five students use as a literature text.

Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had announced on Jan 27 that the novel will remain as the textbook for the literature component of the Bahasa Malaysia subject for Form Five, but with amendments to those parts deemed offensive by the Indian community.

"We want the book to be withdrawn. From day one until now, we have wanted the book gone," Sambulingam said when contacted by Malaysiakini.

azlanHe also said that Interlok is nothing but an engineered plan by Umno to further plant the seeds of racism and segregation in schools and in the mind of youths, similar to the programmes that are run by the National Civics Bureau (Biro Tata Negara).

He added that tolerance and co-existence in this country has been abused and misused, and the patience of Indians taken for granted.

"It is time to bury racism in Malaysia and it is time to take the bull by the horns," he said.

NONEWhen asked on whether there are any back-up plans or approaches other than holding the rally, Sambulingam said: "We will take it as it is and this is how we always do it. We won't fight back. We don't practice any violence.

"If the police were to spray water canons at us again, by all means... we will take it.

"The meeting point will be at KLCC at 9am and the location (of the march) would be kept from all until the very day itself, so that our plans don't go wrong," he said.

The issue first surfaced at the end of last year when Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department T Murugiah (above) registered his protest after his ministry discussed the novel with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

The MIC has also called for changes to be made to the novel before it is used as a literature textbook by Form Five students this year, with the BN component party saying it contained a chapter that was offensive to Indians.

Indian NGOs decry the book's description of Indians in Malaysia as being from the lower caste, among other racial stereotypes.