Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mammoth rally against ‘Umno’s racism’

Come Feb 27, HRP will organise a march from the twin towers to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Party (HRP) will hold a massive rally to urge the government to ban the controversial Interlok novel.

According to HRP coordinator V Sambulingam, the Feb 27 march from the Petronas Twin Towers to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters is themed “Solidarity against Umno’s racism.”

Following the march, a police report would be lodged to compel the government to withdraw the book from classrooms.

Sambulingam said the issue was not only confined to the novel, but also standing up against the “Umno regime’s racism towards the Indians and others”.

“The march is not against the Malays or Muslims. Our focus is Umno and its policies,” he said during a press conference at the HRP office in Bangsar here.

The Interlok novel which had been introduced as a component for the Malay literature subject for Form Five students had courted controversy when Indian groups noted that it contained inaccurate and disparaging information about the community.

After a series of protests, including by MIC, the government agreed to amend the disputed portions of the book but insisted on using it in schools.

While MIC agreed with this decision, several other groups are demanding that the book be completely withdrawn.

Cops visit Johor HRP office

Meanwhile, Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M Manoharan, who was also present, said an application for a police permit for the march was submitted this morning.

“We would like to remind the police that it is their duty to provide appropriate security for those participating in the march,” he said, adding that it would be a peaceful event.

HRP’s Selangor coordinator K Selvam said the party would hold a roadshow to promote the event.

In another development, the police visited the Johor HRP office this morning

Contacted later, HRP state youth chief Y Mohan said an inspector and some half a dozen policemen had come to the office.

“Since our office was still closed, the police had questioned our neighbours about the Anti-Interlok and Anti-Umno banners hanging outside our office,” he said, adding that similar “raids” are expected in other states.

Meanwhile, a Johor-based reader complained to FMT about an English literature novel being used in schools which also contained the word “pariah”.

G Tamil Selvam said the novel, called “The Curse”, was penned by a Chinese author and the plot revolved around the struggle of a Malay family.

“The author should have been more considerate about the feelings of other communities and not use such words,” he said, urging the government to withdraw such books from the school syllabus.