Thursday, March 17, 2011

Deadlock over Interlok continues

'It is a shame that such a simple problem involving the 'Interlok' issue has been allowed by the authority to drag on for so long.'

Indian members quit 'Interlok' review panel

Gerard Samuel Vijayan: Why are the government and the Umno lackeys on the panel so stubborn and obstinate about this book? Can't they find any other Malay literature textbook that is not controversial, is unifying in its content and promotes national unity, tolerance and acceptance in its context?

Why stick to a book that consists of stereotypes, racial profiling and derogatory terms? Is the Indian unhappiness with this book seen as a provocation to the Malay hegemony that is so prevalent in our system today?

If the book is nothing but a literary work then is it acceptable to use a text that refers to Malays as generally lazy and stupid with a penchant for rape, incest and drug addiction all under the guise of literary freedom and social context?

The government is being very stupid. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that Malays can use all sorts of racist, derogatory and offensive words and gestures towards the non-Malays and get away with it with the tacit support of the Umno regime, but this is destructive.

Anonymous_4076: Where does this leave those of us who oppose the use of such a book? If we are opposed to the use of inappropriate books in schools, are we prepared to be involved to make a change even if through passive means?

Are we as a society - setting aside our political or racial backgrounds - prepared to mobilise ourselves to make a difference? Are we ready to think of the 'Interlok' matter as being a colossal mistake by the government, rather than dismissing the issue as being merely offensive to one racial group?

If we agree the decision of the government is wrong, the time has come for us to stand together and tell the government with one loud voice that it has to change its decision or face the wrath of the people.

Louis: Why is 'Interlok' so important to the nation? Does it contain some secret formulae which will help our students to be future rocket scientists and potential Nobel prize winners?

This problem can only be solved by none other than the education minister himself, Muhyiddin Yassin. Just direct that the book be replaced by a more acceptable text and all is solved.

It looks like some unforseen forces are dictating terms and conditions for him to follow. It is ashamed that such a simple problem has been allowed by the authority to drag on for so long.

Muthuran: DPM Muhyiddin Yassin should have left it entirely to the independent panel on the 'Interlok' to decide. Why set up the panel in the first place if the DPM wants to override it after the panel members have made a decision? The Indian trio were right to pull out from the panel.

Phoenix Star 88: I urge Indian members of the panel not to be too picky or oversensitive. The main issue had always been the 'pariah' word and they have agreed to do away with it. Making 100 changes to a book is quite impractical. The characters in Interlok should be judged as individuals rather than representations of their race.

Indian students should also avoid pulling stunts like returning the book to their principals. A principal cannot change a textbook even if he/she wanted to. Remember, failing BM means failing the entire SPM.

Rosmin Shahril: All the Indian panellists who withdrew have my highest respect. Thank you sirs for being principled. These Umno leaders are certainly playing politics and have their own agendas and are not there to solve the problem but to break the very fabric of our society. Just vote them out in the next GE. Wasalam

JBGUY: My respect is for the three Indians who stood their ground. Will the MIC, PPP, Gerakan, IPF and Makkal Sakti Party Indians have the same courage and walk out of the BN coalition if this issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of the Indian community?

For far too long, the Indians have put up with all the oppressive and discriminatory practices of the Umno-led government, it has come to this point, where the Indians must regain their lost pride and status. Enough is enough, stop grovelling and walk with your heads held up.

Bluemountains: The Indians, in particular HRP (Human Rights Party), should learn from the Christians on the Bible issue. The Christians have shown what people power can do and have successfully forced them to raise the white flag.

The Indians should do likewise by waking up the Indian community through group briefings and not by protesting at a rally and unnecessarily subjecting themselves to police arrest. The entire spectrum of the Indian society needs to be adequately informed before they cast their vote at the 13th GE.

Changeagent: This whole episode has played right into the hands of Umno. The next election is all a numbers game, and Umno have already done their sums. They know that even by not giving in to the demands of the Indian community, BN can still continue to count on their support at the ballot box.

At the same time, they can also expect an increase in support from the extreme Malays, ie. those who empathise and identify with Perkasa's mission. The end game is that they will win just enough votes to form government again.

Joker: Indians are BN's fixed deposits. Felda too. Sabah and Sarawak are major long-term fixed deposits. Both states rank among the poorest in Malaysia despite rich in natural resources. Felda was incorporated and settlers now are struggling on top of being cheated by Felda.

Indians are the poorest among the three main races in Malaysia and are disproportionately represented in the prison system. Anyone still wants to be BN's fixed deposit?