Friday, March 25, 2011

Hindraf will not let Interlok rest

The movement's chairman P Waythamoorthy also slams Muhyiddin Yassin for using high-handed tactics to silence the critics.

PETALING JAYA: Hindraf Makkal Sakthi has vowed not to close the chapter on the Interlok controversy until the government withdraws the book from schools.

In a statement, its chairman P Waythamoorthy also took Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to task for using “high-handed” tactics to silence the critics.

“Muhyiddin, with the the support of his toothless allies encourage segregation of Malaysians by retaining such sardonic literature in the school curriculum for juveniles.

“By using media tools such as Utusan Malaysia and Malay Mail to defend its act, it shows that Umno is adamant in perpetuating its ‘master and slave methodology’ between the Malay supremacists and the minorities,” he said.

Upset that the government rejected reasoning and concerns voiced by various NGOs, Waythamoorthy called on the public to rise against the blatant disregard for the feelings of the minorities.

“And we must ensure that the minorities’ future generations will prosper in tandem with the majority instead of having their sacrifice hijacked by a fascist Umno,” he said.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, announced that the government had either dropped, changed or substituted 19 parts considered offensive by the Indian community from the novel.

He explained that the changes were made following the recommendations by the independent panel set in January to review the controversial novel.

Among the words substituted was the word “tuhan” with “dewa” and also the dropping of the phrase “orang berkulit hitam” (dark-skinned people).

The remaining 87 parts recommended were not considered offensive by the government.

Unhappy with the outcome, DAP’s Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran traded verbal blows with Muhyiddin in Parliament when the latter said the novel would continue to be used in schools.

Muhyiddin defended his decision by saying that even MIC had agreed to the amendments.