Sunday, March 6, 2011

Interlok: Punish Education Ministry officers, says Niat

(Malaysiakini)The National Interlok Action Team (Niat) has yesterday demanded that the Education Ministry officials who recommended and approved the 'Interlok' novel as a compulsory Malay literature text for Form Five students, be identified and punished.

NONEThis is one of the five resolutions Niat adopted at its meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. It was its second meeting within a week.

"This 'Interlok' novel is contrary to the spirit of national unity. The ministry officers who approved this novel as a textbook must be identified and severely punished by the government," Deputy president of Malaysian Hindu Sangam, Dr Bala Tharmalingam, said.

Niat also claimed that its demand that the novel be withdrawn immediately has been receiving considerable support from the members of all the communities and various NGOs.

"At the start, there were 140 Indian NGOs that supported the call for the withdrawal of 'Interlok'. Now, it is 250 Indian NGOs representing some 500,000 Indians," Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim, the chair of Niat, claimed.

Deadline for Interlok withdrawal
Niat at its meeting held yesterday also adopted another four resolutions.
The first one reiterated its earlier demand that the novel must be withdrawn by March 31.

The second one called for the observance of a fast on March 20 throughout the country for the purpose of raising the awareness of the Malaysian public to the damage the novel would cause to national unity.

The third resolution invited concerned parents to access Niat's website to register their objections to the novel, thus giving expression to their concern.

According to Niat, the objection to the 'Interlok' novel is not a matter concerning just only one community, it is a national issue involving everyone who cares for national unity.
To demonstrate this unity, the fourth resolution called for a conference of all NGOs in the country, which will be held on March 27.