At least 30 Human Rights Party (HRP) members inSelangor,PerakandKuala Lumpurhave been arrested as police came down hard on their nationwide convoys. Six were arrested at Jelapang, Ipoh police station while five more were nabbed near Jalan Templer in Selangor, as police mounted roadblocks to stop the convoy to promote an upcoming anti-racism rally. According to eyewitnesses, a convoy member in Selangor had her camera confiscated and was hit in the face, while police were “very harsh” towards HRP members in Perak. “The police raised their fists and threatened to hit (the HRP members),” an eyewitness said when contacted. He added that the Jelapang police station is now closed off and other members of HRP are not allowed in, nor were they told why the six - Perak HRP chief P Ramesh, his deputy N Subramaniam and four other Perak HRP members - were arrested. There are similar convoys inJohor,Negri SembilanandKedah. According to HRP information chief S Jayathas, who was contacted moments before he was arrested along with Selangor party chief K Selvam and three others, police also mounted a roadblock in Rawang. “They only stopped our cars, not other road users. We staged a small protest and they let us pass. “We have the right to use the road. They can only check our road tax and drivers' licences,” said Jayathas, who is now held at the Selayang district police station.
Around 3pm, HRP activists in a convoy of three cars were taken into custody by police officers just after they alighted from their vehicles in Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur.
Twenty activists had just arrived from Brickfields when police officers stopped them and took them into custody. They are currently in the Travers police station.
There are reports, meanwhile, that arrests have also been made in Kedah, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.
This includes 32 HRP activists who were arrested in Seremban and brought to the district police station there. Negeri Sembilan HRP chief S Sivakumar was among those taken in by the police.
HRP had yesterday expressed its fears of a crackdown after Perak police warned them not to proceed with the convoy.
Negeri Sembilan car convoy in Seremban ended with 26 people arrested by police including 2 school boys around 15 years old and 10 years old school girl. The convoy ended in Dataran Seremban while Perkasa was protesting against the Hindraf members.
In the latest updates Hindraf members are arrested but Perkasa members are still protesting.
The Education Ministry gets a one-week deadline to withdraw Interlok.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry has been given one week to immediately withdraw Interlok, the controversial Form 5 novel.
The ultimatum was issued by the National Interlok Action Team (NIAT), a coalition of over 200 non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
If the ministry fails to meet the deadline, NIAT threatens to make Interlok an international issue.
Said its president, Thasleem Mohamed: “Interlok must be withdrawn with immediate effect as it doesn’t portray the community well.”
“It has a long-term negative effect in moulding the Malaysian community,” Thasleem told a press conference.
If the ministry ignores the one-week deadline, the issue will be exposed to the international media, especially the press in India, he added.
It was revealed that the chapters on the Chinese and Indian families failed to meet five out of the six criteria set by the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka’s literature department.
The six criteria are:
The literature must reflect the positive culture of a race;
The literature can withstand the test of time;
The literature can be used as a role model for future generations;
The literature is used widely as research and reference material continuously by all in society;
The literature has high quality of literary value; and
The literature has won for the author a national laureate status.
Thasleem also revealed that negative aspects of the Malay community were totally edited out of the student edition of Interlok.
However, only 20% and 10% of the negative aspects of the Chinese and Indian communities were edited out.
Thasleem also said that NIAT would oppose any books used in schools that degrade any community.
On Human Rights Party’s plan to stage a mammoth rally against the book, he said: “NIAT has its own approach to resolve the matter. Our approach is diplomatic negotiations.”
Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also education minister, said the book would be retained but would only be distributed to students after a panel, comprising literary experts and Indian representatives, made the necessary amendments.
Controversy surrounding the book began in December and gathered steam as many Indian NGOs opposed them.
However, the Federation of National Writers Association (Gapena) and Malay NGOs are supporting the use of the book.
(Malaysiakini) Representatives of more than 140 Indian NGOs assembled at a special closed door session in Kuala Lumpur yesterday afternoon decided unanimously that the controversial Malay literature textbook 'Interlok' must be withdrawn. "It has failed to meet the first five of the six criteria set by Jabatan Sastera. It is the unanimous decision of the meeting that 'Interlok' novel must be withdrawn", the chair of the session Haji Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim (left) told the press conference at the end of the session. In addition to the representatives of the 140 Indian NGOs, who, according to Thasleem, the chair of National Interlok Action Team (Niat), "represents some three-quarter million Indians." Leaders of all the political parties had also been invited, with Deputy Minister M Saravanan turning up for a while. Senator S Ramakrishnan and M Kula Segaran were at the meeting till the end. Thasleem said that this novel is not suitable for 17-year-old students and that he was concerned about the long-term effects it would have on Malaysian society. He said that this issue is not just a matter concerning only the Indians. "It is a national issue. "It must be out of SPM syllabus. No addition, deletion or anything else. That is our unanimous decision. "Any book that seeks to insult any race, Niat will be there to protest. We also want to make it absolutely clear that we have nothing against the writer as an individual," Thasleem added. The six criteria Hindu Sangam deputy president Bala Tharmalingam said of the six criteria of selection stated by Hamdan Yahya, director of Jabatan Sastera, for the selection of a textbook, only one is met on the Ching Huat chapter and Maniam chapter. But for the Seman chapter all the six criteria are met.
He then cited the criteria:
1. Literature that reflects positive culture of a race.
2. It should withstand the test of time.
3. It can be used as examples for future generations.
4. Literature that is used widely as research and reference material continuously by societies, scholars and students.
5. Literature that has a high quality of literary values of its time.
6. Literature whose author has achieved national laureate status.
In addition to these six criteria, there is another strict guide line laid down by the Education Ministry's Biro Buku Teks. "Any book that contains negative elements and negative characters should not be selected as a textbook."
Bala pointed out and asked, "How come this book was selected in violations of all these conditions and without prior consultation with specialists from the respective community,"?
The memorandum setting out its case for the withdrawal of 'Interlok' as a textbook will be submitted to the minister of education and the prime minister by Wednesday.
Thasleem said that they expect to get a reply within a week.
'MIC should do its job properly'
Shoud Niat fail to get the positive reply that it expects from the education minister, further measures will be instituted. Meetings and consultations with all the national leaders, Indian leaders, briefing of Indian and international media are some of the measures under consideration, Bala said.
"We are not alone in this issue. I have spoken to many Malay and Chinese friends who appreciated our concern. We also appeal to the leaders of our Chinese community to speak up. I know how they feel about it," Thasleem said.
To a question as to what MIC, as a member of the government, should do in this matter - quit the government?
Thasleem replied, "MIC should do its job properly."
To another question whether Niat would support and participate in the demonstration that Human Rights Party had proposed to hold on Feb 27, "HRP is different and has a different approach. We sympathise with their cause, but our objectives are different", Thasleem said.
Perak Car Convoy: End Umno racism and withdraw Interlok.
The Hindraf convoy left from the HRP office in Buntong at 9.40 am, toured the Buntong area and encountered many police road blocks. After taking the Jelapang Road Highway exit after Jelapang police station, the convoy was detained by police, who started demanding to inspect identity cards.
Hindraf members demanded the reason for the detention and the police quoted in accordance with Section 27. After some arguments the police started arresting Hindraf Perak chief Ramesh and Taiping Siva, Jayakumar, Mogan, Subramaniam and VijayaLingam. Those detained by the police were taken to Jelapang Police Station lockup!
5 Hindraf Leaders and supporters arrested by Gombak Police at 12.50 p.m
Latest update 12.50 p.m. At 12.09 p.m Hindraf Selangor chief K.Selvam, S.Jayathas, Samy, Nava and loshana arrested by police and taken from Rawang to IPD Gombak. At 12.40 p.m (13/2/2011) all five were thrown into the Gombak police station lock-up for merely standing up and challenging 53 years of UMNO racism against the Indian poor in Malay-sia. At 12.45 p.m S.Thiagarajan reported that the police special branch had diverted some seven more cars to the Gombak police station. Some ten over cars are now at ing Batu Caves campaigning and distributing leaflets for the peoples rally at KLCC on 27/2/11 ( sunday) at 9 a.m against UMNO racism. More news to follow
Negeri Sembilan Car Convoy
Negeri Sembilan Police escorting the car convoy.
Johore Baharu Car Convoy
After the Interlok forum in the morning, The car convoy is going smoothly. They have police escorts.
Kedah Car Convoy
According to the Hindraf Kedah leader, they started with 14 cars with 40 persons and ended peacefully. Finally they made a police report.
The rally's estimated to be 100 000 people gathered outside the Petronas Twin Towers at midnight, early Sunday morning.At least 240 people were detained, but half of them were later released. One day before the rally, police arrested three HINDRAF lawyers, P. Uthayakumar, P. Waytha Moorthy and V. Ganabatirau for sedition charges. Uthayakumar and Ganabatirau posted bail of 800 Malaysian ringgits each, but Waytha Moorthy refused bail as a sign of protest.