Monday, April 4, 2011

British Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary to push Malaysia on “Anti racial discrimination Act” and Equality Act. Drop all charges for 54 HINDRAF & Human Rights Party activists.

Anu Rau
On 31/03/2011 the British Home and Equality Minister Rt.Hon. Lynn Featherstone stated that the Hindraf/HRP’s information in respect of unlawful arrests during lawful INTERLOK Demonstration on 27/02/2011, the government’s refusal registrations for HINDRAF/HRP as Lawful Organisations under the Societies Act  has been transmitted to the British Foreign Secretary/ Commonwealth Affairs Rt.Hon Mr William Hague MP for Action.

During the meeting/briefings the ISA information pack/ the arrest/ detention of 514 days (Hindraf leader Mr. Uthayakumar) been given to the Home/ Equality Minister, Haringey Mayor, Haringey Councils, Chairman of HREC and all the HREC Executives and Members for their attention of the ISA Conference will be held at the Amnesty International Centre in London on 2nd April 2011. During the briefing, the British Home/Equality Minister were also briefed about the Ethnic Indians segregation from the mainstream in many aspects and Violation of Human Rights in respect of Ethnic minorities in Malaysia, especially the recent Interlock Novel usage for Form 5 students recommended by the ruling UMNO Government which plants racism at young age from school students. Usage of this ITERLOK NOVEL, will cause danger/disharmonies in the country’s future.

During the briefing the British Home and Equality Minister stated that the British Prime Minister Rt.Hon. Mr. David Cameron has appointed her as a Support Member for the Commonwealth Affairs. 

We therefore urged the British Home/Equality Minister Rt.Hon. Lynn Featherstone to Approach our British Foreign Secretary/Commonwealth Affairs to advise the Malaysian Government to respect all communities in Malaysia and introduce the Race Relations/ Equality Act in Malaysia as soon as possible to safeguard the interest of the Ethnic Minorities in Malaysia.

Finally, to wipe out all the criminal chargers brought against Hindraf/HRP leaders, Executives and members during the INTERLOK lawful demonstration on 27/02/2011.

This morning 1/04/2011 Team Member of Home and Equality Minister contacted us and assured us that the Secretary of Foreign/Commonwealth Affairs Rt.Hon. Mr. William Hague MP is treating this issues as an urgent matter.


Satanic Verses’ for SPM English, can ah?

clip_image002If Abdullah Hussain is Malaysia’s Sasterawan Negara, Sir Salman Rushdie is a Sasterawan Negara-Negara, a literary giant of global repute who has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to the field of writing.

Rushdie has also received from France the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and from Harvard University, an Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Cultural Humanism award. His efforts have won the prestigious Whitbread (twice), Bookers, and literary prizes from the European Union, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and India among others.

One of his best books Midnight’s Children was voted the Booker of Bookers.

clip_image003Ah, but Abdullah has got an award under his belt that eluded Rushdie – the Anugerah Wira Perkasa.

Some of Abdullah’s staunch defenders claim that Interlok is only fiction, so why the big fuss over a mere story that teaches us historical lessons?

Well, Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses is also just a work of fiction. As a multiple international award winner, it has got the one up on Abdullah’s consolation prize winner.

Interlok is a Komsas (Komponen Sastera) for SPM Bahasa Melayu.

But let’s just engage in a hypothetical exercise here and put the shoe on the other foot. Now imagine if Satanic Verses were to be made a literature component in our SPM English language paper. Rather than reinventing the wheel, we’ll just recycle the arguments of those supporting Interlok’s inclusion in BM.

Why take issue, Satanic Verses is only a historical novel, what. We will amend one or two words, take out the offensive paragraph, publish a glossary and append a teacher’s guide.

An article titled ‘Justice for Interlok’ by ‘Sen Tyng Chai’ defending the contentious novel copies the Ridhuan template to a ‘tee’. By the way, Mr Chai appears to be following the Western convention of putting surname at the back.

clip_image004If we may borrow the following phrases from Chai (he talks about Interlok but we’ll apply them to Satanic Verses) going by the axiom of what’s sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander:
“Imagine the surprise when the controversy dragged on, with threats of book burning, demonstrations and protests,” wrote Chai in his defence of Interlok, but which one can write about Satanic Verses too.

“we have buried the novel with our wilful ignorance, prejudice and fear”

“why the wild allegations and derision?”
“disinformation and distortions”
“also defamed his work and reputation as writer”

In the case of Rushdie, the demos in Malaysia have defamed his work and reputation as an internationally acclaimed writer.

Mr Chai, the valiant defender Abdullah Hussain asked: “It is the ones who make the louder noise that get heard?” and heckles the “bias of these self-appointed guardians of public interest”. May we say, ditto Salman Rushdie?

Why take the “the path of least resistance” and not meeting the challenge of understanding its content by banning Satanic Verses entirely? In fact, several other titles by Rushdie are banned in Malaysia too.

Comparatively, all that the hundreds of protesting NGOs are asking is for the withdrawal of Interlok from the school syllabus; anyone interested can still buy it from the bookshops anytime.

Or do you agree to Satanic Verses being made a literature component for Malaysian students taking the SPM English language paper? No, no, no we’re definitely NOT proposing such a thing. Just hoping to make people think.

PKR Anwar Ibrahim, DAP and PAS taking Indian voters for granted – Sin Chew.

(see NST 13/11/10 at page 8)