Cops question students for 10 hours over ‘Interlok’

by Zaidatul Syreen Abdul Rashid
Mar 8, 11

Three Form Five students were yesterday taken to the Kuala Kubu Baru district police headquarters and traumatised by being questioned for 10 hours – all for wanting to return the novel Interlok to their headmaster last Friday.

Initially, seven SMK Kuala Kubu Baru students, who wanted to return the book because they were not happy with its contents, were stopped by a discipline teacher who allegedly abused them verbally.

“All seven of us we were walking calmly towards the headmaster’s room when our discipline teacher stopped us and started making comments at us, which hurt our feelings,” said one of the students, who was with four others at the Human Rights Party headquarters today.

According to the student, the discipline teacher said the students were purposely creating problems because of their race.

The teacher reportedly said, “Kenapa orang India garang? India memang suka rosakkan nama sekolah. Keling memang dasar pariah sejak sejarah lagi” (Why are the Indians so fierce? Indians really like to tarnish the school’s name. The keling have been pariahs since historical times).

The students were not able to return the novel as the teacher told them to disperse immediately.

Three students taken to police station

Yesterday, while the students were in school, the head of the parent-teacher association, Baktiar Md Rashid, who is also a police officer, took three of them to the police station for questioning, without the consent of their parents.

P Gomathi, 42 (left), the mother of one of the students, said she was angry that her son was taken to the station without her presence or permission.

“My son did not commit any crime. He just wanted to return a book that he didn’t enjoy reading.

“Instead he was humiliated and taken to the balai like some kind of hardcore criminal, in a patrol car,” she said, adding that the school authorities did not inform her about this.

The novel Interlok, written by national laureate Abdullah Hussein, made headlines recently as critics have argued that it portrays the Indian and Chinese communities in a bad light.

There have been protests against the book since the Education Ministry’s decision to use Interlok as a compulsory textbook in secondary schools. This is the first case of students being taken to a police station and questioned over the book.

Gomathi was informed of her son’s whereabouts at 10.30am by a classmate. When she reached the station, she said, she was told that her older son, A Sanjeevkumar, had also been called in for questioning as the discipline teacher had made a police report against him.

“She (the discipline teacher) said in her police report that my older son brought 100 Indians from Kuala Lumpur, from the Gang 36, to threaten her and her family,” Gomathi added.

She sees this as a desperate move by the teacher because Sanjeevkumar was away in Kuala Lumpur the whole week when this issue started.

Sanjeevkumar said: “I was a student in this school two years ago, and I have never been involved in any problem. No problem with the teachers or other students.

“Therefore, it is not fair for the teacher to pin it on me on grounds I was a former student who ‘turned’ into a gangster to influence my younger brother.”

Gomathi yesterday lodged police reports against PTA chief Baktiar and the teacher.

“I am not happy with what has happened. It was a school drama that should have ended there.

“Baktiar was misusing his authority. He should have had his ‘parent teacher association’ cap on, as the matter concerned school children in the school compound… not putting on his ‘DSP police cap’ on, arresting the children and taking them to the balai for questioning.

“After all it’s just a book,” she added.

‘A night in jail’ threat

Asked what took place at the police station, the teary-eyed student said the police threatened that he and older brother Sanjeevkumar would be spending a night in jail.

“I asked for permission to call my parents but they (the police) wouldn’t let me, saying I was in only for questioning, and that they were not going to arrest me. The other two of my friends were also not able to call their parents.”

As to what the student now wanted from the authorities, he simply answered, “I want to go back to school macam biasa (like normal). Jumpa semua kawan (see all my friends).

“Sebab hari Jumaat, banyak cikgu lain yang dengar cerita ini, semuanya cakap sorry dekat kita. (Last Friday, most of the other teachers who heard of this issue, came and said sorry to us).

“So, all I want is the discipline teacher to apologise to us. That’s it.”

HRP president W Sambulingam (left), who was present at the press conference, said it was unfair to put the students through such an ordeal at a tender age.

“This is what I say, harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi. The police are supposed to educate and keep the people from harm. Instead, they lock up students. And for what? For trying to return the novel Interlok.

“As we have been saying since the beginning, Interlok must be removed immediately. Look at it today, see for yourself what it has done to this particular school,” Sambulingam added.

“Malaysia is a beautiful country, with beautiful people, so please do not make it ugly with hidden racial agendas. Don’t ever victimise the nation.”

  1. #1 by Loh on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 7:15 pm

    Clearly the police is overstaffed to be able to assign policemen to question the students over ten hours as if they were hardcore criminals. Yet there are all kinds of crime awaiting policemen and they were not forth coming.

    The Interlok is obviously not suitable as a text book, and yet Muhyiddin insisted. Is Najib asleep while the controversy ensues?

    The country is terribly politicized that policemen found it necessary to defend UMNO policy as if defending their honour. Their only understanding of the matter is that UMNO is government and it is government by the Malay.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 8:24 pm

    Thank goodness, none of them received the treatment like Kugan did!

  3. #3 by Dipoh Bous on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 8:34 pm

    …wah, alangkah ‘baiknya’ jikalau semua YDP PIBG disandang oleh pegawai polis !

    …perhaps that’s what the NKRA (to reduce crime rate?) is all about.

    …I wonder what other ‘naughty’ actions our men-in-blue are planning next…

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 9:57 pm

    UmnoB simply love dis type of mata2, full of initiatif, lock up Indians who question Interlok
    Lucky they came out of d lock up alive n no black eyes
    Indians, continue 2 vote 4 UmnoB/BN lor

  5. #5 by tanjong8 on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 10:02 pm

    How can such things happen ? It’s madness

  6. #6 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 10:17 pm

    I suggest the parents of the schoolchildren should converge to give moral support and together press on firmly on action to be taken agaisnt those stinky racist aka SOB.Their brains are so rotten that they go hand in glove with their acts, like an uncivilised scumbags.

  7. #7 by Loh on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 10:29 pm

    The problems of NEP was a continuation of Article 153. Had there been an advent of computer technology in the 1950s, it would be possible for the leaders then to think about making a register of those who needed special assistance instead of profiling them as in a race. Computer technology came into being in the 1960s, and correction could have been made. But Tun Razak and a different idea. Hussein Onn was weak, and Mamakthir saw the opportunity to cheat. Now Najib pretends to be on tiger’s back and so he could not climb down NEP for the fear of being eaten. Can you trust him?

    ///Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Malays still need government assistance because the New Economic Policy did not achieve its goal. Even among the few successful Malay entrepreneurs, most cannot compete…///–Malaysiakini

    It is as though life is a constant contest for winning prizes, and thus people must compete. Usually one views competition between two individuals on something which can be measured in a tangible way. In a boxing match the loser floors. In a 100 meter race, the winner reaches the goal post first. In an examination the scores determine winner. Even in a beauty contest where the judgement might not be objective, there is still a system to tally the score and come out with a certain winner. In a football game, there is specific way in deciding that a team wins, and get rewarded.

    Competition is devoid of the meaning when comparison is made about the accumulated holdings or wealth held or owned by persons grouped by race or religion. Yet the nebulous concept of wealth held by a community became the policy objective of NEP. The government since 1970 have been demanding that 30% of all listed companies be allotted to by Malays. The government never explain how the wealth owned by, say, Daim Ibrahim, the richest Malay billionaire, would benefit people in his own kampong in Kedah. Najib announced that 51 billion units of share out of 52 billion issued to Malays under the NEP had been sold. Najib did not bother to count the wealth held by Malays which the 51 billion units of share had since been turned into, such as becoming financial assets overseas, and yet he claims that what are left do not make up the 30%. Najib being trained as economist in UK University should understand that one cannot have the cake and eat it. It is pure bullying to claim that the target had not been reached when no effort is made to account for what had been legitimately turned into as parallel assets. But then everybody in the world knows that the claim of the shortfall in NEP target is just to pretend that the government would have honoured its promise, made by none others than Najib’s late father Tun Razak who declared that NEP for twenty years. It is now 41 years and counting.

    Mamakthir announced that Malays still need NEP-tongkat. He must have been very happy to make such announcement, and his audience must be proud and satisfied too. The late Tun Dr. Ismail said that Malays would voluntarily give up Article 153 of the Malaysian Constitution when they no longer need it, out of pride. Tun Ismail would have regretted that he had to declare that Malays after 54 years of being placed under the special position for needing assistance would still be requiring government care. But Mamakthir did not appear to dreadful making that pronouncement.

    If there are Malays who still required government assistance based on need assessment the government should just identify them. The computer can store the details of all those who need assistance unlike the time of independence it was considered convenient to classify the needy person by race. Let us say that there are still half a million family who need help under article 153, government assistance should be provided directly to them rather than to the other 15 million who are classified with the persons needing help. The policy of affirmative action indiscriminately extended to the other 15 million persons not registered for assistance is not only uneconomical, it creates unfair competition and unjust society in addition to causing racial polarization.

    The persons who attended the talk given by Mamakthir in Jitra Kedah are not the persons who needed assistance. Mamakthir would still place himself in the classification of the special position needing government assistance. They were undoubtedly very happy with the declaration that Malays still need assistance because in the name of those Malays they are again pressing for unfair advantage to be extended indefinitely. Mamakthir is popular with the Malays who want the unfair advantage to remain, forever.

    Mamakthir said that he is not a racist. If one is happy and proud that his adopted race cannot progress so that he continues to have the excuse to appear a Malay hero, he can’t love his adopted race. How can one be a racist when he does not even care for the pride of the race? He only uses race as an issue to advance his interest. The correct description of him is racial opportunist.

  8. #8 by jus legitimum on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 10:29 pm

    The Indian voters in the 2 recent buy elections never learned their lesson,kena insulted and bullied but still voted for the BN devil.Why like that ah?

  9. #9 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 10:44 pm

    #7,like that lor 1 lor.BN make them poor poor and beg beg forever lor.BN has the rope to their noses mah.Pull and let go SM’s action shiok shiok yo.Moderator is watching me,i guess.Chau..

  10. #10 by Taxidriver on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 10:59 pm

    How to educate our youngsters when we do not have properly educated teachers like the disciplinary teacher concerned. Does DSP Baktiar Md Rashid know his job? He should be combating crimes and going after criminals instead of spending 10 hours questioning students for wanting to return a book, and rightly so too as its content insults their race.

    Very scary, indeed, to have a very high-ranking police officer like DSP Baktiar in the Police Force. What has our IGP to say on this matter? Again, ”tutup satu mata”?

  11. #11 by Taxidriver on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 11:15 pm

    Najib is quiet as a church mouse over this latest incident. Is his 1Malaysia for real? Fools will say “yes”

  12. #12 by born in Malaya on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 11:19 pm

    The insult is the result of voting UMNO/BN, be this a lesson to learn.

  13. #13 by undertaker888 on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 11:56 pm

    ….in continuation with my inter-unlok book….
    I am sure it will get moderated by moderation happy DAP…so forget it.

  14. #14 by drngsc on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 - 11:58 pm

    As a Malaysian, my apologies to the victims and their families. Taking it out on children, that is way too much. Instead of using education to prepare children for a high income economy, they use it to harass children.

    Please remember this action, and the whole Interlok fiasco, when GE 13 comes. We need a new tenant in Putrajaya.

  15. #15 by Cinapek on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 1:08 am

    This incident is the direct result of the “ketuanan” sickness propagated by the UMNO controlled Govt. It is clear that the school authorities and the head of the PTA suffers from this sickness and thus cannot accept dissent from the students on the acceptance of this controversial book. These sickos see this refusal to accept the book as a challenge to their ketuanan and “tunjuk” their power by abusing it.

    1) The discipline teacher is either supremely dumb and stupid or very confident she will get away scot free not to realise her comments are racist after the hue and cry over the two school heads who made similar racist remarks last year.

    2) Who gave the authority to the PTA head to act the way he did? This matter is a school problem and should be dealt by the school. Why did the PTA head usurp the power of the school head to bring the police in – if indeed there is a case for the police. Perhaps the school do not see it as a police case but this racist PTA head abuse his powers and took it upon himself to drag the kids to the police station and prevail upon the police to harass and intimidate the kids. Sick bastards!!!

    3) Surely the police knows these are school children and their parents should be notified. The fact they deny the children access to the parents for ten hours smacks of deliberate abuse to intimidate and mentally torturing the children.

    This whole episode makes me sick to the pit of my stomach to read of the low lives in our education system and the sewage pits they have descended to. And they wonder why parents refuse to send their children to the national schools.

  16. #16 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 1:22 am

    It is consistent with ‘1Malaysia’. Everything is.

    Maybe the Police Officer misunderstood the title of the book as ‘Interlockup’. So he did the natural thing.

  17. #17 by monsterball on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 5:16 am

    Without race and religion politics..UMNO B will be weak.
    Without bribing….and non stop promtional work how good they are….minds will be strong and that spells doomsday for Najib.
    Without telling half truths…twisting and bluffing Malaysians…they cannot get weak minds to flow them like blockheads.
    Without from day one in school…poisoning minds to be racists…than the dirty race and religion politics cannot be strongly rooted.
    UMNO B is a devilish corrupted party.
    So glad few students are not easily fooled.

  18. #18 by monsterball on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 5:24 am

    After governing for 55 years…Najib is defending and going all out to fools Malaysians and make Malaysians feel insecured without UMNO B government….this and that.
    A good reputable reliable honest government need not do all that.
    It shows UMNO B knows people are waking up and the “drugs” they feed to people have increase in strength…hoping all be half pass sixes…mild and meek.. faithful Malaysians to UMNO B forever.
    How cruel can a party be…trying so hard to avoid loosing governing.
    There is no democracy as long as UMNO B governs.

  19. #19 by Loh on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 7:22 am

    This is an example of the police controlling the mind of Malaysians. The students have violated no law in the country, and so the police has no reason to even talk to them, let alone hold them for 10 hours. ISA is to prevent crime. Does the police suggest that returning books to school constitute crime? If so, then they are not professional. Or do they consider returning books to school is a form of political activity? If the police hauled up the students before they considered them involve themselves with political thought, then police is using ISA to interfere in politics, since there is no other law in the country which gave police the authority to hold the students for questioning. Maybe now the police are above the law.

  20. #20 by Loh on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 7:23 am

    Moderator, Please indicate why this cannot be released.

    by Loh on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 – 7:24 am
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    This has been awaiting moderation since 5th March 2011.

  21. #21 by k1980 on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 7:52 am

    //She (the discipline teacher) said in her police report that my older son brought 100 Indians from Kuala Lumpur, from the Gang 36, to threaten her and her family//

    That so? Any proof or witnesses? If not, sue the panties off her!

  22. #22 by k1980 on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 8:02 am

    “Interviewed” for 10 hours? Make it a couple more hours and the 3 Hindoo students would had leaped from the 15th floor window like TBH. Then Samy Vell will even join the Hindraf protests

  23. #23 by dagen on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 8:46 am

    Come on. Dont you know? Everyone in this country except umnoputras, and oh yes ibrahim bin perkasa too, are crooks and criminals. Yes everyone including women and children.

    BTW have the kids been discharged by the police? Interview them immediately. Find out in particular whether after 10hrs of interview they developed the propensity to (1) self-strangulate; (2) leap off a high place; or (3) leap off a high place and on the way to hitting the ground, apply self-strangulation.

    The answers to these questions are crucial for macc to clear its name in the ongoing beng hock inquiry by the agung.

  24. #24 by Thor on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 9:09 am

    That’s what Nutjib wants.
    The more they’re being hummiliate.
    The more they will vote for BN.
    Nutjib is trying to say, “Itu lah saya mau, Ha!Ha!Ha!Har!”.

  25. #25 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 9:19 am

    10 hours – a lot of things could hv happened there, like stripped naked, vital organs measured n weighed, public hairs extracted, asked 2 squat up n down while pulling ears
    Luckily, not asked to fly like superman or try self strangulation or self punch black eyes
    It’s like masuk in2 a house of fantastic fact and fancy

    Lawyers on dis blog, pls tell us “WHAT dat DSP did” – can aah? legal aah? TQ

  26. #26 by sotong on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 9:34 am

    ” Keling ” is very degrading and offensive word………our longest serving PM will be very upset with this racist.

  27. #27 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 9:39 am

    Are police stations now being used as ‘Detention Classes’?

    Why is the Minister of Education so unconcerned about this?

    Why is that 1Malaysia MP Kala something soooo very quiet?

    Raise this in the current Parliament session.

    (The Captcha is driving me nuts.)

  28. #28 by baochingtian on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 10:09 am

    Dear All,
    Pls take sometime to view the video:

  29. #29 by k1980 on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 10:48 am

    The real winner in this case is the HM as he will be getting RM7,500 as an award for making his school famous. But why the heck did it take seven students to return ONE book weighing at most 500 grams to that HM? He might get the wrong impression that they were going to bash him up, so he called the discipline teacher for help.

  30. #30 by monsterball on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 10:51 am

    Mamak is not upset with the word “Keling” descibing Indians as he denied he is half Indian.
    One needs to look at his brother who is totally black and live in Sungai Petani…which mamak never once in his 22 years proudly introduce him to Malaysians.

  31. #31 by k1980 on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 11:14 am

    Q: How many students does it take to return ONE book to the HM?

    A: 7, one to hold the book, and the other six to protect him from the discipline teacher

    B. 6, three to guard the book while the other three are taken to the police station for questioning

    C. 5, one to carry the book while the other 4 are to bring another 100 Indians Gang 36 to threaten the discipline teacher

    D. 0, just chuck the book into the trash can

  32. #32 by Loh on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 11:32 am

    Mamak reveals now that he was half-Indian. He said that others gossiped that his father converted to Muslim to marry his mother. Like father like son, when the benefit is there, one converted to Islam, and the other converted to Malay.

    No one cares whether he was Indian or Malay per se. We are bothered when a person pretends to be Malay because as Malay, the person is entitled to the assistance to be provided to those who are placed in the special position like in the ICU. So placing one person wrongly to receive benefit is diluting the share of the true beneficiaries, besides it is much more a burden to the persons who support the ‘affirmative programmes’, the discriminated lots.

    Mamak said he was proud to be Malay. Chinese and true Malay never claim to be proud of their race because whether or not there is anything to take pride, one is born into the race. One does not choose to be another race. It is criminal offence to masquerade as a member of any organization to gain advantage offered to their members, yet Mamak is now declaring that he is proud to belong to the association which he is not supposed to be in.

    Mamakthir would never make it to be the PM if he did not claim to be Malay. Had the political structure in the country not based on race, and that UMNO leaders of the time were so easily conned, Mamakthir would not be what he is, and the country by now would have become the economic giant in Asia.

    Mamakthir blamed Tunku for forming Malaysia, as if it was bad for the Malays. Without Sabah and Sarawak, there would not be oil revenues for UMNO to splash it on the UMNOputras. If money end up spoiling Malays was his contention, tell his sons to give up their ill gotten wealth. Mamakthir is dead against Tunku for telling us that he was Mamak. It is not a shameful condition to be Mamak, except when one wanted to hide the fact. If Mamakthir played straight politics, he could have declared that he was Indian based on Islamic standard, and he needed not have to hide it until now. He is about the only person in the country who spoke ill of Tunku for forming Malaysia. How ungrateful can a person be when he was PM of the country and yet he accuses the founder of that nation for its creation.

  33. #33 by Loh on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 11:34 am

    They are all needed, all seven of them, so that there are persons to tell if others ‘chose’ to commit suicide.

  34. #34 by Thor on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 11:38 am

    Just look at the previous Thaipusum!
    Many indians ampu Nutjib.
    Even the priest present him a big garland.
    Everyone soo happy, no matter young and old.
    Even forgotten about Lord Murugan then.
    Now, just a minority of them came out to voiced out their displeasure about “interlok”.
    Save your breath!
    Majority of them happily accept them as pariahs already, so why bother!
    When GE13 comes, give them a hundred each and they’re willing to be worst than pariah.
    Even some chinese are “waggling their tail as well”.
    Blame who???
    Ask yourself first whether if you deserve yourself to be pariah or dog.
    We’ll know very soon in the next GE!!!

  35. #35 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 2:06 pm

    Thank goodness, d 3 Indian students were not made to cook n eat d novel Interlok during lockup, just like Charlie did with his shoe, yummy, yummy, slurp, slurp

  36. #36 by k1980 on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - 3:51 pm

    Just pay RM100 each to the estate people and they will happily stage demos to SUPPORT the book interlock

  37. #37 by sotong on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 10:01 am

    We are bothered when a person pretends to be Malay because as Malay, the person is entitled to the assistance to be provided to those who are placed in the special position like in the ICU – Loh.

    So is like an fully able person competing in the Para Olympic and won many gold medals.

  38. #38 by good coolie on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 12:08 am

    How can they use the Police on those silly students! Don’t you think they should have used the Army?

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