Interlok issue is not resolved

By Dr Lim Teck Ghee

Civil society groups and other concerned individuals should not be taken in by Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement that the Interlok issue has been resolved. In fact, not only is it not resolved but compliance will mean that Interlok could well be extended from its present Zone 2 (Klang Valley) coverage thereafter to Zone 1, Zone 3 and Zone 4 in the rest of the country.

Interlok is a beach head for the Little Napoleons and other Ketuanan bureaucrats to impose their agenda of educational and cultural seppuku on a young captive audience.

Success in imposing Interlok will only encourage these ideologues to move further upstream and inject their indoctrination into the syllabus for the younger forms, and eventually in the primary school curriculum. The History and Moral subjects have already been tampered with. Currently the focus is on language and literature. What will be next?

Muhyiddin’s statement that nobody should politicize or exploit the issue by using NGOs is made in wilful ignorance. The fact is these organizations have been in the forefront of the campaign from the outset. It is not difficult for the Minister to determine the chronology of events with regard to the emergence and growth of public (but hardly any political) consciousness, concern and agitation on the book.

A quick glance at news and reports from the websites will show that civil society organizations such as NIAT, Hartal MSM, and the Centre for Policy Initiatives have provided analysis and public feedback for several months now on the unsuitability of Interlok.

The NGO concern is in sharp contrast to the lack of criticism on the book by public figures. Political parties from both Barisan Nasional and the opposition have been slow or reluctant to discuss the appropriateness of the book as a school text. While the Education Minister and his MCA deputy – the career politicians – have been adamant on its retention, why have the educationists and other Education Ministry officials been largely silent?

In NGOs voicing our concerns on key issues affecting our nation, we do not have any political affiliation or political axe to grind. Neither are we racially motivated because Malay and non-Malay, Muslim and non-Muslim groups are equally concerned as to whyInterlok is being retained when it is clearly in contravention of the Education Ministry and the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka’s own guidelines on textbook and literary work. The Minister should welcome our feedback and seek to engage with us rather than try to intimidate us.

Giving up on the campaign to have the novel discontinued as a compulsory SPM reading is the wrong message to send. Capitulating to the Ministry’s insistence will signal that we do not care for our education system to play a positive role in building social cohesion as is implicit in the 1Malaysia slogan.

NGOs and most particularly the parents should continue with even greater urgency and commitment to have Interlok removed from the classroom. The government has might on its side but might does not make it right.

  1. #1 by AskChong on Friday, 1 April 2011 - 10:48 pm

    Anyone to launch a campaign to “SAY NO TO INTERLOK”.

    I don’t want children of my country think that Ketuanan is a truth via the education “brainwashing system”.

  2. #2 by good coolie on Friday, 1 April 2011 - 11:44 pm

    Ah Chong is on the side of Ramasamy. Hey, what about Ahmad? How come we never hear of him. Get down from the fence and voice your support of us. Do you prefer to be a friend or an imagined master?

  3. #3 by donplaypuks on Saturday, 2 April 2011 - 12:38 am

    Unfortunately the worthless ‘Interlok’ has become a matter of ‘Face’ for UMNO, Minister/Ministry of Education.

    That’s what happens when ego gets in the way of sensible thinking.

    Regardless of Muhydin’s unilateral declaration that the matter has been resolved or it’s ISA, everyone, including Malays should protest that sub-standard books of no literary merit whatsoever should NEVER been included in any education curricula.

    This is the thin end of the BTN wedge and we accept it at our own peril.

    Parents should instruct their children to deliberately fail the literature paper if that’s what it takes to get the message home!

    we are all of 1 Race, the Human Race

  4. #4 by burn on Saturday, 2 April 2011 - 3:12 am

    what to expect, when having half past6 ministers that know nuts. nama saja menteri, pengalaman?
    emmm… hancur! rakyat need a more qualified menteris to handle those sort of stuff. a small thing pun tak boleh solve. just removed the book out from the school. ini pilihan rakyat!

  5. #5 by negarawan on Saturday, 2 April 2011 - 7:39 am

    A vote for UMNO/BN is a vote for the continuation of their “ketuanan melayu” agenda. Non-malays in Malaysia need to think hard about this as they are fast becoming third-class citizens in the country where their ancestors have spilled blood and sweat on.

  6. #6 by Godfather on Saturday, 2 April 2011 - 8:42 am

    Moo says that his decision is final. He learnt this style of management through his years with Mamakthir. What I say goes, and if you don’t like it, you can leave. If you want to stay because of my generosity, then keep your mouth shut.

  7. #7 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 2 April 2011 - 9:00 am

    Of course its not resolved but Muhiyiddin is betting that the opposition cannot get their act together to up the ante. The issue is can all those people who oppose it come together to up the ante. Niat and these NGOs remind Muhiyiddin what Hindraf did in 308 and they can do the same.

  8. #8 by wanderer on Saturday, 2 April 2011 - 9:34 am

    Why bother to resolve this intentional problem created by the descendant of Ape-man!…the Chinese and Indians as super races, there is no need to get engaged with these shallow so called
    self-claimed intellects.

  9. #9 by dagen on Saturday, 2 April 2011 - 9:59 am

    So your shirt got soaked in the rain huh? What do you do? Change it, brother! Yes. Just change it. And if you hv been having a lousy corrupt arrogant abusive incompetent umno led gobermen for 50yrs who can you do? Change it for god’s sake.

    And tell you what. It is ok to change the gobermen, bro. Its ok. There are no problems. Dont be afraid. Pakatan people are malaysians too. They are not some greedy green aliens from mars like umnoputras. Look at penang. It is blooming. And no problems. If there are any problems they are likely to be sabotage efforts mounted by umno. Look at selangor, for instance. And not forgetting perak. Sabotage by umno upset many many things.

    Do you feel hungry? Want a bigger bowl of rice. A second piece of chicken wing? Umno comes to you with these goodies once in 5 yrs. Pakatan will enable you enjoy these anytime you feel like it.

    Vote pakatan. Vote anyone except umno and barisan.

  10. #10 by k1980 on Saturday, 2 April 2011 - 11:51 am

    According to local history texts, civilization here starts with Paramesworo circa 1400 AD. => 611 years only. Compare this to the Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, Indian, even the Inca and Maya civilizations—- 4,400 years DIFFERENCE!!!

  11. #11 by dagen on Saturday, 2 April 2011 - 12:41 pm

    So? What are you getting at k1980? Umno can flip patties in space. Can they, those mayans, greeks and the rest? Can they? Americans and germans and japanese are now scared stiff of nuclear disasters. Umno is not. Why? Huh? Tell me why? Ever asked youself this important question? Cos umno is great. Dats why! Umno’s good. Dats why. Umno is …

    … oooi celaka ni. Basah betul pillow you. Bercakap sambil berminpi lagi. Next time you sleep in the dog kennel. Ordered Fat Mama.

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