Interlok – haiya, kasi lia olang cakap lah!

by Eyes Wide Open

When talking about Interlok, affluent liberals of all races continue with their cries of

“Don’t be so sensitive la!”

“Let them la, next election we will vote them out!”

“Things described in the novel really happened, so what?”

Tragically, such people are still choose to be ignorant of the fact that this is not about politics or racial sensitivities! This is about the brainwashing of hundreds of thousands of impressionable schoolchildren with the Ketuanan Melayu doctrine EVERY YEAR!

Pushing the Ketuanan Agenda to younger and younger minds

In case there are people who still don’t know what Ketuanan Melayu is all about – it’s an insidious doctrine placing the Malays as the supreme lords of the land and all others are mere “pendatangs” squatting here at the Malays’ favour – so the pendatang have to know their place. (And it doesn’t matter if your father was Indon and you are merely a 1st generation Malaysian – you are automatically a Bumiputra entitled to massive privileges over the non-Bumi whose family had been here for the past 6 generations.)

To justify this sense of entitlement, a standard line of propaganda has been promoted for decades after the British left Malaysian soil. The non-Bumi (especially the Chinese) are demonised as locusts who descended upon Tanah Melayu and stole the wealth out of Malay hands. Therefore, the Bumiputra privileges are a necessity to balance the economic injustices that the nons have perpetrated upon the Malays.

In the past, Ketuanan Melayu was a doctrine that used to be indoctrinated through political meetings. Then with the formation of Biro Tata Negara in 1974, the systematic mass indoctrination of the nation began in earnest. (What does BTN do? Read our expose about BTN here, and also eyewitness accounts here and here.)

The BTN’s Ketuanan Melayu indoctrination has immense reach as it targets all public university students. However, someone obviously thought that preaching the Ketuanan Melayu gospel to hundreds of thousands of uni students was not enough. So the BTN’s reach was expanded to include the hundreds of thousands of public servants and GLC officers.

Even at that level of penetration, someone somewhere still thought it was not enough. And so, the compulsory Malaysian Studies module (basically, a watered-down version of BTN propaganda) was introduced into all private higher learning institutes.

Now, someone somewhere again probably thought that this was STILL not enough and decided that they need to move upstream – secondary school students. Thus, Interlok was introduced as a school textbook.

“Ya meh? Sure or not?”

Well, let’s take a step back and look at the history of Interlok.

1967 – Interlok was submitted as an entry for a writing competition to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Merdeka. The writer, Abdullah Hussain, was at that time working as a senior assistant editor at Franklin Books. Presumably, his bosses recognised the novel as a hastily put-together piece of crap and refused to publish the novel.

1969 – May 13 massacre perpetrated by ultra-Malay elements, based on the premise of teaching the nons a lesson to know their place in the Tanah Melayu (raw Ketuanan Melayu thinking gone extreme).

1970 – NEP introduced on the premise that the “other races” had grown fat on Malay soil at the expense of the Malays and it was now the Malays’ turnto get some (Ketuanan Melayu institutionalised).

1971 – Interlok is finally published even though the highly charged racial atmosphere in the country at that time reflected the racial stereotypes of the novel.

1974 – BTN established, whose propaganda themes closely relate to Interlok’s depiction of race relations.

1996 – Abdullah Hussein crowned as National Laureate for his prolific writings

2008 – Malay ultra-nationalism outsourced to PERKASA after GE12.

2008-2010 – Desperate attempts to stoke racial tensions and spread Malay ultra-nationalist feelings by Perkasa & BN so far unsuccessful

2010 – Interlok made a compulsory component of SPM BM Paper

First of all, why was Interlok deemed unworthy to be published during times of peace? And why was it published after bloody racial clashes occured, caused in part by people’s reactions to racial stereotypes similarly found in the book? Was it because it was a convenient tool reinforce the Ketuanan Melayu doctrine among the populace, and to make sure the nons “knew their place” in Tanah Melayu?

Secondly, of all the books written, why choose a book that has no pedigree, a dubious publishing history, and perpetuates negative racial stereotypes? Is there no better book available?

It just doesn’t make sense, unless we assume that someone has a specific agenda in selecting this book.

Protesting the use of Interlok as a BM textbook is NOT about being racially sensitive or gaining political mileage – the emotional and ill-informed outbursts of people who have these motives are actually diverting attention from the real issues at hand and in the process harming their own cause as well!

Because while the Malay politicians argue about the supreme Malay right to use any Malay literature they like, and Indian politicians argue about racial sensitivities, and Chinese politicians totally blur cos they don’t read – hundreds of thousands of our children are exposed the the BTN-style racial propaganda coutesy of Interlok.

At the other end of the extreme are the affluent liberals who regard Interlok as a non-issue. They pooh-pooh the political outbursts but are totally oblivious to the novel’s contents or themes. At the most, they may confidently state that even though they think Interlok is a non-issue, they will vote out the dolts who caused such an uproar in choosing it.

They fail to see the bigger picture.

About 500,000 candidates sit for SPM EVERY YEAR. That’s half a million impressionable minds who are force-fed BTN-style propaganda via Interlok every year.

Let’s just assume that merely 5% of those students catch the BTN-style propaganda subtext evident in Interlok – that’s 25,000 minds poisoned EVERY YEAR.

Is 1 affluent liberal vote worth more that 25,000 BTN-minded votes?

You do the math.

Comments
20 Responses to “Interlok – haiya, kasi lia olang cakap lah!”
  1. jasonlim says:

    You know who are those behind this indoctrination right? Are you not going to spend more time with you children, educate them, so that they know the truths?

    Do you still want your vote to flow this way:
    BN=>Umno=>Perkasa=>MM, so that the indoctrination able to continue?
    Why not start with convincing the people around you to stop allowing their votes flow that way?
    ——————————————————————————————-
    Jason, everyone in the HartalMSM team is physically involved in one way or another with engaging, educating and empowering Malaysians to bring about real change for better governance. We hope you are similarly inclined – shar101.

  2. Yeah says:

    Yeah, maybe this is an excellent opportunity for a great social experiment since Interlok is the KOMSAS text for Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Wilayah Persekutuan. If the younger generation from these three states turn out to be rabid racists, we can safely isolate the reason.

    Sometimes, the stupidity of the arguments presented online can be so staggering that logic not only flies out of the window along with the facts, but individuals lost a sense of proportion on what is important and what is not.

    Here is a clue:

    What is important: Interlok should be replaced with another for KOMSAS in the three states
    What is not important: Interlok will destroy humanity as we know it

    The irony is that KOMSAS rotates and select new texts from time to time, and according to conspiracy theorists, the damage has probably been done elsewhere (and a long time ago). As for the moron who uses the Ministry’s textbook guidelines as a basis to throw out Interlok, please remember that the novel is NOT a textbook.

    Bodoh nak mampus.

    • hartalmsm says:

      I suggest you mix with some Malays/Chinese/Indians who are not affluent liberals like yourself and see what it’s really like out there.

      • Yeah says:

        Who is an affluent liberal?

        Don’t use big words you don’t know. The mee rebus auntie at a coffee shop said that the protest against Interlok is the work of people with too much time on their hands. Instead of trying to ensure that their children ace the damn BM paper, they are busy hollering away at how the depictions in a fictitious story maligns their race. That realist enough for you?
        ——————————————————————————————-
        Nick: Yeah Email username: Yeah Email account provider: @yeah.com. And you expect us to take you seriously? Despite operating from the UPM campus – shar101.

  3. Yeah says:

    Oh? Are we going down the path where one can only be taken seriously when a name and e-mail is provided? I have never been a fan of people who argue anonymity = cowardice. I am in the UPM campus atm using its wireless service, but I feel sorry for the institution because I didn’t realize I was speaking on behalf of the university. You can do the divining if I am a student, staff or passer-by because it makes no difference to what I think on the issue.

    Is this the best counter argument you can provide, seriously? An appeal to my identity? Perhaps this is the problem here. We are so hooked up on stature, race, creed and credentials that we can no longer decide the merit of an argument without seeing who is making them. If you think I am taking up your space in your blog, I happily concede your authority over this domain.
    ——————————————————————————————
    And pray tell us your counter-argument on the post itself which you have not addressed. Isn’t Interlok a BTN construct with KOMSAS used as a conduit? – shar101

  4. Yeah says:

    I thought the whole point of the post was to exaggerate the ghastly impact of Interlok as KOMSAS material.

    Or was it to labeling others who disagree that Interlok is a problem as affluent liberals?

    You can decide, of course.

    First, one starts by running down the literary merit of the work, then one switch to condemn the abridged student version. Lets just be honest here, we didn’t like Interlok because it is stereotypical and fear that impressionable young minds will be poisoned. It is better we ask them to read Salina by A. Samad Said. Or is that too racy and objectifies Malay women?

    A committee panel appointed by the Ministry of Education selected Interlok based on literary and educational reasons, but if you are aware of other forces at work, I welcome the thought. Others deem it sinister because it came from a BN-led government. While the MOE has so far managed to resist political plays to withdraw Interlok as KOMSAS for students in NS, Lembah Kelang and Putrajaya, it is in a Catch-22 situation. The best arbiter for literary merit considerations is GAPENA and PENA, but obviously their constitution is too Malay for some’s liking. Surely, one will standby one’s kind (although we can ask Lim Swee Tin what he thinks). Unable to rise beyond communal politics, the popular decision now lies with half-baked, overnight literary critics who can’t even tell the difference between apples and oranges in this matter. By cherry-picking passages, many ignored the moral of the story and blindly decried the book as wicked propaganda. Apparently portraying the Malays as simpletons is politically correct nowadays.

    The amount of confusion created by well intentioned people over Interlok warms my heart because in any other days, kesusasteraan melayu don’t even get into the obituary page. I believe Interlok achieved far more than it was expected to with the recent outburst because it shows how much of the divisive elements in the novel is still alive today. Why, the other day, some folks from the Chinese Assembly Hall called for Interlok to be withdrawn too. Isn’t it amazing? The stereotypes are apparently not acceptable, so we must have Indian communists, Chinese civil servants and Malay traders in the next novel called UN-LOCK.

    Maybe that will get published and supported by Malaysians, and who knows, the author will be the next Sasterawan Negara voted in ala Malaysian Idol.

    • hartalmsm says:

      “Lets just be honest here, we didn’t like Interlok because it is stereotypical and fear that impressionable young minds will be poisoned.”

      Wasn’t that our position all along? You didn’t get that after all the articles we’ve put up? Even after I clearly wrote: “This is about the brainwashing of hundreds of thousands of impressionable schoolchildren with the Ketuanan Melayu doctrine EVERY YEAR!” on the opening paragraphs?

      And you accuse US of not being readers? Pffft!

      “Apparently portraying the Malays as simpletons is politically correct nowadays.”

      Well, PERKASA the arch-guardian of Malay dignity didn’t raise a stink over it, so I guess they are A-OK widdat! Besides, much of the derogatory references to Malays are spoken through Chinese mouths in the novel. But of course, in your opinion, obviously that has no impact on present day race relations in Malaysia.

      • Yeah says:

        Just to save you some time figuring out where I am posting from, I am now outside the university campus. You know, just in case it affects what I’ve got to say.

        First of all, blogs like hartalmsm highlights issues by putting on a loud speaker. When one points out the inaccuracies and exaggerations, he/she will be treated, more often than not, with disdain. I read Interlok a long time ago, but I don’t remember the Ketuanan Melayu doctrine. Maybe I was not a very good reader, as one has pointed out. I read Malay translations of the Three Investigators in primary school, and of course, the characters Jalil, Ah Meng and Gopal are PC. Jalil is the leader of the trio in the series, but strangely, I did not suffer an overwhelming urge to worship any Malay as my overlord.

        I think generations of young Malaysians will thank Hartalmsm for protecting them against a life of racism and mental corruption.

        ———————–

        “First of all, blogs like hartalmsm highlights issues by putting on a loud speaker. When one points out the inaccuracies and exaggerations, he/she will be treated, more often than not, with disdain.”

        So what are our inaccuracies and exaggerations, and what is the truth and facts? We already offered you a platform – you gonna take it?

        “I read Interlok a long time ago, but I don’t remember the Ketuanan Melayu doctrine.”

        Could it be because you are Melayu?

        - EWO

    • eagle-eye says:

      Who are GAPENA and PENA — they are UMNO stooges who I believe are closely linked to BTN.

      Interlok not only exposes the divisive elements in our society but also seeks to entrench and perpetuate these divisions.

  5. Yeah says:

    By listing a selective history of Interlok and connecting it with imaginary dots, hartalmsm has already demonstrated how biased it is towards the novel. Way back in January, I have already said that the offer to amend the abridged version will not pacify the crowd. Razali Endun, a blogger, noted that the novel “memenangi hadiah sagu hati dalam Peraduan Mengarang Sempena 10 Tahun Merdeka (1967)” and noted that “…peraduan ini tidak ada penerima hadiah pertama atau kedua. Penerima hadiah ketiga ialah novel ‘Sandera’ karya Arenawati. Empat hadiah sagu hati, selain ‘Interlok’ ialah, ‘Merpati Putih Terbang Lagi’ ( Khadijah Hashim), ‘Pulanglah Perantau’ (Aziz Jahpin), ‘Meniti Buih’ (Alias Harun) dan ‘Badan Bertuah’ (Ismail Al-Falah)”. Dr. Illias Zaidi also made similar observations on the history of the novel.

    To insinuate that the Interlok is inferior work is standard modus operandi for non-readers. Perhaps 40 years on we laugh at the author’s naivete for race relations in Malaysia. For many years the MOE has been slammed for not using more works of Sasterawan Negaras in secondary education. Apparently we have now hit a jackpot. I vote for Salina next, any takers?

    • hartalmsm says:

      Since you take such umbrage at our petty, ignorant concerns, why don’t you write an opinion piece on what Interlok’s real message is about and what values students can take away from it that will benefit present day Malaysia?

      We’ll be happy to publish it.

      • Yeah says:

        I thought I was already repeating what others have said about the novel here. You know, for someone who was asking me to go mix with some Malays/Chinese/Indians who are not affluent liberals (whatever that is), perhaps it is advisable to just acknowledge the many synopsis provided by other bloggers, *gasp* some who blog in the Malay language in particular. You know, the bit about not providing one side of the story only like the mainstream press but also the various perspectives.

        GAPENA and PENA has already spoken on its literary merits, you didn’t get the memo?

        ——————–

        Yeah, well…we don’t like to make too many assumptions here in Hartal. Especially when a concerned reader comes in here who seems to have something substantial to say. So our offer stands.

        - EWO

  6. Yeah says:

    Could it be because you are Melayu?
    - EWO

    ——————————————————

    Wow, the million dollar question has just surfaced.

    Oh, no, I am not Melayu, but I am Malaysian, if it is any consolation. :D

    • hartalmsm says:

      OK…we’ll take you at your word.

      Our offer still stands, though. We at Hartal would seriously like to see what great benefits you think Interlok will bring to the table as a work of literature for BM students, as well as a work of art that will soothe the nation’s ethnic suspicions.

  7. Ahmad says:

    dear Friends, please spread the news of “MY DAFTAR” campaign.This was the drama of BN to show that they are helping indians.All those applicants will be rejected except old folks who are waiting ti die.Those children who are infants.Rest will be rejected..dontthink BN is making their Vote Bank here.The MIC is a shameless puppet in hands of UMNO.so its better not to register urself as citizen better remain with watever idenntity you have rest at your decision.wake indian brothers please vote out UMNO/BN and bring PR in power.

  8. Maz says:

    “To insinuate that the Interlok is inferior work is standard modus operandi for non-readers”
    ========================================================================
    To insinuate that Interlok isn’t inferior work strains credulity beyond belief for rational
    thinkers

    • Yeah says:

      Since my earlier comment is still awaiting moderation (or more likely a coherent response from the lords of the domain), let me put this to Maz.

      Ermm, only a paraphrase to circumvent the fact that non-readers of Interlok made assumptions they cannot back up?

      I am not too sure what passes as a rational thinker nowadays, considering the paranoid seems to reside here. Do you actually need evidence on the outrageous and crazy stuff attributed to Interlok’s powers in this very blog? Didn’t you hear, Interlok is a BTN-esque conspiracy with potential Rwandan genocide outcomes. And I am the irrational person here? Hahahahaha…

      And you know, why go so far even, Indonesia is right next door.

      • hartalmsm says:

        “Since my earlier comment is still awaiting moderation (or more likely a coherent response from the lords of the domain)”

        Haiya…so full of your own sense of importance aren’t you?

        Some of us have to work for a living you know, and are volunteering our time because we love our country too much to see it go to pieces.

        We are certainly not “lucky” enough to get paid to sit around in front of our screens and wait for our blog comments to be replied.

  9. Yeah says:

    Sorry, appreciate the efforts of well-intentioned folks at hartalmsm. What would we do without the love of amateurs? I wish someone is paying me on a per word basis.

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