That ‘Chinese’ fler in the Interlok review panel
MIC president G Palanivel was quoted as revealing that out of the 100-plus ‘errors’ in the novel, 85 concerned the chapter on Maniam.
UPDATED (March 30): One of the NIAT panellists clarified at the press conference today that 19 amendments concerned the objectionable content about Indians, whereas the 85 (or 87) other amendments were for word and language use (e.g. spelling of ‘thali’ not ‘tali, etc)
The Indian story comes in Part 3 of the book; Part 1 is about the Malay protagonist, Pt 2 (Chinese) and Pt 4 (their lives intersect).
So the panel apparently found a total of some 100 elements that are objectionable about the writing.
Doing a little simple math (100-85=15), the remaining 15 sensitive descriptions would have covered together Parts 1,2, and 4.
Take away some of the errors complained about by the four Malay panellists, and you have leftover the number of erroneous passages with regard to the Chinese (Cing Huat’s story) narrative.
Considering the Indian panellists found 85 things to be all wrong when author Abdullah Hussain talks about Indians, it’s shocking that Lim Swee Tin finds so little (two? four? or six?) that is offensive about how the Chinese are depicted in Interlok.
On the other hand, we at Hartal MSM found a whole lot that is offensive in how Abdullah portrayed the Chinese community.
FMT yesterday reported that “the trio [three Indian panellists] were allegedly pressured by other panelists Lim Swee Tin and Termuzi Abdul Aziz into succumbing to the DPM’s [Muhyiddin Yassin] advice, at which point the three decided to stage a walkout.”
We find it mighty amazing that Lim Swee Tin can identify so few flaws in Interlok and endorse its use without remedy. As such, we urge that he should make his findings public so that other researchers who have read the book can lend our oversight.