LIVE Updates from Interlok forum

Interlok-forum-poster

1100: Forum attendees are mostly NGO members, some YBs, hopefully this will activate more Malay/Chinese grassroots #interlok

1058: Moderator winding up. Crowd gets ready to leave. Just realised it’s standing toom only. Good sign! #interlok

1057: Uthaya: So far, only Indian voices heard bcos Chinese & Malay voices are not coming forth #interlok

1056: Uthaya: If many people take action, change can happen. Even simple things like writing comment / emails #interlok

1054: Uthaya: Everyone has a part to play, in their own way. Even students can return the bk. But must armed with strategy & knowledge. #interlok

1052: MrLee: arguments for Interlok emphasises Malay pride, writers’ pride, etc. But no one worries about the students #interlok

1051: MrLee: What’s worrying is that the major races can’t seem to find a united way to confront Interlok issue. #interlok

1050: MrLee: Interlok tries to legitimise Malaysians divided into Bumi & pendatang. Interlok debates reflect this dichotomy #interlok

1044: Azmi: Issue is a reflection of TERRIBLE state of Malaysian education #interlok

1043: Azmi: Why govt insist on Interlok? Bcos govt is so scared of racist Malay groups, who turn all issues into attacks on Malays #interlok

1041: DrTan: Racial harmony should not only happen when controversy happens, but communication lines should always be open #interlok

1036: DatoThasleem summary: Govt testing waters, lesson plan is indoctrination, DBP announce withdraw but rescind, 10k brochures out, Malays must realise how Interlok is also offensive to Muslim teachings, Interlok does not comply with textbook criteria, but govt still insist. NIAT will continue to fight until the end #interlok

1030: YB Kula: 1130am in Parl, EduMin to answer on policy matters. Forumers are invited to attend #interlok

1027: YB Kula: PR’s stand-if Interlok is causing so much problems, just don’t use it! #interlok

1025: MrTan: After reading the book, finds its heavily ideological. Express regret Malays and Chinese not better represented in forum #interlok

1022: Mr Tan, CEO of KLSCAH giving the Chinese perspective of Interlok. Tried to gather Chinese views but largely apathetic #interlok

1021: Question: Does NIAT really think the govt will withdraw Interlok from schools? #interlok

1020: Question: How can parents and children respond in protest to the use of Interlok in school? #interlok

1015: Question: Has the Edu Min never reversed its decisions? Why the insistence to use interlok in schools? PPSMI can be reversed after so much time, money and resources, why not a small issue like changing a textbook? #interlok

1014: Floor comment: Let Interlok be a novel, but leave it out of schools. Why govt insist on it despite the issues? #interlok

1013: Floor comment: The real issues have not been properly explored by panel. Asked to read all the issues on myniat.com #interlok

1011: Floor comment: What is meant by Ketuanan Melayu? If UMNO-kick out, if Agung-respect! Applause and laughter

1010: Floor question: What is the Chinese community’s views of Interlok? #interlok

1008: Moderator explains that 2 Malay writers agreed to attend, but pulled out saying open discussion time would be racist arguments #interlok

956: US: Abdullah Hussein’s own words-Malays Chinese Indians are friends and built up Malaysia together

954: US: Interlok debate in media and online not intellectual but racial – ketuanan Melayu vs pendatangs #interlok

953: US: 20% removed for Interlok student edition, so it has nothing to do with Abdullah Hussein. But he’s used to fight opponents #interlok

949: US: Many facts presented to prove Interlok unsuitable for schools #interlok

945: Uthaya Sankar has the floor. “Insider” views expected #interlok

943: LBC: Interlok written within UMNO’s ketuanan Melayu ideology and we must oppose it being spread in schools #interlok

941: LBC: Positive traits ignored or played down, negative traits played up or created, individuals used to represent whole race #interlok

938: LBC: Inaccuracies & racist stereotypes are debatable, listing down all the illogical plot devices & contradictory depictions #interlok

930: LBC: Interlok’s problem is not the 3 families featured, but that the 3 families represent the 3 races #interlok

927: Lee Ban Chen speaking. Interlok said to be literature, but treated as history book, framed in UMNO political ideology #interlok

921:  AS: Euro racist lit frm past is accepted today by societies who understand that those racist attitudes belonged to to the past. But in Malaysia, racism is institutionalised. Interlok not suitable for our society because it reinforces society’s race beliefs.

916: AS: Just because you’re a National Laureate doesn’t mean everything you write is good! #interlok

915: AS: Enough censorship by govt. Let’s not rakyat ban books. But we want it out of schools. #interlok

913:Azmi Sharom on the floor. Upset over the book burning as it is indication of no discussion allowed. #interlok

910: Literary critic Yahya Ismail: He’s a good author, but no originality. Only writes well with direction, ie DBP’s contest conditions #interlok

908: CFH: Interlok leans towards UMNO/BN style politics. Mistakes/sensitivities can be corrected but Interlok’s theme can’t be edited #interlok

906: CFH: Frederic Jameson-3rd World Lit features: nationalistic, political allegory, self-critical. Interlok is similar to 3rd World Lit, but narrow Malay nationalism. Not Malaysian

900: CFH: Interlok fails as a literary work on several criteria

858: CFH: Author claims Interlok a discussion of universal humanity. But full of biased values! #interlok

855: CFH: PENA says protests are against maruah Melayu, lowering the status of Malays. What’s up with that?

853: Dr Chong Fah Hing has the floor. Interlok is a faulty allegory for Malaysian society.

851: Dato Thasleem: Derogatory words exist, but the way they are used can cause divisions. So Interlok should not be encouraged in school.

847: Dato Thasleem: No problem with Interlok as a novel, but should not be used in school.

845: Dato Thasleem: Govt says Interlok is good for national unity but why only used in zone 2? #interlok

840: Moderator updating audience of the controversy. Dato Thasleem now has the floor #interlok

836: Woah! Azmi Sharom is buff! Those lame profile pix of him in media don’t do him justice. ;) #interlok

834: Forum starting with the formalities. Recognition of the panelists. #interlok

830: Next hall: Forum kebangkitan rakyat dunia Arab. Spkr-ProfAzizbari, Che bard, Hshmudinrais & Chon Kai. #interlok

827: Place is filling fast. Not bad for a Wednesday. Crowd is Chinese / Indian, about 50/50. Couple of Malay faces too. That’s good to get a balanced view. #interlok

820: Live from the Interlok forum, KLSCAH. Small hall, cos ppl still don’t realise how big the issue is? Hope tonite changes that! #interlok

Venue:

Auditorium, First floor,
KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
1, Jalan Maharajalela, 50150 Kuala Lumpur.
(across from Maharajalela monorail station)

Panellists:

  • Dato’ Thasleem Ibrahim (NIAT president)
  • Dr Chong Fah Hing (UPM lecturer)
  • Dr Azmi Sharom (UM lecturer)
  • Lee Ban Chen (Columnist)
  • Uthaya Sankar (Researcher)

Organizers: LLG, KLSCAH, NIAT & Suaram

For details, please contact Ms Leong (03-2274 6645) or Mr Ng (03-2697 1971/2)
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Read Our Interlok Analysis In CPI

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Hartal has an analysis published in the Centre for Policy Initiatives. Please see ‘Interlok: Say ‘No’ to indoctrinating our youth‘.

Also, our many past articles have been archived. (Scroll up) See menu bar on the top of this page.

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Comments
6 Responses to “LIVE Updates from Interlok forum”
  1. Yeah says:

    I wrote an imaginary summary of proceedings thinking what the forum will look like, and just for laughs, will append it below. I would like to thank hartalmsm for a straightforward update of the event, even if PAKSI and Budayan Bertindak seem to have disappeared. No panelist depart significantly from their previous public offerings, and the most important one of the five, Uthaya Sankar, continues to defend Abdullah Hussain and Interlok, believing only the student edition needs reworking if it is to be used in schools. Dr. Azmi Sharom clearly took the broader view and recognized what the real furor over Interlok is about – the institutionalized racism that is inherently entrenched in our society (thus coloring our judgement) and the fact that the novel would not be able to transcend such prejudice. For Lee Ban Chen and Dr. Chong Fah Hing, they clearly took the route that Interlok is an inferior novel to begin with, thus pitting their literary judgement in direct contradiction to Uthaya Sankar’s. Dato Thasleem, unfortunately, is just basically trying everything as long as some mud sticks.

    I think the real reason why it hasn’t caught on is simple, just as very few Malaysians have ever shown an interest in Malay language works of literature and believe in its impact towards nation building, cries that Interlok will damage the already precarious state of inter-ethnic affairs is not news. When is the last time reading a novel defined your outlook in life?

    I believe the independent panel did make some sound suggestions in allowing students who are uncomfortable with Interlok to pick another novel from other zones. That would have been the most ideal solution, regardless whether the 100+ corrections are made or not. I think Dr. Azmi’s speculation on why the Government is so insistent on retaining the novel despite its controversy is only partially correct. Yes, it is related to a fear of the Malay racist groups, but not because it is necessarily an attack on the Malay language or Malays. I think the Minister of Education loathes to show any signs of weakness before his primary audience and electorate, knowing that he will be a convenient target by groups like PERKASA for “giving in”. Hence the independent panel and feet-dragging on the matter, but praying for a clean, consensual solution. With the opposition now openly calling for Interlok’s removal, and the protracted disagreements widening, it becomes imperative that some face-saving gesture must be found. I believe there are many options available, but again, it is always politics that matters.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————

    Perhaps I can help to summarize the proceedings,

    Panelist A – Interlok is a good novel BUT…

    i. it is too controversial / exciting for our youth who will be brainwashed / indoctrinated [as opposed to the total lack of indoctrination in other education subjects in school],
    ii. it is easily misinterpreted by impressionable young minds [since adults also cannot distinguish its merit],
    iii. it has generated too much negativity and overwhelmed by events [so its original merit and intention does not matter - classic self fulfilling prophecy]),
    iv. our teachers will mess it up and it is too difficult to teach in classrooms [so is English and I support its removal too]).

    Panelist B – Interlok is a mediocre novel AND…

    i. we should replace it with one better [don't ask me which one is better, but Salina is ALWAYS a good choice],
    ii. we should blame the selection committee [why didn't they ask me first?],
    iii. Interlok is only selected because someone made money along the way [presuming the author bribed someone to grease the process],
    iv. it was chosen because there is sinister political agenda to promote 1Malaysia [which is definitely not about people of different races uniting together, right? Everytime I was made to learn about wawasan 2020, my blood boils because it is evidently political indoctrination in schools right there]).

    Panelist C – Interlok is an evil novel and the author is racist (oh wait, that sentiment most likely will come from the floor, the panelists would be too classy for that). Maybe Interlok has subversive elements and has potential hidden messages that can be harnessed by racist teachers and students [here’s a clue, Maniam should have been anything but the Pariah group with over 300 sub-divisions, nevermind that there is actually nothing wrong with being a Paraiyar, except their horrible treatment in a chapter of Indian history. It is like saying that I object to be associated with a Jew because not all Isrealites are Jews – thus betraying a continued derogation, prejudice and insult of the Untouchables.

    Panelist D – Interlok is a good novel. HOWEVER, the abridged version…

    i. where the independent panel has already identified 100+ errors [including appa and balut sari], can be purified. So if the agreement on 4 Mac is followed, I guarantee there will be no further controversy for Interlok to be used in schools,
    ii. it is all the DBP editors faults [they turned Interlok into a karya bodoh],
    iii. I speak for 1/3 of all Indians in Malaysia, so I have a responsibility [to determine what is sensitive to Indians as a Malaysian of Malayalee Indian heritage])

    Panelist E – I haven’t read the novel actually, but I can tell Interlok is a so-so novel with some literature / education merits BUT it is bad for race relations, especially for teens.

    i. not enough Malay bad guys and non-Malay good guys [which is why Hollywood movies are all racists],
    ii. the average people reading Interlok will be motivated to turn into a racist and see everything from a race-based point of view [which would mean most Malaysians have ALREADY read Interlok at some point],
    iii. for the sake of interracial harmony, we should just sweep this under the carpet [next time you authors write something about different communities in a society, try the Animal Farm way, ok?].

    During the Q&A session, the most impartial and objective chairperson took insightful comments from the floor – encouraging careful attempts to convey the irrationality and ignorance of the masses in words. After more agreement of the same, the difference between the audience and the panelist is finally revealed. Interlok, in the humble opinion of the distinguished panelists, is a mediocre or churn-of-the-mill novel. The audience clearly felt strongly that Interlok is an evil piece of writing by the devil incarnate. Anyone who speaks in representation of GAPENA and PENA will be boo-ed, and any Malay deriding Interlok will be given a big round of applause, regardless if anything said actually made sense.

    In conclusion, it was agreed that if we introduce Interlok in all Malaysian schools, we can close down BTN and save the Government some money.

    The recommended solution is that we all must agree that it is better that we withdraw Interlok, tell Abdullah Hussain we still love him, and choose Iman instead. That’s the best solution which I think will offend no one, not even Muhyiddin’s cat.

    We should also, from this point onwards, remind the MOE that referendums (or at least, approval by the general public) must be made before any decision which affects the community (read Indian, Chinese, Malay, Bajau, Bahai, Melanau, Dayak, Senoi, Penan etc.) is made. This goes beyond a review of the suitability of KOMSAS texts for Malay and English, such as History (narrowing of historical spectrum of pre-Malaccan and regional past), Tassawur Islam (lets not even go there), Pendidikan Moral (debatable ethical and moral perspectives, Kantian or Kholberg), Geography (possibilism vs. determinism), Biology (creationism vs. evolution) and the artificial division of Physics and Chemistry.

    Remember, what matters is the perception of common good, not the truth!

    CAVEAT: The summary is entirely fictitious of course, and refer to no person, real or deceased AT ALL, as it was hastily written in the spirit of creative release. Like Interlok, it is a work of fiction. But unlike Interlok, it cannot be used as literature component for Malay Language in schools because, you know, it is written in English.

    • hartalmsm says:

      Glad you turned up! I thought you didn’t wanna be there?

      Of course, blatantly indoctrination-slanted lesson plans don’t figure into your scheme of thinking. Well, I guess you’re one of those people that proves beyond doubt CS Lewis’ point:

      A ghost can appear in front of a woman and do the cha-cha, but if she had already made up her mind that she did not believe in ghosts, she would find or create every reasons to justify why the thing in front of her is not a ghost – runaway imagination due to lack of sleep, psychological problems, indigestion from some bad pizza, etc. (this is my paraphrase, of course)

      Well, thanks for your fantasy writing anyway. We’re quite acquainted with it after your numerous comments. Off with you then.

  2. Autcel says:

    I am supposed to bring concerns of PENA on this issue, but with the arguments I’ve heard it is clearly that the detractors are being fair and PENA’s concerns have already being taken care of, which I don’t have the reason to bring it up anymore. I believe that “no side is completely wrong”.

    • hartalmsm says:

      Thank you that you are big-hearted enough to consider both sides of the argument.

      Please also notice that HartalMSM’s stand has also consistently been NO BANNING / EDITING THE NOVEL. Whether we like the novel, or our interpretation of the novel is another matter, and we have a right to our opinion as anyone else, including Abdullah Hussein and Yeah.

      Of course, Yeah doesn’t feel that way – his way of helping detractors see the merits of the novel is to call them retards. But as “retarded” as he thinks we are, we were nice enough to give him space to spew his biadab-ness here.

      Such arrogant, narrow-minded people really have no ability to reflect how Kurang Ajar they really are. But we’re not really concerned with frog-in-a-bucket people like that – at most they are a minor irritation. Like flies that you need to swat at once in a while, he’s no real threat to us.

      But the bigger issue at hand here is HOW THE NOVEL IS BEING TAUGHT in the classroom. That is indisputably proven with the Ministry’s lesson plan.

      • yeah says:

        Kurang ajar? In hartalmsm’s case, it is kurang belajar kot.

        It is ironic to see hartalmsm claiming the civility pedestal when anyone who disagrees with their “opinion” (it used to be facts, until hartalmsm committed a number of errors themselves) are immediately labeled as Ketuanan Melayu apologists, Ridhuan Tee wannabes, and BTN brainwashed victims. We don’t have to go very far indeed to point out how inherently dumb is the proclaimed stand by hartalmsm:

        Please also notice that HartalMSM’s stand has also consistently been NO BANNING / EDITING THE NOVEL.

        a few lines later…

        But the bigger issue at hand here is HOW THE NOVEL IS BEING TAUGHT in the classroom.

        We disagree with the novel being banned because it’s the novelist’s freedom to his own thoughts, but we oppose the book being used to indoctrinate youths. What’s wrong with that? Or is your mind so warped that you cannot differentiate between disagreement and banning? Oh, but we can’t blame you cos that’s how it works in the govt service, isn’t it? I guess you’re too used to being a govt lappie to understand the principle of “I may disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.” It’s because of this principle that we keep publishing your drivel here, by the way. – EWO

        We have no problem with hartalmsm moving its goalpost. First the original novel is evil with BTN-esque qualities, then it becomes merely unsuitable for teens, and now, the issue is with how it is being taught. You know what inconsistent means right?

        Yeah, you dare to claim yourself educated, ka? Simple train of thought also cannot understand, meh? The novel has BTN-esque qualities, that’s why it is unsuitable for impressionable teens, especially so since we discovered from the Ministry’s lesson plan that its intention is to indoctrinate students.

        Aiyo, are you so desperately grasping at straws to try and justify your non-case that you try to create something out of nothing? Won’t work la…Sigh, bodoh sombong people like you always think everyone else are bloody idiots, not realising how stupid you sound when you expect people to believe the dumb ideas you try to sell. – EWO

        Right from the beginning, the statement that no editing should be done to Interlok is already a faulty and erroneous premise. As Uthaya Sankar has pointed out, many work of fiction have been edited for different level of readers. If hartalmsm is concerned about central messages of the book flying over the heads of our pupils (including some Malaysian adults), the logical recommendation is to seek a quality abridged version. If it is about the freedom to pick another book deemed less sensitive or more literary worthy, it would have been to suggest the use of novels from other zones. If it is about how it is taught in classrooms, it should have focused on improving the teaching module and reading guidelines.

        You see, only the irrational, the paranoid and the deluded individuals would go about the matter by slandering the author and his work, distorting the theme of unity in the novel, seeing the boogeyman at every turn and getting politicians to rile up communal sentiments to make its point.

        First, the theme of “unity” in the novel is only the accepted UMNO/BN model of “each race takes care of its own and only come together in a convenient pact to tackle a common purpose.” We don’t buy that model of unity. Oh, but again, you’re obviously so deep in the bowels of UMNO/BN ideology that you can see nor accept no other worldview, aren’t you? We get it. We pity you, but we get it. Besides, the depictions of the various races that are being sold as “historical facts” are nothing but biased stereotypes. You think it’s ok to teach students biased stereotypes far removed from reality as “historical facts”? Perhaps you also think it’s OK to teach Hitler’s Mein Kampf in schools as “historical fact”?

        Second, we’re not interested in recommending books. We are not in contact with the authorities, so why should we do that? That role is being played by NIAT, who HAVE recommended books from other states. But the authorities proved their refusal to listen by pushing Interlok through with minimal changes.

        Third, nobody knew for sure how sneakily this whole indoctrination is being done. And there was no sure way to counter propagandists like you muddying the waters. But when we finally got clear proof from the ministry’s study plan, of course we have to raise the alarm so that people can take action. But here you are pushing the nonsense that we, a mere blog, should instead devise and recommend our own more suitable lesson plan? OI!! SPM students take their BM paper based on Ministry lesson plan or Hartal’s?!

        Something wrong with your head, ka?

        And by the way, how is displaying unedited excerpts of Interlok slandering the author and his work/distorting the theme of unity, pray tell?

        Of course I cannot be possibly of ANY threat to hartalmsm. It is curious that any disagreement to hartalmsm’s peddled rubbish can be described as such. This IS YOUR soapbox, no? I am a mere commentator who enjoys his nick, just like Crankster and Eyes Wide Open with theirs. Hartalmsm is definitely entitled to its own OPINION, just like Yeah and Autcel. But when hartalmsm goes to town with its self proclaimed analysis, that’s like taking “opinion” for a ride to the moon – not just a few steps too far, but way out of this world, man.

        Well, if our documented analysis is like taking “opinion” for a ride to the moon (whatever THAT means), we’d like to hear what your well-grounded analysis and opinion is (we’ve been waiting for it since you turned up here, remember?) So far, you have NEVER presented ANY points to support the novel’s “literary & educational merits” and NEVER described the “truth” that we have allegedly distorted. All you’ve done is to insult people and nitpick! – EWO

        The forum panelists are fair, by and large, but calling hartalmsm fair would have been wrong.

        Funny, how come you agree the 4 panellists are fair and insist we’re wrong, when HartalMSM are in FULL AGREEMENT with them? Weren’t you attacking our opinions ferociously, which also happens to be almost exactly the same opinions raised by the panelists? Who’s shifting the goalposts now?

        Oh, I get it! You are trying to suck up to PENA to recoup their support for the govt, now that they seem to be softening their stand, right?

        Sayang, if you shovel too much bullshit ah, you gonna drown yourself in a hole that’s too large to get out of. I suggest you cut your losses and quit. – EWO

      • Yeah says:

        Calm down EWO, no need to get your knickers all twisted in a knot, LOL! I’ve said this before, hartalmsm can sock its false magnanimosity for just having a commentary section. A blog that thrives on repeated diatribes, it is amusing to see just how much hartalmsm promotes “civility enhances discourse”.

        “HartalMSM’s stand has also consistently been NO BANNING / EDITING THE NOVEL.” ~ EWO

        I am highlighting this statement because hartalmsm is again trying to bluster and blather its way through. I was not aware that someone is calling for a ban of Interlok, except for some ignorant masses who were told that Interlok is similar to Mein Kampf – Hitler’s autobiography which contains expositions of his political thought. I have also been reliably informed that some have argued that the use of Interlok will eventually result in Rwandan-like genocides in Malaysia.

        It is evident that hartalmsm considers Interlok to be evil. The writers have described the novel as “a hastily put-together piece of crap”, “a book that has no pedigree” and a “sick book written by a shallow mind”. And then EWO comes along and act all innocent and asks:

        “And by the way, how is displaying unedited excerpts of Interlok slandering the author and his work/distorting the theme of unity, pray tell?” ~ EWO

        By deliberately ignoring the story, context, plot, message and central theme of unity in Interlok, hartalmsm cherry-picked parts of the over 400-page novel to incite hatred among non-readers. Even positive stereotypes are decidedly re-interpreted and distorted to conform to hartalmsm’s perverted hypothesis. The character Kim Lock, upon his arrival in Singapore, took on all kinds of odd jobs to meet ends meet, including as a collector of human excrement / night soil. Instead of evidence for exceptional determination to work hard and earn an honest living, hartalmsm saw fit to use a headline that screams “Interlok: Chinese Immigrants came here to carry shit buckets”. Such attempts by hartalmsm is commonplace and it goes so far that the blog even denies the existence of push and pull factors in influencing the Chinese migrants to Malaya.

        If anything, it is fundamentally stupid of hartalmsm to share GAPENA’s silly outburst that not a single word in Interlok can be amended. It is also this dogmatic belief that renders moot all efforts to produce a quality, abridged version of Interlok for high school students (or any other works of literature, for that matter). Ultimately, hartalmsm shares NIAT’s position that Interlok is beyond any repair, not that it should not be repaired, for younger readers. As such, the question of “indoctrinating” teaching modules by MOE does not even matter. If it does, hartalmsm is saying that Interlok can be used, provided that a “right” teaching module can be found. Of course no one expects hartalmsm to contribute anything resembling a solution for any of the ideas (i.e. improving the student’s edition of Interlok, suggesting alternative KOMSAS texts, enhancing the teaching module). If it can hardly form a consistent position on the matter itself, any work that requires some cognitive abilities would be beyond hartalmsm.

        Since hartalmsm clearly does not subscribe to the concept of charity begins at home, perhaps the bloggers are a proponent of the Mohist philosophy? Interlok is a historical novel, not a history textbook. Since when did anyone say Interlok is being sold as historical facts?

        “OI!! SPM students take their BM paper based on Ministry lesson plan or Hartal’s?!” ~ EWO

        Actually, SPM students take their BM paper based on the syllabus outlined by the MOE. It is the teachers that peruse the teaching module, designed to facilitate classroom teaching. The MOE prepares the KOMSAS teaching module and reference notes to help with the teaching and learning of Interlok. Can the MOE do a better job? Sure, room for improvement is always there, but hartalmsm is not interested in the teaching and learning of Interlok, no? Hartalmsm is only interested in removing Interlok from our schools because it has decided that the novel should no be taught at all.

        What happens to Interlok as KOMSAS text now?

        That depends on who you ask on the forum panel, really. Hartalmsm claimed that they are in full agreement with them, sharing “almost exactly the same opinions”. So, according to Uthaya Sankar in his latest blog entry:

        …”masalah” berhubung isu-isu menyentuh sensitiviti kaum India dalam novel Interlok edisi murid sudah selesai dan tidak perlu dipolemikkan atau dipolitikkan lagi.

        http://uthayasb.blogspot.com/2011/03/taklimat-media-di-dewan-soma.html

        Of course, the Kavyan President believes that the Malays and Chinese should now take their turn to raise objections over the sensitive parts in Interlok so that the student edition can be completely “purified”.

        This is after 19 matters (out of 106 suggested amendments) were decided to be potentially sensitive to Malaysian Indians which will be removed or altered in Interlok. Bearing in mind the changes will not essentially alter the story, message and context of the novel, it means that there is essentially nothing wrong with Interlok’s central theme of unity.

        So, if hartalmsm is “in full agreement” with the panelists, it would now be calling for the MOE to edit out parts they deem sensitive for the Malays and Chinese. It has done very well thus far, and like I have said before, all we have to do is to make Cing Huat thinner, his eyes (and his offsprings’ eyes) larger, and hartalmsm is good to go. Afterall, if three independent panel members can speak for all Malaysian Indians, surely they can find another five independent panel members for the Malaysian Chinese (in the spirit of population ratio representation).

        Welcome to the bizzare triumph of mediocrity in thinking.

        I wonder what will hartalmsm do now? NIAT’s President is already saying that it will not accept anything short of a withdrawal of Interlok and no amount of amendments to the student edition can change this demand.

        Alamak, how to agree with Thasleem and Uthaya at the same time?

        ———

        It’s pointless to argue with pathological liars and idiots. So I’ll just highlight a few of the more ridiculous things you raised so we can all have a good chuckle at the juara bahlol kampung trying to sound smart here:

        “HartalMSM’s stand has also consistently been NO BANNING / EDITING THE NOVEL.” ~ EWO
        I am highlighting this statement because hartalmsm is again trying to bluster and blather its way through.

        Just cut and paste a single statement in all our articles that called for Interlok to be banned or edited. Just one will do.

        By deliberately ignoring the story, context, plot, message and central theme of unity in Interlok, hartalmsm cherry-picked parts of the over 400-page novel to incite hatred among non-readers

        You couldn’t get past 10 pages in the novel without some ill-informed and biased stereotypes being thrown in your face. You couldn’t miss it if you wanted to. And these stereotypes are being touted as “historical fact” that are taught in classrooms as typical attributes of minorities’ societies. If the excerpts incite hatred, maybe you should ask the writer and the Ministry why it is so.

        Since when did anyone say Interlok is being sold as historical facts?

        Aiyo…you really shouldn’t be so sloppy la. You should really try to lie more convincingly! Here are the links that show intellectuals, writers, teachers, DBP, UMNO, PERKASA, Edu Minister, and think tanks supporting Interlok as portraying historical fact. Of course, all these received wide coverage in the media compared to the sparse reports of why people oppopse Interlok. By the way, the media are also not passive reporters, as this op-ed shows here. And some blog opinions here and here. Of course, we can’t document everything, but this gives a good sampling.

        If anything, it is fundamentally stupid of hartalmsm to share GAPENA’s silly outburst that not a single word in Interlok can be amended.

        Hmmm…I seem to remember someone saying:
        “Four National Laureates have issued a joint statement to join the resounding consensus of academicians, scholars and writers. Wake up hartalmsm!”

        “You need evidence to support Interlok? Well, what sort of evidence do you need? Endorsement by Malay authors of its literary merit? Check. Endorsement by a select committee who pick such texts for KOMSAS? Check. Opinions of experts like Prof. Awang Sariyan and academic scholars? Check.”

        Calling GAPENA stupid now? Didn’t you hold them up as the unquestionable authority of Interlok’s merit not so many weeks ago. I guess you have NEVER shifted goalposts huh? By the way, Prof. Awang Sariyan is also one of the people who endorse Interlok as a suitable text as it portrays “historical fact” – something that you claim never happened.

        Hartalmsm claimed that they are…sharing “ALMOST exactly the same opinions” (of the forum panellists).
        So, if hartalmsm is “in full agreement” with the panelists…bleat, bleat, bleat…

        We never claimed to have EXACTLY the same opinions, did we? And we fully agree with the panel that Interlok is NOT a suitable text for schools. Who’s cherry-picking now, huh? Or is it simply a case of you inability to handle even simple English?

        SPM students take their BM paper based on the syllabus outlined by the MOE.
        …but hartalmsm is not interested in the teaching and learning of Interlok

        Bodoh nak mampus, still want to sell this stupid point.

        Welcome to the bizzare triumph of mediocrity in thinking.

        Well, Interlok stays and the indoctrination is good to go is it not? We’d say we can agree with you on this point at least.

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