Interlok – haiya…mau bising buat apa?

by Eyes Wide Open

Why it’s important to remove Interlok from the school syllabus?

Simply because it is not a suitable book for present times, given the racial politics being incessantly played out at all levels of Malaysian government and society. In more matured times, perhaps this novel could be read with more open hearts and minds and accepted for what it is, flaws and all.

But at the moment, with the BTN working hard to indoctrinate our youths with racial doctrines. With politicians hell-bent on turning everything into a racial issue. With the myriad race relation problems confronting Malaysia now. Is it wise to let a novel that can be easily manipulated to fulfill a certain agenda be forced down our children’s throats?

To those who still think that using Interlok as compulsory reading in schools is no big deal and that people are just making a big hoo-haa over nothing, a little history lesson is in order.


(Information sourced from here)

After the horrifying Rwandan genocide in 1994 that killed millions, an International Panel of Eminent Personalities was commissioned to investigate the genocide and surrounding events. In searching for answers, the Panel noted that:

2.16. Much of the elaborate Hamitic ideology was simply invented by the Catholic White Fathers, missionaries who wrote what later became the established version of Rwandan history to conform to their essentially racist views.

The same thing happened in Malaysia, when the English colonists conveniently and arbitrarily lumped all peoples of the Nusantara region under “Malay”, all arrivals from the Indian subcontinent as “Indian” and all immigrants from China as “Chinese”. This simplistic and arbitrary racial profiling was merely a convenient way for the British to divide and rule Malaya administratively, economically and politically.

But our founding fathers chose to perpetuate the myth of races forced to cooperate and coexist out of necessity. This national myth of an artificial racial unity continued for generations and is so internalised that West Malaysians get a culture shock when visiting East Malaysia, where they can see what REAL racial harmony looks like!

Because they controlled all schooling in the colony, the White Fathers were able, with the full endorsement of the Belgians, to indoctrinate generations of school children, both Hutu and Tutsi, with the pernicious Hamitic notions.Whatever else they learned, no student could have failed to absorb the lessons of ethnic cleavage and racial ranking.

And what was the result of this racial indoctrination of Rwandan schoolchildren? More than a million murdered, leaving behind a broken nation that has not recovered to this day.

But isn’t this similar to the BTN is doing to our nation’s youths – indoctrinating them with ideologies of racial rankings and cleavages. And now they are reaching into younger and younger minds by forcing them to absorb the same BTN themes and prejudices illustrated so well in Interlok.

Nobody at HartalMSM is calling for a ban on Interlok – the writer is entitled to his own point of view and artistic expression. Out in the open market, people have a choice whether they want to read the book and whether they agree with the ideas in the book.

But now, SPM students (numbering close to 500,000 students every year) are being FORCED to read this mediocre book, memorise key passages and fill their minds with the Ministry of Education’s official analysis of the book. (You can find the analysis here. Or read here for our own summary. Note the Ministry’s heavy emphases to the Malay/Chinese dynamic that so closely reflect BTN ideology.)

2.17. Together, the Belgians and the Catholic church were guilty of what some call “ethnogenesis” – the institutionalization of rigid ethnic identities for political purposes. The proposition that it was legitimate to politicize and polarize society through ethnic cleavages – to play the ‘ethnic card’ for political advantage…

Does this sound familiar at all to anyone? Or is it just me? Isn’t much of the Malaysia created by BN all about institutionalising rigid ethnic identities for political purposes? (Heck, there’s a race delineation for almost everything in Malaysia!)

If these seeds of BTN-style politics are allowed to be implanted in our schoolchildren unchallenged, who knows what fruits will come to bear in Malaysia later? You don’t even need all the SPMers to follow BTN thinking. You just need 10%, and that will give you a steady stream of about 50,000 Ketuanan Melayu types being produced every year.

Malaysia may not be in immediate danger of suffering such extreme results of racial indoctrination as Rwanda, but here’s one example of what’s already happening NOW:

What? This is mere exception you say?

How about another example here?And here? And here? And here? Sadly, these are just a few of the more high-profile cases in a long list of examples of lesser races in Malaysia being denigrated, ignored and denied justice.

And all these cases certainly did not arise from a vacuum. If there’s a fruit, there had to be some seeds sown in the first place, right?

Who knows what else is in store if BTN-style indoctrination is allowed to run rampant in Malaysian schools.

Nazi Germany

(Information sourced from here)

In the few years that Hitler was in power, the Nazis completely dominated the education system and systematically indoctrinated Germany’s children with racist Nazi ideology.

Racial indoctrination in the classroom included teaching young children how to spot a Jew by describing the physical traits which Nazis believed were associated with inferior peoples.

Does this sound eerily familiar with the countless passages in Interlok that typify the Chinese as fat, slit eyed, oily, etc. Also let’s not forget that just about EVERY Chinese character in Interlok are ruthless money-grubbers, cheats, arrogant pricks and on a mission to grab every treasure from the Malay with a vengeance.

So our Malay school children are being taught to view their Chinese friends as slimy crooks just waiting to swindle the “stupid and lazy” Malays out of their life savings at the drop of a hat. (Hey, I didn’t call the Malays that, the Chinese characters in Interlok did!)

And for good measure, the official Ministry guide for Interlok lesson plans emphasises again and again that the Chinese and Indians are only loyal to their respective motherlands as evidenced by their enthusiasm for building vernacuar schools whose purpose is to teach their future generations to be loyal to their parents’ motherlands.

By the way, don’t 9o% of the Chinese students in Sekolah Kebangsaan come from SRJK (C)? Oh, but I’m sure that no Malay student will ever put 1+1 together, right?

And this is a book that the Ministry picked because it is allegedly a reflection of good race relations in Malaysia? Seriously?

Over the years, the Hitler Youth organization would gradually supplant the traditional elementary and secondary school system and become the main force educating German youth.

As I mentioned in my previous post, we can see the obvious encroachment of the BTN flavour into younger and younger minds. At first, BTN indoctrination was only compulsory for all public uni students via the Kursus Kenegaraan. Then someone probably realised that many youngsters don’t attend public uni anymore.

So now, all private college students (both local and foreign) are required the take the compulsory BTN-flavoured Malaysian Studies module. Which basically propagates the BN style of racial politics. But someone probably then realised that many youngsters don’t have tertiary education. So what to do?

Hit the SPM students, obviously – almost every child in Malaysia makes it to SPM level what! (They’ll be going after UPSR students soon if we don’t watch out!)

And what are the themes that the Ministry (read their guide, seriously) wants our students to absorb as they study Interlok? Well, it’s basically the same stuff as this:

And the result of this kind of indoctrination?

Meanwhile, according to some people, we should all just sit back, think happy thoughts, and all this will somehow become more and more of a figment of our racist, ADHD imaginations.

Or Do you think we should actually try to learn something that’s really of value from history?

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