Interlok protestors – liars, childish, ignorant, inconsistent and mad

Commentor “Yeah” has stepped up to the plate to defend Interlok from the “denials faced by the “uninformed masses – as embodied by the folks in hartalmsm”.

We offered him a platform on HartalMSM to share his views on what great benefits Interlok would bring as a work of literature for BM students, as well as a work of art that will soothe the nation’s ethnic suspicions. He has provided the following answer.

We had so hoped that he would be able to clear our cynical minds and soothe our hardened souls by producing compelling evidence and arguments FOR Interlok’s benefits. But it seems that Yeah is content to merely accuse us and all other detractors as liars, childish, ignorant, inconsistent and mad.Well, at least he said it in flowery, intellectual language.

Although we feel somewhat shortchanged in terms of quality of debate, we will still honour our end of the offer.

Our own rebuttals will be in the comments section:

– Eyes Wide Open

————————-

by “Yeah”

Just as I disagree that the usage of an abdriged edition of Interlok will not lead to the end of the world as we know it, I do not think its adoption (nor any other novel for that matter) will result in world peace.

Hartalmsm has been repeating lies about Interlok’s importance and impact, deliberately ignoring the fact that it will be used for Form 5 students in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya only (Zone 2). It also intentionally ignored the fact that such texts are selected and replaced from time to time.

Hartalmsm offers no alternatives on what it thinks is good enough as a text, but keeps citing parts of the novel where Chinese and Indian characters were portrayed negatively as a reason we should ditch the novel.

It boils down to the infantile view that all racial portrayals must be positive only, making it downright impossible to have villains unless they are Japanese or English. I suppose Hindraf can get the British and Japanese to share their outrage. Afterall, it is not true that the British or Japanese are cruel people, no?

EWO goes about throwing the figure of half a million impressionable young minds, and stating that even if a fraction is brainwashed, Interlok’s damage is done. Nevermind that the figure is closer to one-fifth of that number, and removing Interlok from schools is only another prickle in the bubble of denials faced by the uninformed masses – as embodied by the folks in hartalmsm.

The real truth is that racism is rife in our society, and our children are taught to be racists by example. Attacking Kenegaraan Malaysia is misguided, and BTN is only part of a larger problem in this country.

In perspective, Interlok is probably naive to imagine a harmonious multiracial spirit, we-are-all-in-it-together outcome, but it is FICTION, no?

There is no consistency in the arguments put forth by the detractors of Interlok. To them, Interlok HAS to be an inferior literary product because that is the only way the protests can be justified. But it is a quandary because the people who are able to decide whether Interlok has literary or educational merit like GAPENA, PENA has already spoken.

Even though the NUTP decided that Interlok is a hot potato they can do without, the organization supported sanitization efforts. But it will never be enough for those who sees Interlok as an essentially flawed product. It is this deep-seated prejudice that fuels the outrage against Interlok, despite the many mea-culpas who said that they are only against Interlok as a literature reading text for BM.

Here, at this juncture, we are fed with the supposed concerns of well intentioned people who fear that Interlok will turn our young teens into bloody racists, forgetting that Lee Su Ann’s “The Curse” – second prize winner in the English Novel Category of the Utusan Group’s 2005 Young Adult Literature Competition, features a Malay-only protagonist and antagonist where father murders daughter, wife murders husband, mob murders a witch, oh, you know, the usuals that goes about in rustic villages.

Yes, that book is used for English’s literature component for Pahang,Terengganu, Johor, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

Still don’t see the point?

When educational matters are politicised, the first thing to go is actually the welfare of the students and the teachers. Instead of thinking about how Interlok is a novel that offers critical stereotypes of Malayans in works of fiction, we are telling the authorities that our teens need to be protected from such images in life.

It is a fact that vernacular schools were created because the migrant community felt a need to preserve their roots, and it is only in Malaysia we have such amazing legacies. Many poured their wealth, effort and time into such institutions – a testament of their belief that education is most important for their children’s future and a basic human right. Is this wrong? How is that a negative portrayal?

Apparently “sepet” is also a derogatory description, so my friends must be extremely upset for being born with slit-eyes. Yasmin Ahmad, your movie failed to lift the word out of purgatory! Because Cing Huat in Interlok is fat, and we all know being plus size is a very very bad thing, all Chinese Malaysians should raise objections and ask the author to make Cing Huat handsome and slim. Nevermind the examples hartalmsm actually are mostly descriptions of the same person – Cing Huat. Hey, the author has to be consistent ok, if he described Cing Huat as a fatty in page 6, he should be a fatter fatty in page 290, ok?

Don’t you see the madness?

Comments
32 Responses to “Interlok protestors – liars, childish, ignorant, inconsistent and mad”
  1. Yeah says:

    Can’t wait.

    Didn’t ask to be put on a platform so that hartalmsm can show how impartial the blog is. Perfectly contented to engage the bloggers in the commentary section. But if hartalmsm needs help from the blogosphere for an entry filed under Fair comment, Hypocrisy First, Poodle, I welcome the circle jerk. Hahahaha…

    By the way, next time, if you want to go for the ad hominem to avoid the arguments to sustain your “quality of debates”, get a mirror. For the first knee-jerk reaction of a blogsite to disagreeing comments is to reveal where it is commenting from, especially when it says “Your email address will not be published”, expecting an apology is obviously not going to be possible.

    Have some semblence of principles at least, sheesh.

    • hartalmsm says:

      Who’s expecting an apology?

      Sheesh, blindsiding with irrelevant assumptions won’t work if you are serious about rational debate.

      We’re still waiting for your opinions of Interlok’s pros and some substantial reasoning why what we surmise is wrong, by the way. All we’ve heard from you so far is how wrong and dumb everyone else is – again and again and again.

    • hartalmsm says:

      Dear Yeah,

      ‘Poodle’ is simply our own idiosyncratic filing system (dashboard function) for featuring a particular post as the day’s highlight & the term not targetted at you personally. Some 95 percent of our posts are tagged ‘Poodle’, the remaining 5 percent being those that we do not highlight. Appreciate your engagement in this blog. Whatever points you make are given due consideration.

      Cheers

  2. jakun says:

    Yeah,

    I must say your argument is what we see typically of a cyber commentor. Friend, reality is different, the only difference is it has not knocked your door yet nor you do really understand the issue in hand. Like what you said “But it is a quandary because the people who are able to decide whether Interlok has literary or educational merit like GAPENA, PENA has already spoken”. No you are wrong here, they don’t decide the school curriculum but the government’s policies do. Go and see what is the criteria before a book is introduced for compulsory read for nation building.

    No, we not uninformed masses, we are the awaken masses, the uniformed masses are those who sat along and absorbed everything as long as their platter is filled without a notch of thought for the society that has been created for our own individual silencefor the last 54 years.

    As Lao Tzu says “he who conquers others are strong, but he who mastered himself is mighty”. For 54 years we conquered others for ourselves but never mastered ourselves for the society that we live in and that is why most like you will continue to be another artifically contented personality to fill your own frustration and escapism as long as it does not rock your boat.

    Don’t take it personally, but understand and comprehend that you are limitless for yourself but limited in your contribution for the betterment of the community.

  3. hartalmsm says:

    “Hartalmsm has been repeating lies about Interlok’s importance and impact”

    Visit http://www.myniat.com for an in-depth analysis, INCLUDING comparisons with other works of Malaysian literature and their reasons for the MOE’s acceptance and rejection.

    “It boils down to the infantile view that all racial portrayals must be positive only”

    Pure speculation.

    This was never our point and we had never written so. We merely pointed out that Interlok is a very convenient tool for BTN-style indoctrination, given that its racial stereotypes are closely reflection in BTN’s race bashing modules. This is backed up by the Ministry’s own guidelines which emphasise again and again the ethnic cleavages between the major races in Peninsular Malaysia. Further evidence is the rising cases of racism in schools by teachers and students.

    Do we still deny the evidence of a fire, even though there are billowing clouds of black smoke all around?

    “EWO goes about throwing the figure of half a million impressionable young minds, and stating that even if a fraction is brainwashed, Interlok’s damage is done. Nevermind that the figure is closer to one-fifth of that number.”

    Ok, not 50,000 but 10,000 impressionable minds brainwashed. Not bad enough? How many people did it take to murder 6 million Jews during the Holocaust? Not a whole lot, I can tell you.

    “Lee Su Ann’s The Curse”

    That is not a novel that is being held up as a model of race relations in Malaysia like Interlok. So what’s the relevance here? Just because the characters are Malay? And WE’RE being accused of having prejudiced minds? Sheesh!

    “Instead of thinking about how Interlok is a novel that offers critical stereotypes of Malayans in works of fiction, we are telling the authorities that our teens need to be protected from such images in life.”

    No, we are saying that given the BTN indoctrination has infiltrated deep into Malaysian (and more specifically Malay) consciousness, Interlok with its racial stereotypes can be easily used to justify racial doctrines to teens. And going by the Ministry’s own lesson guidelines, that seems to be exactly the direction its headed.

    “It is a fact that vernacular schools were created because the migrant community felt a need to preserve their roots”

    You have conveniently neglected to mention (or perhaps you are ignorant of this fact) that vernacular schools were established because very few other choices were available to the immigrants. Most of the other schools were English / Mission schools where the elite attended or Malay schools, both of which would hardly welcome the poor immigrant masses.

    Furthermore, the Ministry’s Interlok lesson guide portrays it EXPLICITLY as an avenue to teach FUTURE generations to love India and China as their motherlands. Given that in the context of the novels, this happened in the 1950’s, today’s SRJK students will only be the 3rd or 4th generation removed from present day – implying that this vernacular school indoctrination is still strongly encouraged now. Besides, this is EXACTLY the BS that BTN is telling in the Kenegaraan courses.

    “the examples hartalmsm actually are mostly descriptions of the same person – Cing Huat”

    The 3 main characters and the supporting cast are touted (again by the Ministry) as accurate microcosms of race relation realities in Malaysia. And the race relations in Interlok are close reflections of BTN racial stereotypes used to indoctrinate our country’s youths.

    Still don’t gettit?

    We’re still waiting for your arguments FOR the benefits of Interlok, ya?

    – EWO

    • Yeah says:

      Yeah, still waiting for http://www.myniat.com/ to load. Are you sure the link works even?

    • Yeah says:

      The Pearl could also be used for BTN-style indoctrination, you know, with the indigenous people being cheated and all. It is also about racism and oppression, depending on who is telling the story, I am sure.

      Using the rising cases of racism in schools by teachers and students is a red herring because hartalmsm not only cited no statistics, but also ignored the possibility of media’s selective highlight, increase in the number of students / schools and fleeting perceptions / impressions backed by no trend data.

      Where are these imaginary clouds of black smoke. Are you referring to the way hartalmsm chose to present fact and fiction together, blurring causative and correlational factors?

      Hartalmsm gives inflated figures for students they fear will be brainwashed by Interlok. If our students can be brainwashed that easily, education would have been a breeze-lah. Interlok is a selected text for BM literature, you know, like the bahasa klasik texts we need to learn for a component of the paper. Exaggerating and misrepresenting its impact is just what politicians like to do to create fear and unrest. All the fearmongering has not only maligned the author of Interlok, but also distorted the message and intention of the novel.

      Don’t lecture me about the history of vernacular schools and its origins. Vernacular chinese schools predated many mission schools, and in any case, there are no Malay schools as you know it in pre-Malayan days. The Malays have no secular educational institutions using their mother tongue except the Arabic pondoks and madrasahs. Even the MCKK is an English language school in the mould of Penang Free and Anglo Chinese. The urban migrant community have more access to quality education than the average Malay, and in any case, the medium of instruction in these institutions mean that the early Malays have very little options unless they are the elite.

      The Interlok guide stated clearly that it is understandable and nothing is wrong with the early migrant communities love and loyalty to their land of origins. It recognizes the ancestral lineage and ties, and it is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. We are all Malaysians, but it does not mean we need to deny our history, our culture and our origins.

      I do not need to present arguments on the benefits of Interlok simply because it is not an issue here. The detractors on Interlok are wailing away that we should remove Interlok because it is faulty. Unless that can be proven, Interlok stays. Unfortunately, to our bean counting politicians, it will be votes that matter and perceptions – however wrong and misguided, will rule the day.

      • hartalmsm says:

        “The Pearl could also be used for BTN-style indoctrination”

        Sigh…you really shouldn’t keep making assumptions that nobody else reads except for you. Because when you make assumptions, you are making an ASS out of U and MPTIONS.

        For anyone curious to see how completely irrelevant Yeah’s comparison is, read the study guide for the Pearl HERE. Then read the MOE’s study guide for Interlok HERE.

        Anyone would agree that there is quite a difference in approach and life lessons to be taken away. So besides the fact that both novels have characters of different races, where’s the relevance to Interlok?

        “Using the rising cases of racism in schools by teachers and students is a red herring because hartalmsm not only cited no statistics, but also ignored the possibility of media’s selective highlight”

        Well, let’s have a level playing field in this debate. What’s good for the goose certainly must be good for the gander. So please provide some statistics rebutting the rise of racism in schools and for good measure, please furnish how Interlok will contribute to racial harmony and integration in schools? So far all you’ve only asserted how wrong everyone else is for opposing Interlok. You haven’t contributed a speck of evidence to support Interlok.

        “Hartalmsm gives inflated figures for students they fear will be brainwashed by Interlok. If our students can be brainwashed that easily, education would have been a breeze-lah.”

        So the two studies of how school indoctrination in Rwanda and Germany resulted in tragic ends are merely figments of our imaginations?

        “Vernacular chinese schools predated many mission schools”

        What nonsense! The British brought in the immigrants who established these vernacular schools and you’re saying that the British had hardly any schools of their own?

        “there are no Malay schools as you know it in pre-Malayan days. The Malays have no secular educational institutions using their mother tongue except the Arabic pondoks and madrasahs. Even the MCKK is an English language school in the mould of Penang Free and Anglo Chinese.”

        Yes. And were these schools open to the kuli immigrants?

        “The urban migrant community have more access to quality education than the average Malay”

        That is assuming that the MAJORITY of the immigrants were rich and classy enough to attend these elite non-vernacular schools. This alternate history of Malaysia only exists within the confines of BTN racial doctrine. This statement alone reveals the basis of your beliefs, more than anything else you have written thus far. You have finally proven yourself to be a product of the BTN through and through. By the way, why don’t you visit the vernacular schools in Malay-majority areas such as Kelantan and see the situation there? Talk to the parents on the ground instead of sitting on your high-horse and spouting theories about What Interlok Is and Isn’t.

        “The Interlok guide stated clearly that it is understandable and nothing is wrong with the early migrant communities love and loyalty to their land of origins.”

        This circular reasoning from you is getting so lame. So I’ll say this for the last time. Aw heck, I’ll just cut and paste from my previous reply:

        No, we are saying that given the BTN indoctrination has infiltrated deep into Malaysian (and more specifically Malay) consciousness, Interlok with its racial stereotypes can be easily used to justify racial doctrines to teens. And going by the Ministry’s own lesson guidelines, that seems to be exactly the direction its headed.

        Furthermore, the Ministry’s Interlok lesson guide portrays it EXPLICITLY as an avenue to teach FUTURE generations to love India and China as their motherlands. Given that in the context of the novels, this happened in the 1950′s, today’s SRJK students will only be the 3rd or 4th generation removed from present day – implying that this vernacular school indoctrination is still strongly encouraged now. Besides, this is EXACTLY the BS that BTN is telling in the Kenegaraan courses.

        “I do not need to present arguments on the benefits of Interlok simply because it is not an issue here.”

        Nice try but you can’t avoid substantiating your points if you want to make and impact with your arguments…in a good debate, you have to present your points and not just run down others’ points. Even primary school debate teams learn this basic rule. If you have none, just say so la…you won’t be the first tin kosong we’ve seen coming here and shooting blanks.

      • Yeah says:

        Oi bodoh, I am not the one saying racism is on the rise in schools, so why am I the one having to prove it is on the decline? Same thing with asking me to prove the merits of Interlok. I am not the one claiming Interlok is evil incarnate. All I have to do is to point out your faulty reasoning and the whole house of cards will collapse.

        Yes, go read the MOE guide for Interlok, go.

        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.

        Oh, are you looking for specific portions of the text where the Malays, Chinese and Indians are portrayed in positive light? You gave some yorself in your excerpts. CHECK!

        What nonsense! The British brought in the immigrants who established these vernacular schools and you’re saying that the British had hardly any schools of their own? ~ hartalmsm

        This is the problem when you deal with people who knows nothing of what they are talking about. The first Chinese school in the Malay peninsula dates as far back as 1815 (Freedman, 2001; Gill 2007), with many more unrecorded ones. The first English school (Penang Free) was established in 1816.

        Who do you think first study at these English schools? The Malays? The wealthy Chinese and expatriates-lah. It wasn’t in vogue at that time for the Malay princes to go to English schools as that comes after these institutions are well established. Why do you think MCKK was needed? It was to assuage the fear of the Malay elite that their children, once checking into say the Anglo Chinese school will come out christians.

        I think you must have imagined those English schools are free. If you can pay, you can gain entrance, why do you think the Chinese tycoons have their children sent there? You are a stupid idiot to call me a product of BTN when history of education in Malaysia clearly documentated such information. PAS in Kelantan has always trumpeted how Chinese schools are thriving in their area. Mind you, you are confusing vernacular schools in the modern definition with private schools. I don’t blame you. You have no grasp of facts.

        As for the sinister tanahair claims:

        7. Kita hendaklah mencintai tanah air sendiri.

        – Cing Huat berusaha dengan cara sendiri untuk membina sekolah di kawasan tempat tinggal mereka bagi memastikan anak-anak kaum Cina tidak lupa akan asal-usul dan bahasa ibunda mereka.

        – Kaum India yang diwakili oleh Cikgu Raman juga mendirikan sekolah Tamil agar anak-anak India tidak lupa akan asal-usulnya.

        8. Kita hendaklah menderma kepada orang yang memerlukan sekiranya kita mampu.

        – Cing Huat berusaha dengan cara sendiri untuk membina sekolah di kawasan tempat tinggal mereka bagi memastikan anak-anak kaum Cina tidak lupa akan asal-usul dan bahasa ibunda mereka.

        These are the lessons MOE wants our students to learn. Is it wrong? It is encouraging our Chinese and Indian students not to forget their roots and mother tongue.Isn’t that what the folks at the Chinese Assembly Halls and Dong Jiao Zong wants? How is it a BTN conspiracy?

        To protest against the use of Interlok because hartalmsm harbour hallucinations of its potential BTN indoctrination is like saying we shouldn’t use scissors because people can get hurt.

        You want to be in a debating team that bad? Been there done that. I enjoy running down your points. In fact, my point is simple. Hartalmsm has no case against Interlok as a literature text for Form 5 students. Reasons? Aplenty. The literary merit of the work, the message it conveys, the lessons (both linguistically and morally) to be learnt, all education related. These are such self evident facts that requires no further elaboration. On the contrary, hartalmsm provides “what if” conjectures, arguing that Interlok “can be” used for BTN-style indoctrination, exaggerates its impact and most childishly, render words like “sepet” and “gempal” as racially derogatory terms. It is a new low I must admit.

      • hartalmsm says:

        EXHIBIT A: Yeah’s words highlighted in bold
        Typical BTN doctrine – ALL Chinese got rich off the Malay land and enjoy fantastic privileges available only to themselves, while the poor Malays are locked out of even basic facilities like education.

        EXHIBIT B:
        “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.”

        All academics and civil servants are required to attend BTN courses, and reaudit them periodically. Yeah wants everyone to assume that NONE of their opinions are tainted. Well…we won’t comment on who’s bodoh enough to buy that line.

        This is taken from PENA’s statement about Interlok (read it in full here):

        Daripada pengalaman, desakan daripada Ngo-Ngo bukan Melayu, selalunya digeruni oleh kerajaan BN/Umno, manakala Ngo-Ngo Melayu tidak digeruni oleh mereka kerana dalam mana-mana pilihan raya pun masih ramai lagi orang Melayu setia dan mengundi Umno/BN. Kalau pengundi Melayu berpaling arah, maka Melayu akan diberi perhatian istimewa nanti oleh Umno/BN. Ini berlaku di kawasan-kawasan di mana PR memenangi kawasan itu.

        Oh! Melayuku! Demikianlah Melayu di tangan pemimpin Melayu yang perjuangkan ketuanan Melayu. Tunggulah Buku ‘Melayu Hilang Di Dunia’ tulisan Khalid Salleh yang menurutnya akan diterbitkan sebelum PRK DUN Tenang. Buku ini memaparkan, dalam banyak hal Melayu sudah kehilangan segala-galanya.

        And this is from a quote by the secretaryof GAPENA, Zainal Abidin Borhan (read the article here)

        “In essence ‘pariah’ means impure and polluted. They (the Indian characters in the book) changed to pure when they came to Malaya,” he said.

        And mind you, this was uttered in the presence of Indians during an Interlok forum held at UM.

        Hardly a whiff of BTN racial doctrine there, no?

        EXHIBIT C: The first Chinese school in the Malay peninsula dates as far back as 1815 (Freedman, 2001; Gill 2007), with many more unrecorded ones. The first English school (Penang Free) was established in 1816.

        In 1815, there were three Chinese schools in Malacca where Chinese traders and the former-bumiputra Peranakans had been established for hundreds of years. Plus one of them was founded by the London Missionary Society. (and where did you get the “many more unrecorded ones” factoid from, thin air? Substantiate la, substantiate!)

        But that doesn’t change the fact that kuli immigrants weer denied access to education because mission / Malay schools were closed to them. Vernacular schools were a RESPONSE to a particular vacuum in society, and not established as indoctrination centres as alleged. And don’t try to obscure the point by bringing in irrelevant references about private/public and secular/madrasah.

        EXHIBIT D:
        7. Kita hendaklah mencintai tanah air sendiri.
        – Cing Huat…membina sekolah…memastikan anak-anak kaum Cina tidak lupa akan asal-usul dan bahasa ibunda mereka.
        – Cikgu Raman…mendirikan sekolah Tamil agar anak-anak India tidak lupa akan asal-usulnya.

        These are the lessons MOE wants our students to learn. Is it wrong?

        You finally hit the nail on the head.

        Yes, the ministry wants our children to know that the Chinese and Indians don’t really belong in Malaysia and vernacular schools prove it because the purpose of vernacular schools are to teach future generations to love their own motherland – i.e. China & India (as opposed to educating children so they can have a better future instead of having to merempat like their immigrant kuli parents.)

        And we know you find nothing wrong with the whole Interlok issue because we already know you buy into the BTN doctrine lock, stock and barrel. That much was evident early on, but now you confirm it yourself.

        “Hartalmsm has no case against Interlok”

        We would actually say: “we rest our case.”

        – HartalMSM

      • Yeah says:

        Do we need more evidence of hartalmsm deliberate lies and distortions? Both the links under Exhibit B are written by third party reporters (one K. Pragalath and another a blogger). PENA’s secretary, SM Zakir has written a piece at http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2011&dt=0112&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Rencana&pg=re_07.htm. If you cannot read BM, get it translated.

        This is hartalmsm’s “quality of debates”, it confuses official statements with third party reporting.

        “All academics and civil servants are required to attend BTN courses, and reaudit them periodically.” ~ hartalmsm

        Another lie. All government servants are required to attend this course once, specifically Kursus Kenegaraan for appointments after 2002. With the abolishment of PTK in January 2011, it is also exempted for PTK1 Aras IV civil servants. No civil servants are ever “re-audited” by BTN. Please check your facts.

        To level the charge that all civil servants are tainted because they have attended BTN is not dissimilar to the line of argument used by hartalmsm with Interlok. Apparently, encounter with it once and you will be brainwashed.

        As in the good tradition of citing your sources (under EXHIBIT C), I provided Freedman (2001) and Gill (2007)’s journal papers as evidence. Hartalmsm obviously got rattled and confused to their original statement where they claim English schools existed before vernacular schools in Malaya. Hartalmsm asked me to substantiate my claims, but strangely they provided none of their own. Re-examining the statement is even more hillarious as it says:

        “In 1815, there were three Chinese schools in Malacca where Chinese traders and the former-bumiputra Peranakans had been established for hundreds of years. Plus one of them was founded by the London Missionary Society.”

        I know of the Anglo-Chinese College (Ying Wa College) established in 1818 at Malacca by Robert Morrison, a LMS missionary with William Milne (the first principal there too). Wikipedia gave us its objectives – the reciprocal cultivation of Chinese and European literature; and the diffusion of Christianity.

        Oops, they must have been infiltrated by the BTN too!

        “But that doesn’t change the fact that kuli immigrants weer denied access to education because mission / Malay schools were closed to them.”

        Hartalmsm then strangely dug their own grave deeper by claiming that vernacular schools were started because mission / Malay schools were closed to them. Hellooooo? What Malay schools? The early Chinese schools were established because many are not too keen to have their children become Christians-lah. Mabuk betol. In any case, what Malay schools are they talking about in pre-Independence Malaya? There was no schools in early Malaya that uses Malay language as a medium of instruction until the 1900s. Many rich Chinese tycoons happily sent their children to mission schools to rub shoulders with the white men. Vernacular Chinese schools started originally by teaching the classics (四书) and were taught in respective Chinese dialects, then when mandarin movement in education back home caught on, it imported wholesale syllabus of the new republic, before gradually brought under the control of the British with localized content. If it wasn’t an issue of KMT influence, you think the Brits has got nothing better to do ar?

        I think hartalmsm needs to go back to school for this. Hahaha…

        For EXHIBIT D, I think it is probably related to hartalmsm’s poor BM. It never said anything about “the Chinese and Indians don’t really belong in Malaysia and vernacular schools prove it”.

        Till this very day, the goals of the DJZ, the de-facto taiko of chinese education movement has proudly claimed their goal of defending vernacular schools to preserve mother tongue education and culture of the Chinese Malaysians. The MOE curriculum guide says vernacular schools were built to ensure that the Chinese and Indians do not forget their roots/origins and their mother tongue.

        Erm, where did it say that the Chinese and Indians don’t belong in Malaysia? Kalau nak fitnah pun biarlah berkualiti sikit. Is it wrong to be proud of our own heritage?

        Like lousy third rate lawyers, hartalmsm has proven its own confusion, lies, exaggerations and illogical statements.

  4. Yeah says:

    Dear Jakun,

    Incidentally, the Ministry of Education, under the advice of supposed experts, decides the curriculum. Are you one of those so called experts? Interlok is selected on its literary and educational merit. It is for KOMSAS, the literature component of the Malay paper. It CONTRIBUTES to nating building, hopefully, and that’s why for this time round, Interlok was selected as one of the reading text for Zone 2. Do you know the titles selected for the other zones? Please, just pretend to try, ok?

    I can easily say that your post is typical of someone with an opinion but does not know how they got there. The uninformed masses are people with skin-deep knowledge about something but proceeds to form a position built on imaginary foundations.

    As I have said before, I love commentators who are reservoirs of wisdom with insights to my personality and supposed frustrations in life (hence the escapism) – now you know how online astrology make their money. I just enjoy running down idiots-lar. Lao Tzu said 知人者智 and advocated 知者不言 but that will only see blogs like hartalmsm continue to peddle its lies, and exaggerations. Jakun might adhere to 绝学无优, but I am not quite there on the Tao yet.

    But thanks for the advice.

    • Fabian says:

      Heya Yeah,

      Interlok’s literary and educational merit. On what? Racial stereotypes and racial profiling? And that’s fine if it’s fiction? Why then would parents of young children limit and filter what movies are acceptable or not? They’re fine if they’re considered fiction? Movies are rated in theatres according to age, no? If they’re all fiction, they should be fine for all ages?

      Interlok is a book that’s supposed to be read by children. Yes, while kids these days are exposed to so much worse (look no further than our newspapers and online media), you’d ask what’s one more in a pile that’s neck deep? While the book should not be banned, it shouldn’t be something of a must-read in schools.

      If you say that this book would invite positive discussions, can you honestly say that the shining examples of educators we’ve had in the papers this past few years inspire confidence?

      There is a danger that the “fictional content” in this book will reinforce the other “facts” by the BTN. And that’s a CERTAINTY.

      • Yeah says:

        Dear Fabian,

        Erm, I hate to point it out to you, but it is quite impossible for Interlok to carry out racial profiling. As for stereotypes and cliche plots, sure, Interlok is guilty as charged. In a work of literature and the arts, stereotypes are used as a device to connect with the audience. Interlok started out on typical depictions of the three major races in Malaya, then showed how their lives are intertwined. The central message is about helping one another, about unity and spirit of cooperation. It is about the triumph of humanity, compassion and the struggles our people faced before joining together towards independence.

        You said that there is a danger that this book will reinforce BTN-esque prejudice, then decided it will be a certainty. Since you already made up your mind, whatever that is said won’t change your beliefs. It is a pity that your own prejudice and bias killed Interlok and the message it has to offer, and its death and demise is a self-fulfilling prophecy on your part because you already decided it is a horrible book.

      • Fabian says:

        Heya Yeah,

        Yeah, I’ve made up my mind. I’ve read whatever I need to read of this book. While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, actions speak louder than words. I am suspicious of whatever BN has to offer, once bitten twice shy. I also know that evil doesn’t come in all its dark glory, with trumpets and bells, but slithers in silently, probably with a commercial advert or two.

        Until I see something I can believe in, I’ll always be suspicious. With all the blaring of bells and whistles, racial conflicts and economic success, it still won’t make me blind to the discrimination, abuse of power and misuse of state funds while it can deafen my ears somewhat.

        What’s Interlok if not reinforcing the myth that all Malaysians are of that archtype? That Chinese are rich, greedy and unprincipled? That Indians are of low caste and class? That Malays are gullible and victims of the rich “pendatang”? This is just a way of painting over a big picture to blot out the parts that don’t fit in a quick description.

        You may look at the novel as a work of art. But then, I’m sure Hitler’s an artist in his way. Aren’t all Jews greedy, sneaky and evil? Aren’t Africans stupid and only fit for menial, physical work? And Aryans are the superior race, descended from the time of Atlantis. The tuans of the world~

        Hah…whatever, Yeah. Yeah yeah. Whatever.

  5. Yeah says:

    Oh my god, I finally gotten through to NIAT’s website and read its so called “report”. Is hartalmsm banking its facts from this piece of garbage?

    Lets not even go into the details yet. We can straight away throw out pages 10 – 12 and 1/3 of the section under the Technicality section. Interlok is not a textbook, that’s why using the Panduan Penulisan Buku Teks SPM is wrong. NIAT actually hillariously put “failed to meet” for the following criteria (clearly meant for buku teks matapelajaran):

    – Buku teks mengandungi pengetahuan dan kemahiran serta pembelajaran melalui pengalaman yang mengandungi penggabungjalinan antara teori dan praktikal.
    – Buku teks menekankan pelbagai aktiviti dan latihan serta amali.
    – Buku teks mengandungi bahan grafik yang berfungsi, sesuai dan menarik.
    – Buku teks merangsang murid membaca dan berfikir secara kritis dan kreatif (KBKK) serta kemahiran berfikir strategi berfikir (KBSB)

    I would love to see a novel that can “menekankan pelbagai aktiviti dan latihan serta amali”.

    As a matter of fact, how did NIAT decides what meets and what fails for those criteria anyway (i.e. KBKK & KBSB)? Kalau setakat cut and paste the tables from MOE and then buat ruang kosong dan letak “Did NOT meet the critera” or “Failed to Meet” or “Did not meet” sahaja, budak-budak pun boleh buat. It makes me blush thinking about a bunch of adults claiming they have spent 900 man-hours of “research” on this. ROTFLMAO.

    Next, the reasons.

    It claims the word paria is derogatory is to “certain Malaysian community”, despite the fact that the word was used to describe the group a character in the novel belongs to. That’s alright. I can understand how traumatising the word is. Next, it says that Interlok contains wrong & negative generalization of Malays, Chinese and Indians. The dissatisfaction is apparently with the relatively positively portrayals of Malays compared to Chinese and Indians. NIAT said “100% of the characters (in the Seman Chapter) are positively motivated”. I can pick a few examples for analysis, like the ones below:

    “Cing Huat tidak suka anak-anaknya itu bergaul dengan anak-anak orang Melayu. Dia takut kemalasan mereka itu menular kepada anaknya.” (p. 192)

    So Cing Huat thinks the Malays are lazy. The point being? Isn’t it in character of Cing Huat to think so else why he objects his son to befriend them? You mean the author should have written “Cing Huat tidak suka anak-anaknya itu bergaul dengan anak-anak orang Melayu. Dia tak ada apa-apa sebab yang munasabah kenapa dia tak suka, tak suka tak suka aje-lah.”

    “…desak Paman Kok Leng “Lu kerja berat, lu mesti minum samsu supaya lu punya badan jadi kuat” (p. 136)

    This is considered derogatory. The irony is that Paman Kok Leng is trying to convince another Chinese character into bad habits. How else can the author turn Paman Kok Leng into a villain? I suggest, “Lu kerja berat, lu mesti minum kopi supaya lu punya badan jadi kuat”.

    ” Kami ada membawa berita tak baik untuk mu, kami harap kau akan bertenang….Isteri sudah ikut Pillay…..” (p. 221)

    I am still scratching my head over this because I think NIAT objected to Maniam’s wife deserting him to run off with Pillay. But it is the plot, isn’t it? Beside, if my husband sends no money after leaving me, I need to fend for myself and my children, that;s ground for divorce for desertion.

    The strongest part of the NIAT report is actually its claims of factual errors in the Interlok novel. However, factual errors in geography is irrelevant because the author could have created a fictatious port city or cruise liner. NIAT goes on to claim that the word “balut” degrades the dhoti and the saree, chiding the author to use “ikat” or “pakai”, I kid you not. I cannot even make this stuff up if I want to.

    “… sari itu DIBALUT di sekeliling tubuhnya dari pinggang sampai ke tumit… (p. 227) — this is wrong, ok?

    NIAT also goes on to point out Dewa Kaman is not Dewa Cinta but Dewa Nafsu. I don’t know, Lust Angels?

    In all, most of the factual inaccuracies is directed to the Indian portrayals, considering the composition and specialization of the NIAT committee, I suppose.

    The last part of the report by NIAT is the supposed “permanent damage” if Interlok continues in the schools.
    – psychological effect on students
    – diplomatic mess in hand
    – unity is lost

    The irony in the last effect is that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It says that “the main theme of the novel is to catalyst unity” but now with “demonstrations, memorandums, high level negotiations, blogging etc” the novel is now deemed a failure and “exploded at the take-off”. Who made Interlok a failure, one wonders?

    The report closes with claims that there is a sinister motive to use Interlok for Zone 2 because there are many Indians there. If one goes through the novel selected for the other zones, the characters are mostly mono-racial where the protagonists are Malays only. Clearly, Interlok is not going to be able to relate well to students in Sabah and Sarawak. Unfortunately, this consideration is now deemed sinister and malicious.

    Who are the crazy ones I wonder.

    • Yeah says:

      We should forgive NIAT because to err is human. Should we also forgive hartalmsm for not doing any of its homework and repeat lies? I say we should forgive but never forget.

      FICTION

      Other factual errors include stating that Maniam was brought here through the Kangani system when that particular method of labour recruitment was already banned in 1910. ~ hartalmsm

      FACT

      … The kangani system also appealed to the planters because the prospect of workers absconding was less likely compared with the indenture system, especially since the kangani usually had a vested interest in ensuring they did not.

      In the 1910s, between 50,000 and 80,000 Indians went to the Malay States and Straits Settlements annually. After the 1920s, with the exception of a very short period. Kangani-assisted immigration declined. In the early 1930s, under the impact of the Great Depression, kangani recruitment was suspended, and IT WAS FORMALLY ABOLISHED in 1938.

      – p. 639, Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia (Vol. 2) Keat Gin Ooi, 2005 (ed.)

      FICTION

      He locates Kerala geographically as a state “a little to the north of Tamil Nadu” when the atlas shows that Kerala lies to the north of Andhra Pradesh. ~ hartalmsm

      FACT

      Kerala is actually south / south-west of Andhra Pradesh. It is to the north / north-west of Tamil Nadu, and Wikipedia gives this description for Kerala:

      …is bordered by Karnataka to the north, Tamil Nadu to the south and the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.

      FICTION

      Kerala is referred in the Novel at a time when the state of Kerala did not exist. Kerala was
      established as a state on 1st November 1956 . ~ NIAT

      FACT

      Kerala was established as a state in 1956, but Keralam existed before the modern state. The country was called Cheralam and Cherala Nadu. In a 1859 map, there are areas known as Canara that later combined into Kerala merging with Malabar and other nearby areas. Keralite is associated with the development of Malayalam, its main native language. It is like saying Malaya doesn’t exist prior to Malaysia.

      FICTION

      In the original version the author used the word “ Brahman” which is correct call for a caste in India. Caste system in India was based on job classification and never meant to degrade anyone.

      FACT

      While it was never MEANT to degrade anyone, the caste system in India is particularly severe on the untouchables. They suffered from social segregation and restrictions, not allowed temple worship with others, nor water from the same sources. If there is no discrimination, Mahatman Gandhi must have been mistaken to highlight their plight.
      ——————————————————————————————
      Fiction, fact or the BTN reality – which one is the bigger picture, Yeah?

      Oh yeah (go figure whether its a pun or otherwise) .. one more thing, go tell that ‘Chai’ fler that HartalMSM article got published at TMI/FMT/MT! Howz that for a bigger soapbox – shar101.

  6. hartalmsm says:

    Yeah,

    “Both the links under Exhibit B are written by third party reporters (one K. Pragalath and another a blogger).”

    Actually, the reporter QUOTED GAPENA’s SECRETARY. (Side note – funny that you should reveal the reporter’s Indian roots, but neglected to mention that the blogger was Malay.) And the blogger was publishing PENA’s PRESS STATEMENT VERBATIM. Why talk about Zaki’s opinion piece? Can’t you tell the difference between an editorial and a press statement?

    By the way, to try and quote Utusan as a credible and neutral source does nothing to help your case, especially the revelation by the daily’s group editor-in-chief no less that their job is to keep UMNO in power – which is also the BTN’s job.

    “No civil servants are ever “re-audited” by BTN.”

    Please check YOUR facts.

    “In 1815, there were three Chinese schools in Malacca where Chinese traders and the former-bumiputra Peranakans had been established for hundreds of years. Plus one of them was founded by the London Missionary Society.”

    Source here:
    http://www.google.com.my/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CD4QFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cornerstone-msc.net%2Fkairos%2Fview_file.cfm%3Ffileid%3D24&rct=j&q=chinese%20education%20malaysia&ei=AgVxTZCmIofZrQe_5JTSCg&usg=AFQjCNEuTpytZVV9UV99hD-YJNGSRkKdhA&cad=rja

    Like we said, don’t assume la. You’re not the only one who knows how to read. 😀

    “Hartalmsm obviously got rattled and confused to their original statement where they claim English schools existed before vernacular schools in Malaya.”

    That’s just you trying to attribute lies to us. What we ACTUALLY said was:
    “You have conveniently neglected to mention (or perhaps you are ignorant of this fact) that vernacular schools were established because very few other choices were available to the immigrants.” The point being…well…just that. It’s plain enough.

    It was then when you suddenly plucked out yet another irrelevant factoid to dance around an irrefutable fact:
    “Don’t lecture me about the history of vernacular schools and its origins. Vernacular chinese schools predated many mission schools”

    And you keep cutting and pasting “history of Malaysian Chinese schools” into your comment that has nothing to do with out point! Do some proper research la and rebut the point at hand already!

    And dude, using Wikipedia as your authoritative source? COME ON LA!! How many lazy high school kids have been caught out because Wiki is not *gasp* 100% reliable as a source of info?!

    And I think the BM in this point is ABSOLUTELY CLEAR to a person with even the most rudientary grasp of BM.

    7. Kita hendaklah mencintai tanah air SENDIRI.
    – Cing Huat…membina sekolah…memastikan anak-anak kaum Cina tidak lupa akan asal-usul dan bahasa ibunda mereka.
    – Cikgu Raman…mendirikan sekolah Tamil agar anak-anak India tidak lupa akan asal-usulnya.

    So the tanahair of Indians are India, of the Chinese are China, and of Malays are Tanah Melayu. And our children are taught in explicit terms that vernacular schools teach Indians to love India and Chinese to love China as THEIR OWN respective homelands.

    Is something wrong with YOUR BM?

    And please don’t try to impress us with MCA and their Dong Jiao Zong allies. They are all part of the racial indoctrination system. It is in their best interest to keep the status quo as the emergence of a colour blind Malaysia will be the end of UMNO / MCA / MIC hegemony.

    But of course, you can’t help but think that all Chinese are rich towkays hobnobbing with the British elite while the Malay masses languish in poverty. You can’t help but lump MCA and DJZ together with all other Malaysian Chinese rabidly baying for their little piece of China to be preseved here. You are incapable of sparing a thought for the legitimate points of NIAT, and see no problem in trashing the whole report immediately after reading it. You would have no problem justifying your callousness with some glib pooh-poohing of their weak points. You have no qualms about flicking aside evidence of blatant racism in schools as non-issues.

    We fully understand that your mind cannot function along any other track because it has been conditioned to operate in a very specific way and to filter all other information through a very specific lens.

    We cannot expect anything else from you.

    Of course, this has nothing to do with the BTN because it has never had any effect on you at all.

    • Yeah says:

      Still insistent on the mischief hartalmsm? Just admit that K. Pragalath quoted AND translated the GAPENA secretary’s words at the UM event on 26th of January. Don’t-lah lie about it. Uthaya Sankar wrote a much more detailed proceeding, even if it was littered / interspersed with his rebuttals.

      As for PENA’s “Press Statement”, its President made two official ones on 8th and 9th January respectively. The blogger which you linked merely recounted the events of the day. I am enclosing the original text for your benefit.

      —————————————————-

      Siaran Media PERSATUAN PENULIS NASIONAL MALAYSIA (PENA) TENTANG NOVEL INTERLOK

      Isu novel Interlok yang hangat diperkatakan sekarang sehingga melibatkan campur tangan politik dan badan bukan kerajaan perlu ditangani dengan bijaksana dan berhemah. Percampuran antara politik dengan bidang persuratan dan pendidikan secara keterlaluan hanya akan menimbulkan pergeseran yang tidak berkesudahan. Tanpa perlu diberikan latar belakang isu ini, Persatuan Penulis Nasional Malaysia (PENA) dengan tegas menolak sebarang campur tangan politik yang berpentingan peribadi dan perkauman.

      Sehubungan dengan itu, PENA menentang tuntutan daripada mana-mana pihak untuk menarik balik novel itu daripada senarai teks Komponen Sastera Dalam Mata Pelajaran Bahasa Malaysia. Bagi menangani kemelut tersebut, PENA telah mengadakan Dialog Novel Interlok pada 8 Januari 2010, bertempat di rumah PENA yang dihadiri para sarjana sastera dan penulis tanah air. Ahli Panel terdiri daripada pengkaji sastera dan penulis, Dr.Ilias Zaidi ,Dr.Fatimah Busu dan Penerima Anugerah Penulis Muda Majlis Sastera Asia Tenggara (MASTERA), SM Zakir S.Othman.

      Sehubungan itu, PENA meminta Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia mengekalkan novel Interlok sebagai Teks KOMSAS Dalam Bahasa Malaysia Tingkatan Lima berdasarkan alasan berikut:

      1. Sebarang campur tangan politik yang dibuat berdasarkan kepentingan peribadi dan perkauman dalam bidang persuratan dan pendidikan secara keterlaluan akan menimbulkan kekeliruan dan pergeseran yang tidak berkesudahan.

      2. Interlok tidak menghina mana-mana kaum di negara ini sebaliknya hanya memberikan gambaran realiti sosial yang berlaku, disamping menonjolkan gagasan perpaduan untuk melestarikan kemerdekaan bagi sebuah negara yang baru dibentuk.

      3. Interlok untuk menyahut seruan pemimpin negara supaya menghasilkan karya yang bertendensi atau karya yang bertujuan menyempurnakan aspirasi dan pengisian kemerdekaan negara.

      4. Gambaran realiti masyarakat tiga kaum terbesar di Tanah Melayu sebelum dipaparkan secara representasi, yakni tidak menghakimi mana-mana kaum tetapi menggagaskan harapan wujudnya perpaduan yang mutlak.

      5. Setelah lebih 40 tahun novel yang memenangi hadiah saguhati Sayembara Menulis Novel Sempena 10 tahun Merdeka itu diterbitkan, tidak pernah timbul sebarang isu atau kesan negatif dalam masyarakat. Jika benar novel itu mengandungi unsur penghinaan, sudah tentu pada masa awal novel itu diterbitkan telah timbul kekecohan. tetapi ini tidak berlaku.

      6. PENA meragui hasrat dan niat pihak yang mempersoalkan perkara tersebut pada masa sekarang setelah empad dekad diterbitkan. Mungkinkah perkara ini ditimbulkan untuk memperoleh manfaat politik pihak tertentu? Kita bimbang jika tanggapan ini benar dan lebih bimbang jika pihak yang bertanggungjawab dalam hal membuat keputusan mengikut sahaja telunjuk mereka. Seandainya ini berlaku, kita bimbang akan lebih banyak pihak membuat tuntutan yang tidak munasabah sehingga akhirnya kerajaan sukar untuk menjalankan tugasnya sebagai pemerintah yang tegas dan berwibawa.

      7. Kesan penarikan balik novel ini atau pemindaan di tempat tertentu akan merosakkan kredibiliti karya bertaraf antarabangsa dan sistem pendidikan negara yang telah dipersetujui secara bersama semasa pembentukan kemerdekaan negara.

      8. Sebenarnya paparan realiti yang kononnya mengandungi unsur penghinaan itu mengangkat Malaysia sebagai negara yang bersih daripada pemisahan kasta berbanding dengan negara asal kaum tersebut. Dalam novel itu jelas ditunjukkan bahawa tujuannya untuk menimbulkan rasa kecintaan setiap kaum terhadp negara ini. Tujuan ini amat murni kerana setelah menjadi warganegara Malaysia, mereka semua perlu mengakui kedaulatan negara ini dan menjunjung Perlembagaan serta budayanya. Tidaklah wajar bagi mereka untuk melihat negara asal lagi setelah diterima menjadi warganegara Malaysia.

      9. Sekiranya benar unsur ini mungkin menimbulkan kekeliruan, tidak perlu dibuat penarikan balik atau pindaan isi tetapi perlu diselesaikan oleh guru yang menangani teks tersebut. Guru-guru perlu diberi latihan atau panduan untuk menjelaskan perkara sebenar dalam masa pengajaran. Pernyataan bahawa soal kasta atau sebarang unsur yang mengelirukan itu sebenarnya cuma paparan realiti di negara lain sedangkan di negara ini tidak wujud kecenderungan sedemikian. Cara ini lebih berhemah dan guru juga akan dilihat lebih cerdik sebagai seorang pendidikan.

      10. Isu ini tidak perlu dibiarkan berlarutan dengan emosi yang tidak terkawal kerana kita perlu menjaga keharmonian masyarakat di negara ini.

      11. Bagi menangani perkara ini PENA berpendapat diadakan perbincangan atau dialog intelektual antara pihak yang mula-mula menimbulkan perkara ini dengan pakar persuratan dan kebudayaan dalam sesi yang terkawal.

      Mohamad Saleeh Rahamad
      Presiden Pena
      8 Januari 2011

      Kenyataan Kedua

      Kenyataan tambahan khas untuk peristiwa pembakaran novel Interlok pada hari Sabtu 8 Januari 2011 yang disiarkan dalam akhbar Mingguan Malaysia bertarikh 9 Januari 2011.

      1. PENA mengutuk tindakan segelintir yang telah mengambil tindakan agresif dengan membakar novel Interlok d Kelang serta menghina gambar Sasterawan Negara.

      2. Tindakan itu jelas cuba mengkucar-kacirkan kestabilan masyarakat di negara ini kerana selama ini telah terbukti tindakan agresif seperti itu hanya mendatangkan pergeseran kaum.

      3. Perbuatan itu telah menimbulkan perasaan tidak enak dalam kalangan masyarakat berbilang kaum amnya dan masyarakat Melayu khususnya. Kita tidak mahu perkara seperti ini berlanjutan kerana banyak maslaah akan timbul.

      4. Sasterawan Negara ialah tokoh yang menerima anugerah daripada Yang di-Pertuan Agong, dan sebarang penghinaan terhadapnya seperti menghina Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

      5. Pihak berkuasa perlu menyiasat serta mengambil tindakan terhadap pihak yang terlibat dalam insiden itu, termasuk ahli politik yang turut berada di situ tetapi tidak bertindak menghalangnya. Penglibatan ahli politik seperti memberi restu kepada tindakan yang tidak bertamadun dan kesannya sangat besar.

      Mohamad Saleeh Rahamad
      PRESIDEN PENA
      9 Januari 2011

      —————————————————-

      This is the quality of the debates at hartalmsm. Dahlah salah, tapi tak nak mengaku. Menegakkan benang yang basah sahaja pandai.

      PRESS STATEMENT VERBATIM konon, what a blatant lie! Have you no shame?

      As for your phobia of Utusan Malaysia, the link featured PENA secretary’s article. It means that he wrote it for the paper. I am directing you to documents which detail PENA’s official positions, not some blog ramblings.

      For a blog that hates BTN, it doesn’t even bother to find out what it do.

      Berdasarkan surat pekeliling perkhidmatan bilangan 19 tahun 2008, pegawai yang disyaratkan mengikuti Kursus/Modul Kenegaraan adalah pegawai lantikan pertama dalam perkhidmatan awam pada 2 Januari 2002 dan selepasnya yang menduduki TK1 pada gred berkenaan.

      http://www.btn.gov.my/

      Click to access spp192008.pdf


      Go to page 18 and then try to read Para 51.

      Most public universities don’t even send their pegawai lantikan pertama to BTN anyway. I welcome any shred of evidence that academicians and civil servants are re-audited by BTN. It is unheard of.

      As for your citing that poor lecturer from UiTM, let me enlighten you that the original citation most likely came from Leo Suryadinata (ed., 1989) book on “The Ethnic Chinese in the ASEAN states”, in the notes of author Tan Liok Ee’s chapter about “Chinese Education in Malaysia and Singapore” (see page 201, no. 8, Lee Ting Hui (1957, p.1, citing Milne’s Protestant Mission to China, 1820)).

      I will do you one better and quote what Milne actually said. According to Milne, there were ALREADY three Chinese schools in Malacca before they set-up theirs, and I quote from his book:

      “This pleased the parents much, as nothing of the kind was taught in their own schools of which there were THREE in Malacca.” (Milne, 1820, p. 151).

      So you should know what is coming right? Please reread what I wrote earlier on the subject.

      “The first Chinese school in the Malay peninsula dates as far back as 1815 (Freedman, 2001; Gill 2007), with many more unrecorded ones. The first English school (Penang Free) was established in 1816.” ~ Yeah

      This was in response to the crap hartalmsm peddled that “vernacular schools were established because very few other choices were available to the immigrants. Most of the other schools were English / Mission schools where the elite attended or Malay schools, both of which would hardly welcome the poor immigrant masses.”

      As I pointed out, again, hartalmsm knows naught about what it is saying. Vernacular schools predate English / Mission schools, and the main reason why they are popular is because most Chinese parents at that time don’t want their children to end up Christians. Saying that vernacular schools were establised because very few other choices were available is incorrect. In fact, education statistics in 1924 showed that the enrolment figures in Malay, Chinese, and English schools are almost the same (27,476 – 39884), but the Chinese makes up an overwhelming majority in English schools (61%). The other obvious reason why few immigrants go to English or Malay schools is the same reason why few Indians at that time go to Chinese schools, i.e. they are taught in different mother tongues.

      And hartalmsm now wants to gripe about Wikipedia when they just went and pick a lecturer (I daresay any lecturer’s) unpublished ESSAY. Suddenly the authority of academicians regains its value. Do you know what most academicians say about Interlok?

      7. Kita hendaklah mencintai tanah air sendiri.

      Oi, bahlul, tanahair of Indians is India, Chinese is China, Malays is Tanah Melayu. Tanah air of Malaysian Indians is Malaysia, Chinese Malaysian if Malaysia, Malays is Malaysia. Comprehende? Ini dah teruk giler sakitnya.

      Don’t be silly, of course not ALL Chinese are rich towkays. You also forgot DAP is also in cahoots with DJZ for “their little piece of China” here. The “evidence” of BLATANT racism in schools, from THAT NIAT report? The report is thrash, its method unsound, and hartalmsm is STILL defending it. I urge everyone with conscience to actually read that piece of crap and tell me who murdered Interlok and pre-judged it to be racist. Who slandered Interlok and was prejudiced right from the beginning?

      Hartalmsm has been pandering lies, exaggerations and distorted facts on Interlok and god knows what else. It would not admit error in the face of any evidence, cites dubious reports and rides on emotions and misguided sentiments. And I am the one who is narrow-minded? Do you even realize what you are saying?

      Hartalmsm is condemning Interlok not because it lacks literary or educational merit, hartalmsm is doing it because it IMAGINES Interlok to be evil and racist.

      “Of course, this has nothing to do with the BTN because it has never had any effect on you at all.” ~ hartalmsm

      You got something right for once. I have never crossed path with BTN before. Of course, in your imaginary minds, the tentacles of BTN must be far-reaching and mysterious.

  7. Yeah says:

    “What nonsense! The British brought in the immigrants who established these vernacular schools and you’re saying that the British had hardly any schools of their own?” ~ Hartalmsm

    By the way, rereading the sentence above actually revealed a gem. Is hartalmsm saying that the British is responsible for bringing in the immigrants? Hello? There were sizable Chinese and Indian communities in Malacca before those fish and chip diners arrived. Those missionary schools weren’t for Brits! It is a tool for proselytism of the natives. Tsk tsk tsk.

    • Fabian says:

      Once again, painting over the big picture.

      Please find out about the missionary schools, their histories and mission. Perhaps speak to some of these “tools”? Ask them how many did they convert. Maybe with a sword? Or a pedophile’s agenda?

      No, the Brits aren’t responsible to bringing in the first immigrants. There were sizable Chinese and Indian communities even in other settlements other than Malacca. But they did bring in a lot of them, and on a larger commercial scale. Happens the world over in the British Empire. Ever been to the Caribbean islands?

  8. jakun says:

    Yeah,

    This not a tit for tat event. I shall just focus on your opinion on what you have stated like ” It CONTRIBUTES to nation building, hopefully, and that’s why for this time round, Interlok was selected as one of the reading text for Zone 2″ Here naturally this is your opinion, as you feel a book like INTERLOK could contribute, what more can I say other than agree with you that that all that is practiced by the government with an absolute silence is the best avenue for all. I guess that is why we had such a blissful life accomodating anything and everthing for the last 54 years.

    Now you also say “The uninformed masses are people with skin-deep knowledge about something but proceeds to form a position built on imaginary foundations.” I agree with you on this as that has been the state for the last 54 years which supports your opinion above. I presume based in your words the masses means the majority of the population or is it the one’s who questions. If it is the earlier, you must be deceived, as it stands the book is on for amendments nor have the outburst of uninformed masses reached such a scale for the governmnet to decide otherwise. If it is the latter, then you must mean those alternative media and orgs that stands against it or those eager skin-deep cyber commentors.

    Seriously I have nothing more to say because everything becomes gibberish when it is my way or the highway without any intelligent discourse for the reality on the ground as we need to prove who is better in the cyber world ie – in your words that this will contribute for nation building and all the resentment is build on imaginary foundations in Malaysia.

    I guess in your methodology of deduction, obesience is the best practice that you would advise as this has proven to work well for the 54 years materially so why be bothered with feeling, pride & dignity even if it is sensitive to them as this is the part of nation bulding.

    Good luck in your venture Yeah.

  9. hartalmsm says:

    Yeah,

    Too much has been said here to obscure the real issues of Interlok. Any further discussion here with you will be even more futile than it is now already. For the convenience of our readers, let us sum up the points that you have put forward:

    1…Anyone opposed to Interlok are childish, misguided, unread, stupid, mad, hysterical, liars, conspiracy nuts, ignorant of history and literature and lack command of BM

    2…Every point raised by Hartal, NIAT and all other parties concerned that Interlok is unsuitable as compulsory reading in SPM given the present times are nonsense, ill-informed, lies, hysterical rants, madness, trash. crap, dubious, etc.

    3…All sources quoted by you to refute the arguments against Interlok are valid and authoritative on the basis that they exist, including govt departments, Ministry, newspapers, academicians and writers groups.

    4…All sources quoted by others to oppose Interlok are lies, rants, crap, etc(surprisingly this also includes the govt departments, Ministry, newspapers, academicians and writers groups that YOU yourself quoted).

    5…All arguments that are opposed to yours are nonsense, lies, madness, etc etc etc.

    6…All arguments that you put forth have the weight of absolute indisputable authority(eg. “Don’t lecture me…,” “I do not need to present arguments…,” “You are a stupid idiot…,” “I just enjoy running down idiots,” etc etc etc)

    7…Interlok’s racial stereotypes do not complement BTN’s race ideologies, but in fact holds beautiful lessons for race relations for Malaysia. Racism and race humiliation hardly exist in Malaysia except in the imaginations of above-mentioned idiots, etc.

    8…BTN’s reach and influence is negligible and hardly worth mentioning. There is no evidence at all to suggest otherwise.(side note: if that is so, it’s funny that the PM Dept would spend over RM1/2 BILLION over the last 10 years on this zero-impact program. But I guess that’s the wisdom of our govt people la, right Yeah?)

    Thank you for engaging us. But I think we’ll be the mature ones and end it now.

    • Yeah says:

      Yeah, after the lies, distortions and exaggerations have been exposed, you better wrap this up quickly now.

      The irony is that the damage has already been done and the slander towards Interlok has been made. The discussion ends here for you, but the self-fulfilling prophecy and political assasination of the author and his work will continue by misguided souls, making the job of our teachers more difficult and lost learning opportunities for our students.

      Will hartalmsm ever acknowledge their errors? That is like asking NIAT whether there is a possibility that they overreacted and gone down the wrong road. Many just think it is as simple as 1-2-3, or A-B-C, just withdraw the novel and replace it with another. What they don’t realize is that it is political intimidation on education and the arts, and if Interlok – a novel about inter-racial unity towards independence can be maligned as such, what hope there is for the others?

      As for Jakun, please learn to discern facts from fiction. For the past 54 years, we have enjoyed uneven development and inequality is growing, and I am not talking specifically about wealth distribution. What we are looking at today is an example of how easily the masses can be manipulated, and how such sentiments, once stirred, has devastating consequences. People no longer see the problem of political intervention on non-political matters, and willfully ignore the input of professionals and experts. PPSMI was one such example, Interlok is another.

      —————-

      Sigh…you really do have a very full sense of your own superiority, don’t you?

      While we were under no obligation to publish any of your opinions (no matter what privileges you think you’re entitled to from us), we nonetheless allowed you to launch your vicious attacks and cruel insults on people with legitimate concerns. Simply because we believe in free speech and intelligent engagement. Since any further discussion would only result in more insults and denials from you, we simply decided to get off the merry-go-round.

      But, we don’t mind allowing you the space to gloat over your apparent victory over us “idiots”. Enjoy your victory and we hope you get a nice bonus! – EWO

      Oh by the way, you didn’t deny any of the summarised points we made above. So we can safely assume that we’ve accurately summarised your position on Interlok? Not a bad summary for “idiots” heh?

      • Yeah says:

        Hartalmsm is free to just erase everything I have written. I didn’t ask to be put of a platform, I merely responded to your outrageous and blatant distortions of the truth. Don’t act all magnanimous by saying you are not obligated to publish the opinions of others. We all know this is your soapbox, and if you think it gets too hot, you can always disable the comments section. You won’t be the first to do so anyway.

        Insinuating that I am a paid agent is not only unbecoming of you EWO, it is pathetic. Open your eyes and look around, look at all the juvenile arguments and mistakes being peddled as gospel on Interlok. Don’t you feel at the very least responsible for some of the thrash and garbage? Dr. Collin Abrahams is telling everyone that Interlok failed to meet KBSM textbook guidelines. That alone should have alerted thinking individuals that he has got the wrong book. NIAT saw offensive portrayals of Interlok characters everywhere, but never got the story straight, and you all at hartalmsm, how many of you amateurs here? four? three? two? You took the trouble to put up paragraphs scans on rape, muder and suicide in the original novel – trying to show how violent Interlok is, neglecting to mention that these are all plot devices to move the story along. The Curse contains far more murders, and even in The Pearl too, but you just could not accept it.

        Call me vicious, call me cruel, call me whatever you like, I am just a nobody. However, for the mud and slander you all have hurled in the direction of Interlok and Abdullah Hussain, I think you guys owe him an apology. You don’t have to publish any of my comments and you can delete every single one of them from your blog. It is your right, I have said what I wanted to say and more, and winning empty rhetoric is meaningless because you folks at hartalmsm showed no remorse.

      • infansolaris says:

        “…and the slander towards Interlok has been made.”

        I’m curious. Htf does one slander something that’s abominable, execrable, damnable, vacuous, felonious, reprehensible, inutile and rotten to the core?

      • Yeah says:

        Four National Laureates have issued a joint statement to join the resounding consensus of academicians, scholars and writers. Wake up hartalmsm!

        ————————————————————————————————————————————–

        Kenyataan Sasterawan Negara tentang kes Interlok
        Sasterawan Negara | Mar 08, 2011 12:57:09 pm

        Sudah banyak perbincangan dan debat yang telah diadakan tentang buku Interlok oleh Abdullah Hussein – di akhbar, majalah, di tv dan dunia siber. Dalam wacana ini ada yang jernih di samping banyak juga yang keruh pada sungai perbincangannya. Akan tetapi yang agak dikesalkan ialah hakikat bahawa sangat sedikit golongan, terutama partai politik yang menjadikan pembelaan nasib dan martabat kaum Melayu sebagai landasannya, tampil memberi sokongan moral kepada seorang pengarang Melayu bernama Abdullah Hussein, yang melalui Interlok berbicara tentang kemanusiaan yang merentas sempadan ras dan etnik di tanah airnya.

        Kami, Sasterawan Negara Malaysia, ingin menegaskan bahawa sebuah teks sastera bukanlah sebuah teks politik, dan bukan juga teks sejarah atau geografi. Sebuah karya sastera ialah sebuah teks yang melukis jiwa manusia, perasaannya, nilai dan kepentingannya dalam konteks zaman dan sejarahnya. Yang dilukis didekatkan sehampir mungkin kepada kenyataan di dalam dan di luar diri manusia, kerana karya sastera tidak tercipta daripada kekosongan atau vakum. Peristiwa di luar – peperangan dan kedamaian, kesusahan dan kesenangan, kerusuhan dan ketenangan – dilukis oleh kata-kata dan peribadi pengarang. Ini telah dilakukan sejak beribu tahun oleh semua pengarang, di semua negara.

        Sastera bukan dokumen rasmi pemerintah, atau maklumat yang dirapikan serta dicantikkan untuk disebarkan. Sastera ialah lukisan kehidupan, dan kehidupan tidak selalu rapi dan cantik. Inilah bahan sastera, dan untuk berlaku adil kepada bahan ini sastera melukis dengan warna berbagai-bagai – ada yang merah, kuning, kelabu dan hitam. Itulah warna kehidupan yang lebih banyak jalurnya. Malah pengarang-pengarang dari benua kecil India, telah turut menyentuh isu dalam Interlok yang oleh segelintir orang di sini disensasikan, kerana sistem sosial masyarakatnya telah dinormakan dalam perjalanan panjang peradabannya.

        Berlainan dengan dokumen rasmi, sastera menderetkan berbagai-bagai jenis , manusia – seperti yang dilihat pengarang dalam ruang kehidupannya – daripada wira hinggalah penjenayah, daripada ketua hinggalah pengikut buta, daripada ulama hinggalah orang berdosa, dan dari berbagai-bagai bangsa dan kaum. Mereka semua kita temui dalam deretan kehidupan harian. Sastera ialah ucapan dan ingatan bangsa, kerana yang terlukis di dalamnya ialah pemerian tentang bangsa itu.

        Kami berpendapat bahawa sastera ada ruangnya sendiri dengan keseniannya yang khusus pula. Kita harus membaca sastera sebagai sastera, dan bukan buku sejarah atau politik. Membaca sastera ialah suatu proses berfikir, merasa dan menghayati bahasa, peristiwa dan gagasan. Proses ini penting untuk diri manusia sendiri kerana yang ditawarkan ialah berbagai-bagai jenis pengalaman buat pembacanya – dari yang lahiriah sampailah kepada sikap dan pendiriannya. Semuanya dianggap sebagai cermin dan bayang makna kehidupan manusia. Ramai daripada kita yang merasakan pelajar kita kurang mampu untuk menilai apa yang mereka baca. Pada tahun 2011, dengan gunung maklumat di internet dan dunia cetakan, kami maklum bahawa mereka sudah lama dituntut dan dilatih untuk mempertimbangkan, memilih dan membuat kesimpulan sendiri. Sesuatu fakta yang diubah dan dimetaforakan secara halus sekalipun di dalam karya sastera dan kenyataan dengan wajah sebenar akan tetap muncul dalam pelbagai medium yang lain.

        Interlok ialah sebuah novel yang melukis suatu deretan waktu, watak dan latar dari 1910 hinggalah sebelum Merdeka. Tujuan penulis cukup mulia, iaitu melukis gambaran kaum-kaum yang terdapat di negara ini, dengan masalah dalamannya sendiri, dan di akhirnya telah bersatu untuk menerima negara dan harapan baru. Inilah tujuan pengarang. Manusia yang dilukiskan juga cukup mulia, terutama Maniam, yang besar hati dan jiwanya, dan masih ingin membantu orang lain, walau pun dia pernah dimangsakan.

        Kami tidak melihat masalah pada istilah dan lukisan yang digambarkan oleh pengarang. Kami juga tidak mengesan tujuan untuk menghina mana-mana kaum. Akhiran karya ini menawarkan harapan dan kecerahan. Itulah tujuan terpenting pengarang. Kami merasa sangat prihatin sekiranya pengarang terus didesak untuk merubah karya mereka sehingga gagasan awal mereka sudah dicairkan. Dan sekiranya perubahan pada lukisan satu kaum hanya dibuat, dan tidak pada kaum yang lain, maka akhirnya terdapat suatu lukisan yang tidak lagi berimbang dan benar – hanya cantik pada suatu kaum dan comot pada yang lainnya.

        Benarkanlah penulis kita melukis kenyataan Malaysia, walau betapa pun tidak manis kenyataan itu. Kerana mereka juga berfikir bagi pihak kita, dengan sudut pandangan mereka sendiri, yang walau pun berlainan, masih diperlukan di negara yang demokratis, yang memberi kebebasan kepada sasterawannya untuk menulis, berfikir dan berpendirian.

        Marilah kita, rakyat Malaysia, membaca sastera dari pendekatan sastera dan menghormatinya secara wajar dan pintar, supaya darinya dapat kita kutip pemikiran dan kearifan sasterawan kita.

        *Kenyataan bersama oleh empat orang Sasterawan Negara, Muhammad Haji Salleh, Anwar Ridhwan, Shahnon Ahmad dan Noordin Hassan.

        http://www.merdekareview.com/bm/news.php?n=11620

  10. ROBINSON says:

    “Four National Laureates have issued a joint statement to join the resounding consensus of academicians, scholars and writers. Wake up hartalmsm!”

    So what ? Would you recommend a book which runs down Malays as a reference book if it is endorsed by Nobel Prize for literature winners.

    • Yeah says:

      Interlok is not a reference book, and it is a story with Malay, Chinese and Indian heroes and villains. I would recommend any book I have read and enjoyed, and if it has won a Nobel Literature Prize, it would be on my to read list in time. Prize winning works of literature should be read, but I suppose in Robinson’s case, he will probably decide based on the colour of the book’s cover.

      • hartalmsm says:

        Correction Yeah, it’s a book with plenty of cheating Chinese and Indian pariah villains. Pray tell us, who is the Malay villain in ‘Interlok’ where the kaum Bumiputera semuanya “baik-baik belaka”? Name who you consider the Malay bad guy, if there is any.

      • ROBINSON says:

        I’ve never decided to read a book by the cover’s colour, but I’m you decided to defend “Interlok” based on the author’s skin colour.

  11. ROBINSON says:

    After reading Yeah’s comments. I find that he has hardly made any rebuttal to HartalMSM article. He is only frustrated that Hartal MSM as provided solid evidence for the removal of “Interlok”. He tries to compare it to ee Su Ann’s “The Curse” . If there had been anything offensive to Malays then lodge a protest and remove the novel if must. But I don’t think the continuation of another book should be reason enough to retain “Interlok”.

    Not too long a ago Malays were angry that the Royal Marines recruitment ad “portrayed” them as terrorists. See here for the article:
    http://www.buzzle.com/articles/198673.html

    and here for the advert:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuhEniZkrRU.

    If an advert that simply featuring a Malay speaking individual is considered an insult to Malays and provoked an apology from MoD of Britain, why shouldn’t non-Malays demand the withdrawal of the “Interlok”?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: