Interlok – a quick comparison with fundamental BTN doctrine

by Eyes Wide Open

Lest I be accused again of spreading wild conpiracy theories, propagating overblown exaggerations and plain lying, this time I’m just going to present what is documented fact of BTN indoctrination, side by side with the MOE’s study guide for Interlok.

And I’m not gonna make any comment at all lest some people think that i have a bone they can pick at.

And just to clarify up front:

1. I am not against Interlok as a literary work. Everyone is entitled to their freedom of expression, and so is Abdullah Hussein.

2. I am not calling for a ban on the book, nor do I support calls for its ban.

3. I am not in support of editing the book as it is insulting to the author. Besides, if academics censored over 20% of the book as unfit for schoolchildren’s consumption, why was it selected in the first place?

4. I think protests against certain words, certain stereotypes or certain factual errors (while valid) have missed the bigger issue that Interlok may be a test case of BTN-style indoctrination targetting a younger market.

That said, here goes.

BTN Doctrine In A Nutshell

So, here’s a video of the BTN theme song that summarizes the doctrine that the BTN is tasked with instilling in young Malaysian minds. (And they spent over HALF BILLION RINGGIT over the last 10 years doing it!)

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It

Here are some eyewitness accounts of BTN’s secretive “Kenegaraan” workshops that ALL local uni students and civil servants are required to attend if they want to graduate / be confirmed / promoted.

Eyewitness 1
Eyewitness 2
Eyewitness 3
Eyewitness 4
Eyewitness 5
Eyewitness 6
Eyewitness 7

Opinion piece (Nur Azim Fahada Bin Ahmad, )
Opinion piece (The Nut Graph)

Interlok lessons in the Govt’s own words

Here is a sampling of the Ministry of Education’s summary of Interlok’s lessons to be taught to students, contrasted with the BTN doctrine found in the song Anak Kecil Main Api. (Keep in mind that Interlok is being touted as a valuable lesson on race relations in Malaysia. The individual characters are supposed to to be accurate reflections of the major races and their relationships with each other, as per the following):

Tema

Novel Interlok bertemakan integrasi tiga kaum utama di Malaysia, iaitu Melayu, Cina, dan India yang terpaksa melalui pelbagai cabaran untuk hidup bersama-sama dalam sebuah negara yang bebas dan bermaruah.

Here’s the lyrics to Anak Kecil Main Api, with English translation. Notice any similarities between that and the lessons that the Ministry wants our children to learn from Interlok?

Anak kecil main api (little children playing with fire)
terbakar hatinya yang sepi (burns their own desolate hearts)
air mata darah bercampur keringat (their tears and blood are mixed with sweat)
bumi dipijak milik orang (but their land belongs to the others)

Pembinaan Plot

(i) Permulaan
Seman sedang memotong kayu sambil diperhatikan oleh ibunya. Ayah Seman sakit

Watak dan Perwatakan

1. Watak Seman (watak utama)
Seorang yang taat akan arahan ibunya
Seorang yang taat akan ajaran agama
Seorang yang rajin bekerja
Seorang yang bertanggungjawab
Seorang yang berani
Seorang yang tegas
Seorang yang berdikari

3. Watak Cing Huat

Watak yang penting kerana beberapa peristiwa penting yang menimpa watak utama, iaitu Seman berpunca daripada tindakannya.

Seorang yang mementingkan keuntungan / mementingkan diri
Cing Huat sanggup meminjamkan wang kepada Pak Musa dengan cagaran tanah. Jika gagal membayar hutang tersebut, tanah Pak Musa akan dirampas oleh Cing Huat atau Cina Panjang.

nenek moyang kaya raya (our ancestors were extremely wealthy)
tergadai seluruh harta benda (but every single treasure was pawned)
akibat sengketa sesamalah kita (because of conflicts amongst ourselves)
cinta lenyap di arus zaman (our love disappeared into the ages)

Pembinaan Plot

(ii) Perkembangan

Buku 1

Ayah Seman meninggal dunia. Setelah 27 hari kematian Pak Musa, Cina Panjang menemui Seman untuk memaklumkan bahawa Pak Seman berhutang hampir sepuluh ribu ringgit untuk membeli tanah dan pada masa yang sama menggadaikan tanah yang dibeli kepada Cina Panjang. Seman menyangka ayahnya menyimpan wang lima ribu yang dipinjam daripada Cina Panjang di rumah. Seman membawa ibunya keluar dari kampung kerana tanah itu bukan miliknya lagi.

indahnya bumi kita ini (so beautiful is our land)
warisan berkurun lamanya (our heritage for centruries)
hasil mengalir ketangan yang lain (but its bounty flows into others’ hands)
pribumi merintih sendiri (the sons of the soil agonize alone)

Tema

Pak Musa terpaksa berhutang dengan Kim Lock untuk membeli harta dan hidup senang tetapi tidak sempat melunaskan hutangnya sebelum mati. Akibatnya semua hartanya diambil oleh Kim Lock menyebabkan anak dan isterinya melarat.

masa depan sungguh kelam (the future is very dark)
kan lenyap peristiwa semalam (the events of the past disappear)
tertutuplah hati terkunci mati (our hearts are closed, locked forever)
maruah peribadi sudah hilang (our dignity has been lost)

Sinopsis

Cina Panjang menemui Seman untuk memaklumkan bahawa Pak Seman berhutang sejumlah wang daripadanya untuk membeli tanah dan pada masa yang sama menggadaikan tanah yang dibeli kepada Cina Panjang. Cina Panjang menunjukkan surat-surat hutang Pak Musa. Akhirnya Seman membawa ibunya berpindah dari kampung kerana semua harta bukan miliknya lagi.

3. Watak Cing Huat

Bersikap Prejudis
Cing Huat tidak membenarkan anaknya Yew Seng berkawan dengan orang Melayu, khususnya Lazim kerana pada sangkaannya mereka akan menjadi malas seperti orang Melayu.

kini kita cuma tinggal kuasa(now, all we have is political power)
yang akan menentukan bangsa (to determine the fate of our race)
bersatulah hati, bersama berbakti(be united and work hand in hand)
pulih kembali harga diri(to reclaim our dignity)

kita sudah tiada masa(we have no time to lose)
majulah dengan maha perkasa(advance ourselves with all our might)
janganlah terlalai, teruskan usaha(don’t be negligent, maintain our efforts)
melayukan gagah dinusantara…(the Malays will be mighty in the Archipelago)

Persoalan

Lazim dan rakan-rakannya membentuk kumpulan menentang Malayan Union demi menjaga maruah orang Melayu.

The MOE guidelines for Interlok repeatedly preaches the suitability of the current model of race-based politics in Malaysia.

Pembinaan Plot

(vi) Peleraian
Tertubuhnya kesatuan – kesatuan yang mewakili 3 kaum terbesar di Tanah Melayu, Melayu, Cina, dan India. Tanah Melayu mencapai kemerdekaan pada 31 Ogos 1957.

It also persistently emphasises the “otherness” of the Chinese and Indians, especially singling out vernacular schools as places to teach children to love their respective motherlands – China and India.

Persoalan

4. Persoalan semangat patriotisme yang kuat dalam kalangan masyarakat imigran
Kim Lock dan Maniam masing-masing berusaha dengan cara sendiri untuk membina sekolah di kawasan tempat tinggal mereka bagi memastikan anak-anak mereka tidak lupa akan asal-usul bahasa ibunda mereka.

5. Persoalan kesedaran politik masyarakat berbilang kaum
Lazim dan rakan-rakannya membentuk kumpulan menentang Malayan Union demi menjaga maruah orang Melayu. Kim Lock juga menyertai persatuan untuk menjaga kepentingan kaum Cina, manakala Raman juga berusaha untuk menyatukan kaum India di negara yang baru merdeka itu.

Jenis Plot

Bersifat kronologi – peristiwa-peristiwa berkembang mengikut urutan waktu. Pembaca dapat mengikuti cerita dengan mudah kerana peristiwa-peristiwa disusun mengikut urutan waktu bermula dari kisah Seman, penduduk asal Tanah Melayu, kisah penghijrahan Kim Lock dan anaknya, Cing Huat (Cina Panjang), serta kisah perhijrahan Maniam ke Tanah Melayu.

3. Watak Cing Huat

Seorang yang mementingkan pelajaran
Anak-anaknya bersekolah dan terlibat dalam perbincangan untuk mendirikan sekolah di situ.

Seorang yang suka menderma
Cing Huat sangat setuju jika didirikan sekolah untuk anak-anak kaum Cina agar mereka tidak melupakan asal-usul mereka.

Melebih-lebihkan anak lelaki
Cara berfikir Cing Huat masih terpengaruh dengan ayahnya yang tidak menghargai kelahiran anak perempuan. Akhirnya Cing Huat sedar akan kesilapannya apabila dia sanggup bekerjasama dengan orang Melayu dan India.

Nilai

7. Nilai Cinta akan tanah air
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. Nilai prihatin
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.

Pengajaran

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.

Do BTN doctrines have any influence on teachers and students?

I’ll make no comment but will merely point to the following.

Read HERE for the latest school racism incident, where a discipline teacher derogated some Indian students and the PTA Chairman hauled them to the police station for a marathon 10-hour interrogation session. All because they tried to return their copies of Interlok.

Other cases of school racism we have highlighted:

More examples here, here, here and here.

Will Interlok have a BTN-ish effect on students?

Again, I will make no comment but will merely state the following facts:

Interlok will be taught by teachers, who have ALL attended the BTN courses at least once. And it is compulsory for SPM students to memorise key passages and regurgitate accepted answers as per the MOE study guide in order to pass the SPM BM paper.

Comments
15 Responses to “Interlok – a quick comparison with fundamental BTN doctrine”
  1. Yeah says:

    Dear EWO,

    Thanks to the hate-mongering and politicization of Interlok, Indian students in Kuala Kubu have now struck back. Did their parents ask them to return the book? What happened between the students and teachers that necessitated the intervention of the police? Who lodged the original police report? What happened over the weekend between the attempt of 7 Indian students who tried to return Interlok to their principal but was dispersed by their discipline teacher and the subsequent pick-up of 3 Indian students for questioning by PIBG chairperson who is a policeman. If threats were uttered, why wasn’t the SOP adhered to? The police also wanted one of the older sibling of the student for questioning over alleged Gang 36 threats. This is getting uglier by the day.

    All the instigation and provocation now comes full circle. All the peddlers of hate and bombast now rejoice because they can see the fruit of their labour in action. As it is, we didn’t even have to wait for the revised student edition because the novel has already been pre-judged to be evil. I have said it before that the victims will always be the teachers and the students and their parents, who are now caught in the firestorm and playing out the drama in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Tahniah hartalmsm.
    ——————————————————————————————-
    Rather, give yourself a pat on the back, Yeah. Mission accomplished – shar101

    • hartalmsm says:

      Bad joke 1:
      “Thanks to the hate-mongering and politicization of Interlok, Indian students in Kuala Kubu have now struck back.”

      OH MY GOD!!!! Teens armed with paperback novels are coming for us! Call out the swat team!!

      At first I thought that was funny, but then I realised that it really happened. Only in BTN’s Malaysia, I guess.

      Bad joke 2:
      You are ascribing such immense influence to us and a few poorly-funded NGOs – that we are able to incite such hate in children that they deserve to be hauled up by police without notice and interrogated for 10 hours for trying to return a book.

      Yet you assert that the BTN with a sizable staff, a RM50million annual budget and compulsory attendance for tens of thousands of govt scholars every year has negligible effect.

      Bad joke 3:
      You accuse us of spinning wild speculations yet, here you are spouting a long scenario of “what ifs” to justify your speculation that HartalMSM and other poorly-funded NGOs as having caused the beginnings of an avalanche or race-hate in the country!

      Well, I look forward to reading a news report that quotes students saying, “I read HartalMSM and I felt so much hate for Interlok that I risked arrest, police brutality and possible death-by-lockup to return the book.”

      Yeah, we understand your concern for students not being able to be reached by the BTN’s race-politics agenda. We really hope that it doesn’t happen.

      REALLY BAD JOKE:
      Does anyone else think it’s funny that Yeah seems to think that it’s the STUDENTS who got arrested and their parents who are the stupid troublemakers, and that the people actually abusing them are not, even though they called them keling pariah?

      • Yeah says:

        Websites like hartalmsm are enablers of racial discord, having contribute to the poisoning of Interlok in the eyes of the masses, it is now acting all modest and innocent? Jangan-lah malu-malu, or are you now going to blame BTN for what happened?

        We do not yet know what happened, but I am sure the police should be reprimanded for failure to adhere to its own SOP in the matter. There are reasons for having procedures, and that is to avoid perception of bias or impropriety by the force. The same goes for the discipline teacher. The stunt by the seven students should have been better handled, but this is what most of us have been arguing for – to steer clear racial politics from our schools. Instigations and derisions towards Interlok has clearly influenced our youth, who merely took to example the behavior of their elders.
        ——————————————————————————————-
        The BTN-KKB stinker, in various hues and shades. Perhaps, there’s more in the making in your neck of the woods, eh Yeah – shar101.

      • hartalmsm says:

        HAH! I thought we were finished with Yeah’s jokes, this GEM pops out:

        “Websites like hartalmsm are enablers of racial discord”

        As opposed to BTN’s race-sensitive attempts at integration? As opposed to sites such as Demi Negara, Ridhuan Tee and PERKASA?

        And pray, just how do we sow discord? Is it because we are against BTN’s Ketuanan Melayu doctrine?

        “having contribute to the poisoning of Interlok in the eyes of the masses, it is now acting all modest and innocent?”

        We’ll let others be the judge of that. Meanwhile, we’re more interested in hearing your reply on another more important point:

        Does the BTN, with a sizable staff and a RM50million annual budget, poison the minds of tens of thousands of govt scholars who are compelled to attend each year with its racist doctrines?

        “this is what most of us have been arguing for – to steer clear racial politics from our schools.”

        Huh? That’s exactly what we’ve been calling for all this time – the removal of BTN racial political indoctrination from our schools.

        Unfortunately however, Malaysian schools have long been used as political petrie dishes ages before Interlok. The most direct political indoctrinations have usually been the BTN Kenegaraan courses, but now it seems someone feels a need to move upstream.

      • Yeah says:

        This is the obvious baling batu sembunyi tangan.

        After deriding Abdullah Hussain and dragging Interlok through muds of slander, lies and distortions, hartalmsm has the cheek to wonder why some were roused into hatred of the novel. We are neither talking about BTN, Ridhuan Tee nor PERKASA but a work of fiction with themes of unity and humanity.

        After all this while, hartalmsm still insist on labelling Interlok as BTN propaganda. We cannot blame hartalmsm for its prejudice, but what has BTN with its millions and supposed brainwashing of all civil servants got to do with Abdullah Hussain and Interlok? Biro Tatanegara started operating in 1981, and even if it is a sinister agent of indoctrination, are all civil servants morons with no thinking capacity of their own?

        You saw ghosts of BTN in Interlok, I cannot argue with that. It is impossible to argue with mental patients with vivid hallucinations.
        ——————————————————————————————
        Wow! Do tell us about your experiences with retards. We’d love to hear from an expert – shar101

      • hartalmsm says:

        Yeah, yeah, yeah

        I didn’t even forward an opinion in this article but merely placed documented facts side by side and it is STILL unacceptable to your twisted sensitivities?

        What is acceptable then?

        Oh but we all already know your answer to that, right? BTN Ketuanan Melayu ideology is the only way to go for you, innit?

        One more thing, go read my four points right at the top of this article. How and when did I ever deride Interlok’s author? Who’s spinning lies now?

        And we wonder, why have you got your knickers all tied up in knots over the link between BTN and Interlok?

        We ran several articles featuring excerpts from Interlok that were unflattering portrayals of the non-Malays. You didn’t once raise a stink, until we started piecing Interlok together with the BTN.

        Hitting a little too close to home, is it?

        You’re slipping, Yeah! But too many lies and propaganda will do that to ya! You just can’t keep track of the mountains of bullshit being shovelled out.

        One more thing:
        “It is impossible to argue with mental patients”

        You got that right! That’s why we’re not arguing with you. Just trying to teach you a thing or two about realities outside of the BTN.

  2. Yeah says:

    Trying to conveniently forget the lies you have already peddled for the past few months, if not more?

    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.

    EWO, you live in an imaginary world where BTN is everywhere. When the Interlok slander got to a level of staggering craziness, I needed to find out the source. Hartalmsm is one of the proud fountainhead of distortions, and now you want to come and play nice? Have you or anyone written to Abdullah Hussain and apologize for the mistakes and lies thus far?
    ——————————————————————————————-
    Redundancy must be your other name, eh Yeah. Btw did DBP apologise to the author for thrashing his novel in the first place? – shar101.

    • Yeah says:

      Dear Shar101,

      Please, I didn’t realize DBP was going about town clamouring that Interlok is thrash, riddled with mistakes, promotes racial hatred and what not. OWN UP TO YOUR MISTAKES, at least be jantan about it. Don’t-lah re-direct the question to DBP. They did not claim that Kerala is north of Andhra Pradesh, nor ended the Kangani system by almost 3 decades, hartalmsm did.These are but just some of the outright lies hartalmsm has been peddling thus far, and lets not even get started with all the distortions and perversions the blog has made on Interlok. EWO might think he can just put up a new entry in the blog saying that he has nothing against Abdullah Hussain or the novel, but the derision of the author and slander against the work of fiction speak otherwise.

      You will need more than just one or two circle jerk members to amplify the foul echo chamber to cover up for your lies.
      ——————————————————————————————-
      Woi Badut, DBP ‘reduced’ the content of Interlok by 85 pages lah. That’s the biggest insult anyone can inflict on a national laureate’s legacy. Are there more idiots like you in UPM ah – shar101.

      • Yeah says:

        Shar101, I guess you didn’t know what an abridged / student edition version means. I don’t see how simplifying a book for younger readers is a problem. Abdullah Hussain gave DBP his consent. Why does hartalmsm kept perceiving non-existent insults?

        Masalah wiring otak?

        ——————

        yeah, yeah, yeah

        Get your points straight la. First, you say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Interlok as it is, and anyone opposed to it is (insert your preferred insult here – you gave too many to be listed).

        Now you say there is absolutely nothing wrong with Interlok as it has been chopped up. Just like a good BTN-trained zombie – whatever govt says and does is absolutely correct. But I guess things are all coloured in simple black and white for those holding a metal rice bowl in BTN-land.

        Hey, even we never asked for the book to be banned or edited. We merely said that it is unsuitable to be used in schools in these times.

        What, you didn’t even get that after all your careful reading of our posts? Sheesh…

        Besides, 2 points to consider:

        1. Abridged means a complete rewriting in simplified language. Interlok is in the KOMSAS component of the BM language paper. If Interlok had been abridged, meaning that the language has been diluted, what is the point of studying for a language paper whose reference literary work is devoid of its original language value?

        2. Besides, the student version of Interlok is NOT abridged. Interlok has been CENSORED of its scenes of rape and suicide. The language of what remains is the same as the original.

        So please don’t keep spreading your lies, half-truths and red herrings here to obscure the point that Interlok is a convenient tool to be manipulated for BTN style indoctrination.

        – EWO

      • Yeah says:

        Dear EWO, I think you are sorely mistaken here about what abridged or student editions are trying to achieve. Every major work of literature has been condensed, revised and abridged to reach younger audiences. There is nothing wrong with Interlok, certainly not with its intended purpose, intention, aim and storyline. What I am concerned about is not the calls for a more sanitized version. My worry is that it will not be enough in the eyes of misguided souls who believe that Interlok is a work by satan. Just as Uthanya Sankar has pointed out, there have been different editions of Interlok, but the student edition is considered the definitive version to be used in schools, since it is understood that not everyone can sit through over 500 pages of text. It is not as dumbing down as what happens to novels when they are compressed into 2 – 3 hour movies, but it works almost the same.

        If the folks are genuinely concerned that Interlok’s message might fly over the head of our impressionable young minds, it would not have insulted the author and ridiculed his work as BTN crap. The disrespect hartalmsm has shown towards Interlok not only hurt the sentiments of Malay language literature readers and writers, but the baseless and childish accusations have perverted the original intentions of the book and its author. If it is just about hartalmsm’s dislike of the book, hey, that’s only normal. We cannot force another to like something. But to instigate hatred and peddling lies about the matter? Deliberately calling names and ignoring the opinions of scholars, academicians and writers? Refusing to be civil, and yet expecting civility when confronted?

        We merely said that it is unsuitable to be used in schools in these times.” ~ hartalmsm

        If this is what is merely said in over 26 blog entries, it would not have been necessary to call Abdullah Hussain all sorts of names and deriding Interlok as a “sick” book. For just pointing out your exaggerations, and I am the one raising a stink? Because of your prejudice, the book is now indeed poisoned.
        ——————————————————————————————-
        Yeah, in your very first comment at HartalMSM, you ended it with these words – ‘Bodoh nak mampus’. Sums up your state of mind, ever since – shar101

      • Yeah says:

        Dear EWO,

        A student edition, in Interlok’s case, is related to several publishing rights and distributive issues. But before that please allow me to point out that an abridged work could both mean rewriting or removal of parts. In any case, the student edition is printed and distributed for free, and Abdullah Hussain must have been compensated because the copyright now belongs to DBP. This also means it is likely not to be meant for sale in the open market. It is more accurate to say that the passages from the original were removed and rewritten for the student edition.

        In any case we can compare the matter of Interlok and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, where publishers also excised controversial words (nigger – 219 times & Injun) from its book, using slaves instead. The term considered pejorative is excised, but opinion is very much divided on the matter. You can read the arguments presented in Wikipedia on the matter, and peruse the links enclosed for reference.

        ————————————————————————————————————————————-

        Because of this controversy over whether Huckleberry Finn is racist or anti-racist, and because the word “nigger” is frequently used in the novel, many have questioned the appropriateness of teaching the book in the U.S. public school system—this questioning of the word “nigger” is illustrated by a school administrator of Virginia in 1982 calling the novel the “most grotesque example of racism I’ve ever seen in my life”.

        In 2009 a Washington state high school teacher called for the removal of the novel from a school curriculum.

        A 2011 edition of the book, published by NewSouth Books, replaced the word “nigger” with “slave” (although being incorrectly addressed to a freed man) and did not use the term “Injun”. The initiative to update the book was led by Mark Twain scholar Alan Gribben, who said the change was made to better express Twain’s ideas in the 21st century. Gribben said he hoped the edition would be more friendly for use in classrooms, rather than have the work banned outright from classroom reading lists due to its language. intended to counter the “pre-emptive censorship” that Dr. Gribben observes has caused these important works of literature to fall off curriculum lists nationwide.

        According to publisher Suzanne La Rosa “At NewSouth, we saw the value in an edition that would help the works find new readers. If the publication sparks good debate about how language impacts learning or about the nature of censorship or the way in which racial slurs exercise their baneful influence, then our mission in publishing this new edition of Twain’s works will be more emphatically fulfilled.” Another scholar, Thomas Wortham, criticized the changes, saying the new edition “doesn’t challenge children to ask, ‘Why would a child like Huck use such reprehensible language?'”

        Alex Sharpe, a writer wrote:

        In the September 29, 2008 article “Banned Books,” Time points out that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been censored for language since 1885, which is the year the book was published in America. (It appeared in England in 1884.) Even Louisa May Alcott found the book to be unacceptable for “pure-minded” readers, and Mark Twain laughed off censorship, saying, “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”

        Read more at Suite101: Student Edition of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer is Censored by Editor http://www.suite101.com/content/student-edition-of-huck-finn-and-tom-sawyer-is-censored-by-editor-a328530#ixzz1G7TKTSpX

        ————————————————————————————————————————————-

        You believe that Interlok is a convenient tool for BTN-esque indoctrination. I am of the opinion that our teachers, students and parents can use the help in avoiding that scenario instead of being continually poisoned against a work of literature.

        I know you don’t trust our teachers to do a good job out of this, and I can agree that is the more important issue, but turning public opinion on Abdullah Hussain and Interlok is counter-productive, and will create the very problems we are trying to avoid – blind prejudice.

      • hartalmsm says:

        What has this stuff you put here anything to do with Interlok’s allegedly “ABRIDGED” version for students? This article is about the pros and cons of CENSORING works of literature for students and the acceptable level of it, as has been mentioned several times in the article itself.

        Besides, this wiki article just destroyed YEAH’s case against us – isn’t this article about how Huck Finn & Tom Sawyer are being carefully censored to avoid offending racial sensitivities of minorities?

        But YEAH on the other hand is accusing the world at large of being stupid idiots, mad conspiracy theorists, uneducated fools, etc, simply because….wait for it…some people felt Interlok was offending racial sensitivities of minorities!

        Why the double standards?

        Or is it because you didn’t review your staff’s research before they sent it in, Yeah?

  3. Fabian says:

    Bla bla bla, yada yada yada…

    A lot of noise repeating the same thing.

    “Slander, lies and distortions”? “Inciting racial hatred”? What, are you describing Interlok or articles in HartalMSM and other articles about Interlok?

    Your sympathy to the TEACHERS, students, and police are odd. Very telling. Instead of calling for Interlok to be removed from the required syllabus, you want it to be swallowed with bitterness and all in spite of all the setbacks. You call their actions in returning the book a “stunt”? If I were still in school, I’d shove it in the teachers face. For supporting a book that generalizes Indians, Chinese and Malays, and for SELECTIVELY targeting non-Malays are evil, scheming, greedy and untrustworthy. “Building race relations”? More like spewing racial inferiority and sowing distrust.

    I for one am thankful for these articles. While I glance over the opinions of these pieces, it’s the snippets of the text which I really do read. And I have told all who listen about Interlok and the social repercussions of its use in educating our youth.

    Maybe one day (if you’re not Malay, that is), you’ll be a victim of this propaganda. And when you go crying to the police, they’ll just “question” you. Heck, maybe throw you out the window while they’re at it. “Baling batu sembunyi tangan”, is it? I’ve had many experiences of COWARDS who do it, and yes, they do run to the police too. After all, one of them is the son of a policeman.

    • Yeah says:

      Good for you, Fabian! That’s another brilliant specimen of the half-baked Malaysian right here! Many Malaysians are only capable of glancing snippets and parroting the lines of others without engaging their mental faculties, let alone bother with verifying the facts. Conjectures build upon lies is nothing but slander, period.

      • Fabian says:

        Hahaha, thanks very much for the compliment. It takes very little to rile up my suspicions. 30 years of life in Malaysia, and being able to compare life outside of it from work and travel isn’t much compared to the obviously systematic research you execute. Taking a big chunk of my life reading Interlok isn’t exactly what I’d call “leisure”. It might be pleasure reading for you (heck, you might even find it sacred scripture), but I guess you’re just special.

        Conjectures built upon lies may be slander, but making grand gestures and pointing fingers won’t remove the smell of your fart, either. Pusing doesn’t always work.

        Yeah, yeah, yeah~

        I hope the next time a novel is released similar to the Satanic Verses, you won’t be first out there making death threats and burning books.

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