What’s DAP gonna do about Interlok?
“I read the novel and found it repugnant not only to the sensibility of Indians Malaysian but also to Chinese Malaysians, and even Malays,” — M. Kulasegaran DAP vice-chairman
Observing that Interlok has a political agenda, Kula added too that the novel is vile and gross.
He was reported by Malaysiakini as saying, “You can’t [by amending a few words change the tenor of the story]. You either reject it outright or leave it alone.”
In ‘Kula decries decision to retain Interlok’ the DAP vice-chairman said he hoped that Indian Malaysians now understood what the Umno-led BN government was up to — which was to obtain their acquiescence as a subject people through their children’s absorption of a literature that defines their self-image as denigrated (see mKini, the one-stop centre for DAP views).
“The construction of identity in every society involves establishing opposites and otherness,” Kula was quoted in Malaysiakini.
“Interlok’ aims to tell Indian and Chinese Malaysians that they are the ‘Other’ in Malaysian society, undesirably different and, for the reason, unable to be integrated unless they change.”
Correct, correct, correct.
Combating the propaganda
Meanwhile, Lim KIt Siang’s blog carried ‘Interlok’ and Our Tragic Reality‘ by Kee Thuan Chye.
Kee opined that “If characters of a certain race behave in a horrible manner in a novel or a play or a film, it should not be concluded that they reflect the race they belong to and that their rotten characteristics are common to that race.”
He also argued “whether there is evidence in the text to show that Abdullah Hussain means to say that all Indians are pariah and that all Chinese sell their daughters and are money-grabbing.”
One of our readers Temenggong in CPI responded, “That was certainly insinuated.”
Replying to Kee, Temenggong wrote:
“The author mentions that the Indian character in the novel was able to get along with others on the ship since ALL of them were from the same pariah caste group. We are asked to believe that ALL on the ship were pariahs, when everyone knows that the situation of that group in India makes it almost impossible for them to migrate.
Further, the author writes that, ” Maniam, like all Indians, did not care for the health of his wife”. This needless generalisation is really strange. There is no question that the author intended to negatively stereotype ALL the Indians and the Chinese.
Hitler Youth, pix from http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com
Hartal MSM disagrees with Kee’s stand.
Kee had contended, “With regard to Interlok, I think it is better that we educate our children so that they know how to distinguish between fiction and reality, so that they understand that it is the right of everyone to express what he or she believes, and that they too have the right to disagree with what is expressed.”
As a writer and dramatist, he’s going along with the idea of artistic freedom and license.
We however believe that parents send their children to school to get an education. If we succumb to what Kee is advocating above, our students would require a de-briefing at home to undo the brainwashing in school.
Now parents have to themselves read and vet Interlok, The Curse, Papa and all the other garbage incorporated into the Language and Literature syllabus. As if we don’t have enough to do as it is.
And Kee by his own admission has NOT even read Interlok!