Interlok – The Next Steps

By Sharifuddin A Latiff

There will be a press conference organised by NIAT in response to the continued rebuff by the deputy prime minister cum education minister, Muhyiddin Yassin.

Details of which are as follows:-

Date: 7th May 2011

Time: 11 am


Subject: “Turun Padang”

This press conference is essentially meant for the media but NGO representative(s) who are interested are encouraged to participate to show their solidarity on the matter.

And speaking of ‘The Next Steps’, Penang announced that public libraries in the state will henceforth no longer prominently display ‘Interlok’ in their book archives.

While HartalMSM applaud this initiative by DAP-led Penang, we are equally dismayed that such a move did not seem to include the ‘liberated’ states of Selangor, Kelantan and Kedah because the ‘Interlok’ imbroglio should be considered as a national issue.


The DCM was responding to a question by Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer during today’s session of the state assembly sitting, and explained the move to be a protest of the federal government’s insistence on using the book in schools.

Suffice to say, if the Penang state government consider their action as a protest to the Federal government of Barisan Nasional, shouldn’t the official response be a Pakatan Rakyat effort as well?

Various NGOs of different colours and shades are coming together to tackle the ‘Interlok’ issue as shown by the efforts of NIAT/LLG/CPI, etc and it would be prudent for PR politicians to take notice of this positive development.

Penang may have taken the lead but it would have been a lot more effective if Pakatan Rakyat as the national opposition is the ringmaster from the outset.

6 Responses to “Interlok – The Next Steps”
  1. Yeah says:

    Dear Shar,

    I think we need to take a step back and think clearly about the recent steps taken by the DAP-led government through the Penang State Libraries. P. Ramasamy said that the novel is not banned, and the only actions taken were to relocate the book AWAY from the textbook section.

    It is curious to me why the novel would be found in the textbook section in the first place, unless those are student editions. Perhaps when enough public sentiment has been aroused, the Penang government would suddenly find the courage to actually ban the novel in the State.

    I am sorry, but the stench of opportunistic politics is so bad that it is nauseating. Again, it seems that the novel and its author are being demonized and attacked – despite the repeated claims by some parties that they are only interested in keeping it out of schools. Since no schools in Penang use Interlok as a KOMSAS text, this is evidently a calculated political move. It seems that keeping Interlok out of public view in libraries is now considered acceptable. Apparently, the scholar bureaucrats in the State Exco are now literati who directs the State Libraries on what novels they should highlight (penned by LKS perhaps?) and final arbiter on the Dewey Decimal Classification for the library cataloging system.

    I know hartalmsm is against Interlok in schools, but please don’t use our State Libraries for your political squabbles. This is a bad precedent, however you frame it.


    Tell Muhyiddin that but you can’t, won’t and dare not. And please stop repeating yourself or delve into amateurish double-speak because it doesn’t help in any way – shar101.

    • Yeah says:

      I see, and you are not repeating your message that all PR-controlled states should remove Interlok (the novel) from the shelves of our State Libraries.

      Good luck yeah, and I can see we are seriously upping the ante by demanding Muhyiddin’s resignation. That definitely helps, hahahaha.
      Good luck in keeping your job at UPM too coz I don’t think Muhyiddin would want to go down alone – shar101.

      • Yeah says:

        Didn’t think it was hidden in the first place. But I believe in keeping work and personal space separate. It is unfair to my employer when I am speaking in my personal capacity. I know you don’t recognize the difference, but I do.
        Does your employer know that you play at work? Oh yeah, one more thing … you goofed and you want me to make it right? That’s really rich – shar101.

  2. Yeah says:

    Thanks Shar101. A small fry like me, why bother? I know you will be championing my rights to my own opinions if I get canned, right? Or is that only reserved for opinions that concur with hartalmsm’s? My mistake for confusing what you guys are trying to achieve here.

    p.s. would like to request that the earlier post be deleted. Didn’t realize I was logged on to my work blogsite.
    Very well, it’s removed from public view as you requested. Poetic justice wot! Interlok:1 Yeah:0 – shar101.

    • Yeah says:

      Thanks, nevertheless. I do concur that blogs are great time wasters. Haven’t got the memo that we can’t surf blogs though, or Malaysiakini for that matter.
      Would you like to get one .. a memo, that is? – shar101.

  3. J Kandan says:

    Yes keep it out of schools and do not change the original it insults the writer”s err.. err.. err… intelligence. I am surprised the writer is quiet as a pussy cat on the forced changes done…his integrity is being questioned and he is quiet??? Ah…err …err..err….money…speaks… thousand copies sold … speaks louder ..integrity worth being sold.

    The book should be banned for school usage. The students are not mature enough to see it as a literary writing whether biased or not. It gives an opportunity to immature students to call each other derogatory names and this may lead to violence and unhappiness among the community..Will the government be responsible for deaths?? triggered by this book???
    The devil is in the details i.e. the KOMSAS-INTERLOK lesson plans & guidelines on which teachers and students have to conform with in order to get a pass mark. Critical reading and analysis of the book is NOT on the education agenda. BTN indoctrination is the endgame – shar101.

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