Interlok is one of the text books for literature for Form 5 students. Many NGOs and individuals have expressed utter contempt for the usage of the book as some of its contents are found to be offensive, demeaning and decretory.
I have said in my previous statement that the book has distorted and twisted the real fact.
Now some people have resorted to burning the book. While such action could be considered extreme by but it also shows the degree of anger and frustration caused by an insensitive government.
Now we read in the media that Val Peri, a CWC member of the MIC saying that he intends to file proceedings in court on this matter.
Apparently he wants the court to declare banning the usage of the book as a text book by the Minister of Education. Although Vel Pari’s move may be well intended but the process may not be an advantage to the community in the long run.
Vel Pari said he has sought lawyers’ opinion both in Australia and in Malaysia . The court process it seems will settle this controversial issue. But will legal action resolve the issue?
I believe that going to the court to resolve a government policy is not a wise move, for the following reasons:-
1) The introduction of this literature novel is by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and it is a policy decision of the Government. Thus it’s the duty and obligation for the MOF to state why this book should not be withdrawn and not for the court to venture into this arena.
2) Even if the case is to be heard soon, there will be appeals to the Court of Appeal and then to the Federal Court. The process will take many years. In the meantime, the literature will be taught in the schools.
3) In view of the controversy, MIC should prevail on UMNO and other partners in BN to withdraw the book. Alternatively use the book but remove the offending words.
4) MIC is a partner in BN. Why can’t this matter be resolved in the BN itself? Why does it have to resort to legal means to challenge a government’s decision?
More importantly, if MIC truly disagrees with the policy decision of the government, it must quit the government.
The basic question is – is MIC prepared or have the courage to do so?
BN government claims that it has changed and reformed after the 2008 general election and asks for support from the people.
But if it is not paying heed to the sentiment of the Indian community on this issue, it only shows that it is still insensitive and as arrogant as before