Monday, April 4, 2011

BN government is still arrogant, insensitive and non responsive

Speech by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and Mp for Ipoh Barat at Ceramah held at Kg Tawas , Ipoh on Friday, 1st April, 2011

The Interlok issue has clearly proven that the BN government is still the same arrogant, insensitive and non responsive government that it was prior to the 2008 general election.

On 30th March, 2011, Chinese associations from across Malaysia in a statement issued said the Interlok was not only offensive to Indians but Chinese as well, as it depicted the character Kim Lock as a “miserly opium addict and callous adulterer” and his son, Cing Huat, as “cunning, greedy, unscrupulous and someone who would happily sell his daughters”.

“‘Interlok’ in its totality propagates the ideology of ketuanan Melayu. In our considered opinion, this novel is not only unhealthy but an insidious poison,” the statement said.

The statement added, “In fact, ‘Interlok’ is barely a step away from the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) brainwashing that promotes racism and disunity.
‘Interlok’ conveys the central message that Chinese, Indian and other minorities are second-class citizens in addition to perpetuating the divisive notion of a host community (the Malays) versus foreigners (‘bangsa asing’ Cina dan India).”

The statement was signed by the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH), LLG Cultural Development Centre, Malaysian-China Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Chinese Associations Johor, the Penang Chinese Town Hall and 40 others, including the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST), Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) and several Indian organisations.

I am glad that the group has come out to lend support to the voice calling for the withdrawal of the novel as a school text book.
The issue has been allowed to drag on long enough by a government which has declared the era the government knows best is over.

It is so plain for all to see that the novel is totally unsuitable as a school text. It is so clear that the book will not be able to promote unity.

In the statement released d by the group, some excerpts appended as evidence of the book’s alleged racism include:
* “We eat anything. Roots if we can get them. We beg. We steal. We don’t have a daughter. If we have a daughter, we can sell her.” (Kim Hock, pp 119-120)

* Kim Lock takes Mei Hwa to smoke opium and has sex with her every time they meet like that. (p 200)

* In a big and strange city like this, people cannot be kind, if they are kind they can’t be rich. Here money becomes the measure. In this world, money is the number two God. (pp 155-156)

* “Cina Panjang says all that land rightfully belongs to him. The cows we kept are also his. My father pawned it to him.” (p 88)

* Seman said he gave all the land to Cina Panjang, and the Chinese man then asked Seman to leave the kampung. (p 92)

The Indian community has been hurt by the factual distortions and inaccuracies in the novel as well the demeaning words contained therein.

Yet the government is not prepared to do what is right and necessary.

The Interlok issue has clearly proven that the BN government is still the same arrogant, insensitive and non responsive government that it was prior to the 2008 general election.

It is obvious that the BN government has not learned the lessons of the 2008 general election when it suffered its worst ever electoral debacle.

If the BN government is unwilling to change its stand on the Interlok issue, then the people must be prepared to teach BN a bigger lesson come the next general election—Change the federal government.

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