Monday, May 9, 2011
Fully support Penang government’s move to bar displaying the Interlok novel in Penang public libraries
Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy revealed in the Penang State Assembly meeting last week that the Penang state government had made a decision to bar displaying the Interlok novel in Penang public libraries.
He added that the state government was of the opinion that certain contents of the book were racially offensive despite the Education Ministry having made several amendments to remove the alleged offensive contents.
I welcome and fully support such a decision by the state government.
It is plain obvious that the book is unsuitable as school text, yet the Ministry has refused to withdraw it from the schools.
Whether the state government’s move is a protest against the Ministry‘s stubbornness or is aimed at preventing more students from being poisoned by the offensive contents of the novel, it is a necessary and correct decision.
The move is also within the right of the state government.
There is no necessity for any quarter to try making this into a racial issue.
Perkasa’s comment that the move to bar public display of the novel is an insult to the Malays shows not only the failure of Perkasa to understand why the book is still offensive to the Indian and Chinese community, it also shows Perkasa’s habit of exploiting and racialsing issues.
The public calls for the withdrawal of the novel from schools is due to the fact that the novel still contains racially offensive contents and is therefore totally unsuitable and unacceptable to be used as a school text.
It is not because the novel is a Malay book.
Hence, it is totally irresponsible for Perkasa to make this into a racial issue.
DAP will not allow our young to be poisoned by the inaccuracies and distortion of the novel.
We insist that the only solution to the controversy is the novel’s withdrawal from the schools.