Saturday, May 7, 2011

‘Muhyiddin influenced Interlok panel’

Patrick Lee |FMT
May 7, 2011

The Education Minister's defence of the Interlok novel was not honest at all, says NIAT

KUALA LUMPUR: Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, when he came out in defence of the controversial novel Interlok was not telling the truth, the National Interlok Action Team (NIAT) said.

Its chairman Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim Al-Haj said that he was fed up with the deputy prime minister’s broken promises and swipes at NIAT.

“(Muhyiddin Yassin) is a liar with a malicious agenda,” he told reporters at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall this morning.

Representatives from the Chinese assembly hall, NIAT and the LLG (Lim Lian Geok) Cultural Development centre were also present at the press conference.

The NIAT chairman also demanded Muhyiddin step down as Education Minister immediately over his alleged interference with an independent panel’s revision of the book.

He said that NIAT, along with other NGOs across the country were going to lodge reports with the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission against Muhyiddin.

In mid-March this year, three Indian representatives walked out of the Interlok panel after the DPM advised them to compromise over the word “pariah”.

Muhyiddin was also claimed to have said he wanted less amendments than was intended for the book.

1Malaysia undermined

This led to the NIAT chairman alleging that Muhyiddin’s actions were an abuse of power .

Thasleem then claimed that “unofficial sources” in the Education Ministry told NIAT about their unwillingness to use Interlok as a literature textbook for Form Five Bahasa Malaysia students.

However, Thasleem said that Muhyiddin did not take into account these sentiments .

“The whole concept of 1Malaysia is undermined, and the DPM has the guts and the courage to call us a threat to national security” he said.

Thasleem also asked why Muhyiddin was so eager to carry on with Interlok book when the matter would have been settled differently in other countries.

Citing foreign educationists and politicians, he said that any book mired in controversy would be immediately withdrawn.

“So for anybody to say that it was too late (to pull the book out of the system), it is a big lie,” Thasleem said.

The NIAT chairman also said that Muhyiddin’s actions were his way of remaining in political power.

“That’s the only way he can be in power. I don’t want to be political, but now that he has said some things politically, that’s the only way Umno can be in power,” Thasleem said.

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