Thursday, January 12, 2012

No official circular to withdraw Interlok, some schools claim

No official circular to withdraw Interlok, some schools claim

By PRIYA KULASAGARAN

PETALING JAYA: Some schools say that they have not received the official Education Ministry circular stating that the controversial novel Interlok has been withdrawn from the secondary school syllabus.

National Interlok Action Team (Niat) chairman Datuk Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim said that 80% of about 100 schools surveyed by the group had no word on the circular.

"Many parents have been calling us up to complain that schools were still issuing Interlok, although they were not using it in class," he told reporters at his office here on Thursday.

Interlok was made a compulsory text for the literature component of the Bahasa Malaysia subject for Form Five students in 2011.

Written by national laureate Datuk Abdullah Hussain, the novel rose to controversy when certain quarters claimed that the book contained material that was offensive to the Indian community.

The Cabinet then decided on Dec 14 to drop Interlok from the school syllabus.

On Dec 21, Education director-general Datuk Seri Abd Ghafar Mahmud said that the novel Konserto Terakhir, also written by Abdullah Hussain, will replace Interlok.

Abd Ghafar had subsequently issued a circular on the replacement novel to schools dated Dec 28.

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