Sunday, 30 January 2011

Call for extended 'Interlok' glossary

KUALA LUMPUR: Having an extended glossary to explain sensitive matters relating to the novel Interlok could reduce uneasiness about it, said two speakers at a book forum yesterday.
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Federation of Malaysia National Writers Associations secretary 1 Professor Datuk Zainal Abidin Borhan and National Parent-Teacher Association president Datuk Mohamad Ali Hassan spoke at Universiti Malaya.

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Ali said the authorities could organise more discussions to create better understanding of the issue.

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Zainal said the writer of the book, national laureate Datuk Abdullah Hussein, had no intention of insulting any race but was merely writing the story from the eyes of three characters: Seman, Chin Huat and Maniam.

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"In fact, it is history; it's not meant to insult anyone." [Note: PENA President says it anachronismREAD HERE.]

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Another speaker, teacher Ghalib Yunos, said people had nothing to worry about as it was the duty of teachers to explain to students the meaning of the book to avoid misunderstanding. [Some tips for students HERE]

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"We will turn negative issues into positive ones.

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"Moreover, the government spent millions to print the book and the teachers and students have read it. So, let's be rational." [Would Prophet Muhammad SAW have done the same? READ HERE]

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A speaker, Uthaya Sankar SB, said dropping the word "pariah" would not change the plot of the story and urged the government to consider the sensitivities of other races.

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He said there were also other factual mistakes in the book regarding the rituals and customs of Indians.

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On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had come up with a formula to end the Interlok controversy.

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(New Straits Times, 27 January 2011. Baca catatan Uthaya Sankar SB DI SINI)