Ministry accepts 106 ‘Interlok’ proposed changes


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 26 Mar 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: The 106 amendments proposed by the three Indian representatives to the controversial Interlok novel have been accepted by the Education Ministry.

Two of the representatives, G. Krishnabahawan and Uthaya Sankar SB, said the ministry agreed that the student edition of Interlok would be reprinted with the amendments.

“The Indian representatives would review the amended draft of the novel before it goes for printing,” they said in a briefing to newsmen and representatives of Indian-based non-governmental organisations yesterday.

The other representative, Prof N.S. Rajendran who is away in India, did not attend the briefing.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told Parliament on Thursday that 19 parts considered offensive by the Indian community in the novel Interlok, including the term “pariah,” have either been dropped, changed or substituted with more acceptable terms.

Muhyiddin said the changes were made following recommendations by the independent panel set up in January to review the novel.

The panel met on March 23 to review the changes of which only 19 were deemed sensitive to the Indian community, he said.

Uthaya said the sensitive issues related to the Interlok novel had been resolved and there was no need for it to be “politicised.”

On the amendments, he said, 87 were related to language and factual errors contained in the novel written by national laureate Datuk Abdullah Hussin and necessary action would be taken by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, which is the publisher.

“The other 19 changes were requested as they could hurt the sensitivities of the Indian community,” he added.

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