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Monday, January 31, 2011

‘Charge author for sedition, use Hindraf novel’

Hindraf's P Uthayakumar also wants DPM Muhyiddin Yassin and education officers to be charged for introducing Interlok in schools.

BUTTERWORTH: National laureate Abdullah Hussain and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin should be among those charged for sedition with regard to the Interlok novel, said Hindraf Makkal Sakti.

Speaking to FMT yesterday, the movement’s legal adviser P Uthayakumar suggested that his book on the Nov 25, 2007 Hindraf rally be introduced in schools instead.

The lawyer, who was detained under the Internal Security Act in the aftermath of the rally, claimed that his book was more current, effective, realistic and relevant than Interlok.

“The (students) will realise the mistakes of their forefathers and can then explore all ways and means to address and resolve the pressing Indian issues,” he said.

Meanwhile, Uthayakumar also demanded that Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar explain why action was not taken against those responsible for introducing Interlok in schools.

Apart from author, he said, Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, should be charged for approving the book.

He said the police should also charge education officials, especially those sitting in the education syllabus panel, for recommending it.

“But none of them were probed or charged despite the novel’s extreme seditious nature,” he said, adding that the book’s contents had hurt the feelings of Indians here and abroad.

Street protest held

Uthayakumar also slammed the 91-year-old author, who penned the book in 1971, for deliberately humiliating Indians by misrepresenting the facts.

He said Abdullah’s usage of the term “pariah” (outcaste) to generalise all Malaysian Indians was a mortification of the community’s dignity and integrity.

“By now the writer and the rest should have been charged for sedition. The IGP must explain why the police did not prepare charge sheets for the attorney-general to prosecute them,” he said.

Earlier, Uthayakumar led an anti-Interlok street protest outside the Butterworth police station after Hindraf’s state convention.

Some 70 Hindraf leaders and supporters, with anti-Interlok banners and posters, participated in the hour-long protest.

They also lodged several police reports, urging for action to be taken against those responsible for the book being absorbed into the school curriculum.

Following strong objections, Muhyiddin last week announced that offending paragraphs would be deleted before the book is used in classrooms. However, this fell short of the call from Indian groups to withdraw the book.

Commenting on this, Uthayakumar took Muhyiddin to task for not banning Interlok.

He noted that the Education Ministry removed some 400,000 syllabus books from school shelves last week for containing spelling and grammar mistakes.

“But the seditious and racist Interlok was not,” he said, urging Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to walk the talk on his 1Malaysia concept by banning the book. - FMT

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