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Monday, February 28, 2011

INTERLOK – ITU ATA APA SALAH, AH?

Interlok+covers+001

by Eyes Wide Open

HartalMSM has received some comments from people who find nothing wrong about the Interlok book being used as required reading in schools. Their reasoning usually goes along the lines of “The things mentioned in the book really happened among Indians and Chinese immigrants what, so what’s the big deal?”

Honestly, I felt the same way until my respected HMSM colleagues decided to pick up the cause. What I discovered left my eyes opened wide.

This issue of Interlok goes way beyond HINDRAF’s anger over the word “pariah”. It even goes beyond the negative stereotyping of Chinese and Indian immigrants. And it is absolutely NOT about the present generation of Chinese and Indians being “too sensitive”.

So what IS the real issue then?

It’s the dangerous indoctrination of our children with BTN-style racial prejudice.

Some people might say “Aiya…really meh? Sure or not?”

So far, HartalMSM has been exposing the themes of the book. But now, let’s look at what will be actually taught to our children in school.

Below are some excerpts from the Cemerlang Bahasa Malaysia website (written by BM teacher who is obviously very passionate about his job). It contains very comprehensive synopsis and lessons to be taught from the novel.

Tema

Novel Interlok bertemakan integrasi tiga kaum utama di Malaysia, iaitu Melayu, Cina, dan India yang terpaksa melalui pelbagai cabaran untuk hidup bersama-sama dalam sebuah negara yang bebas dan bermaruah.

- So far, so good. But then it all goes downhill from there.

Persoalan

4. Persoalan semangat patriotisme yang kuat dalam kalangan masyarakat imigran

Kim Lock dan Maniam masing-masing berusaha dengan cara sendiri untuk membina sekolah di kawasan tempat tinggal mereka bagi memastikan anak-anak mereka tidak lupa akan asal-usul bahasa ibunda mereka.

5. Persoalan kesedaran politik masyarakat berbilang kaum

Lazim dan rakan-rakannya membentuk kumpulan menentang Malayan Union demi menjaga maruah orang Melayu. Kim Lock juga menyertai persatuan untuk menjaga kepentingan kaum Cina, manakala Ramanjuga berusaha untuk menyatukan kaum India di negara yang baru merdeka itu.

- So the Malays, Chinese and Indians are portrayed as only loyal to their own countries and their own race. And they need to be organised along ethnic lines to champion their own ethnic causes. Is this all starting to sound a little too familiar yet?

Watak

5. Watak Pak Musa

Seorang yang tidak berpandangan jauh / tidak mementingkan pendidikan anak-anak.
Seorang yang pandai menyimpan rahsia
Seorang yang suka berhutang
Seorang yang suka menolong orang

- The Malay characters are characterised very simply as can be seen above. Pak Musa is analysed in 4 points. Seman (main character in the novel) has 9 points. Characterisation of the Indian characters are similarly shallow, with the main Maniam character summarised in 7 points.

Contrast with the Chinese characters: Kim Lock (supporting character) has 7 points (equal to the main Indian character and almost on par with the main Malay character). And Cing Huat (main Chinese character) has awhopping 17 POINTS. Among the characteristics of Cing Huat that students will learn are:

3. Watak Cing Huat

Watak yang penting kerana beberapa peristiwa penting yang menimpa watak utama, iaitu Seman berpunca daripada tindakannya.
Seorang yang mementingkan pelajaran
Seorang yang suka menderma
Cing Huat sangat setuju jika didirikan sekolah untuk anak-anak kaum Cina agar mereka tidak melupakan asal-usul mereka.
Seorang yang mementingkan keuntungan / mementingkan diri
Cing Huat sanggup meminjamkan wang kepada Pak Musa dengan cagaran tanah. Jika gagal membayar hutang tersebut, tanah Pak Musa akan dirampas oleh Cing Huat atau Cina Panjang.
Bersikap Prejudis
Cing Huat tidak membenarkan anaknya Yew Seng berkawan dengan orang Melayu, khususnya Lazim kerana pada sangkaannya mereka akan menjadi malas seperti orang Melayu.
Melebih-lebihkan anak lelaki
Cara berfikir Cing Huat masih terpengaruh dengan ayahnya yang tidak menghargai kelahiran anak perempuan. Akhirnya Cing Huat sedar akan kesilapannya apabila dia sanggup bekerjasama dengan orang Melayu dan India.

- So the BTN’s propaganda themes of the Chinese robbing and cheating the Malay of their wealth, the Chinese are not loyal to Malaya, the Chinese are only loyal to China, the Chinese stubbornly demand to be separate from the Malays, the Chinese hate the Malays, the Chinese look down on the Malays, yada yada yada are repated ad nauseam in the novel and being lectured to hundreds of thousands of SPM students – EVERY YEAR!.

And could this obssession with demonising the Chinese have anything to do with the fact that Abdullah Hussain was at one time a government servant for both the Japanese and Indonesian governments – both famous for rabid anti-Chinese sentiments? Too much of an assumption? Well…

And then there may be some who might say: “The Chinese last time really like that ma. The book is about integration, take it positively that the moral of the story must be good la!”

If only.

Nilai

7. Nilai Cinta akan tanah air
Cing Huat berusaha dengan cara sendiri untuk membina sekolah di kawasan tempat tinggal mereka bagimemastikan anak-anak kaum Cina tidak lupa akan asal-usul dan bahasa ibunda mereka.

Kaum India yang diwakili oleh Cikgu Raman juga mendirikan sekolah Tamil agar anak-anak India tidak lupa akan asal-usulnya.

8. Nilai prihatin
Cing Huat berusaha dengan cara sendiri untuk membina sekolah di kawasan tempat tinggal mereka bagimemastikan anak-anak kaum Cina tidak lupa akan asal-usul dan bahasa ibunda mereka.

- For a novel that is supposed to teach racial unity, it is surprising that our young minds are taught again and again that Chinese and Indians really, really love their “tanah air” – China and India.

And here is the final slap in the non-Malay face. The lessons to be taken from the novel are:

Pengajaran

5. Kita hendaklah gigih berusaha untuk mencapai kejayaan dalam hidup.
Di Tanah Melayu, orang Cina dan India berhijrah dari satu tempat ke tempat yang lain untuk memperbaiki kehidupan mereka. Contohnya, hasil kegigihannya, Kim Lock berjaya membuka kedai yang menjual pelbagai barangan.

6. Kita tidak seharusnya mudah putus asa terhadap sebarang kegagalan.
Gagal di satu-satu tempat, tidak mematikan semangat Kim Lock, sebaliknya dia berpindah dari satu tempat ke satu tempat sehinggalah dia bertapak kukuh di Simpang Empat sebagai pekedai runcit dan menjual pelbagai barangan lain.

- This falls neatly in line with the BTN propaganda that the Chinese & Indians came to Tanah Melayu to suck its wealth and escape the shithole of a homeland they had. The Chinese especially is emphasised as having completely taken over the Malays’ wealth through their incessant, ruthless cheating and lying, so “apa lagi Cina mau” right?

7. Kita hendaklah mencintai tanah air sendiri.
Cing Huat berusaha dengan cara sendiri untuk membina sekolah di kawasan tempat tinggal mereka bagimemastikan anak-anak kaum Cina tidak lupa akan asal-usul dan bahasa ibunda mereka.
Kaum India yang diwakili oleh Cikgu Raman juga mendirikan sekolah Tamil agar anak-anak India tidak lupa akan asal-usulnya.

8. Kita hendaklah menderma kepada orang yang memerlukan sekiranya kita mampu.
Cing Huat berusaha dengan cara sendiri untuk membina sekolah di kawasan tempat tinggal mereka bagimemastikan anak-anak kaum Cina tidak lupa akan asal-usul dan bahasa ibunda mereka.

Again and again and again, the message is reinforced that the Chinese and Indians are separate and not really a part of Tanah Melayu. Instead their loyalty is to their homelands – China and India. The evidence of this are the vernacular schools that the immigrants established that teach the Chinese and Indian students to love China and India. (Remember that this is not any speculation on HartalMSM’s part, but it is a lesson breakdown done by an accomplished BM teacher!)

Imagine what the Malay students will think of their Chinese & Indian fellow students who studied at vernacular primary schools? Then imagine 4 years of public uni where the same message is reinforced by the BTN. Then imagine those going into govt service where re-auditing the BTN courses is a compulsory criteria for promotion.

The westernised liberal adults need to realise that the target market of this book are not the affluent, western-educated liberal adults who hold on to “live and let live” attitudes. The target market is the hundreds of thousands of young Malay kids who will form UMNO’s vote bank in GE14.

So the powers-that-be really couldn’t care less what the non-Malays think. In fact, if more non-Malays have this “live and let live” attitude and convinces others to be the same, it helps their cause incredibly!

So forget about voting to show your displeasure when GE13 comes – you may just find that in GE14 your one vote has been tsunami-ed by the 500,000 other pro-BTN votes because you didn’t think that Interlok was an issue to be taken seriously today.

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