Saturday, April 2, 2011


There is no more fascinating history  than the history of South East Asia. It beats me why this history is not compulsory reading in our schools. Perhaps it is because education here has a strong political agenda. It remains a tool to propagate and perpetuate political and economic policies of the government. What a pity! And what else is “Interlok” all about ? What a shame! But those who have read South East Asian history know that its treasures are numerous!"
Howl Pillai  ("The idea behind the idea" )

Interlok, yes Interlok, it seems like it is still locked..........................
But the Chinese have arrived

After a big hue and cry from segments of the indian community, we  have had a group of Indians, planted by the government and its lackeys (MIC)  to make a lot of noise about interlok, everything seems to have ended very well, that is what these people who sat with Muhyuddin have said, the word pariah has been taken out of the text and so all is alright.

So once these people who sit with their boss the Malay man (incidentally those sitting with him  are Indians and Malaysians are out of the picture) say it is alright and so, the rest of the Indian community must accept what is said - issue closed.

We've not  heard from HINDRAF yet, they stood up for the school boys and rightly so,  who when they returned their copies of the book to the school were sent to the police station for questioning, by the school authorities,  Interlok is not the National flag, it is not the National Anthem and because they returned a book they deemed improper for their own reasons they were sent to the police- a Malaysian first I reckon.

Our Minister of Education is not a Malaysian he is a Malay, (when he feels it is convenient he'll say he is a Malaysian)  his origins are somewhere in the Indonesian Islands, he knows where but he is not saying so, instead  if you ask him what he is  he says, "Melayu,"  which in Javanese means "run away."  but a  'runaway' from where at least he has to have the decency to tell us that.

Now  after this Indian group has been pacified, a group of some 45 NGOs have come out and in their numbers are some prominent Chinese groups.

Finally it looks like the Chinese have arrived, hooray, as they used to say in Hokkien when I was in school, "Heelo lai leow lo!" but are any of Chua Soi Lek's henchmen in this group of Chinese, I really do not know, but I think it will be better for all concerned if they weren't, you'll get a repeat of the MIC issue.                                                                     

Its nice to know that the  Chinese have decided to respond, they should have earlier, they would have had more tooth, now that the Indians appointed by the governments men have agreed on accepting it after some changes, the Chinese are responding, the response should have been earlier, but as the saying goes 'better late than never."

If we consider Interlok a literary work worthy of being made compulsory reading for our form five students, I must say  we have an extremely poor taste and  judgment of what good and worthy  literary pieces  are and,  it is a poor reflection of  our ministry of education, those responsible for having chosen this book for this purpose, and its minister, unless there is an ulterior motive for the selection of this book which is actually the crux of all the fuss.

Having said that one can understand where a runaway who needs to claim an identity approaches the subject of interlok from.

Yes, this book which is extremely racist in nature has been brought out to make our children learn that the Malay is Tuan and that they are all subject to him, this was and is the great Mahathirian agenda and the baton has been passed to Muhyiddin Yassin, the one time Menteri Besar of Johor whom Mahathir regarded as man without a personality as he was reputed to be one of the shabbiest dressed politicians in the BN. He was told this and has since been seen less often with  his loose, over-sized and cheap looking batik shirts which he has now traded for classic suits.

Should interlok be compulsory reading material?

Why, if the students need to be exposed to the truth then South East Asian History should be the answer, for therein lies the truth, South East Asian History will reveal the truths behind the myths that are now being created in Malaysian history, because it will provide the links and with those links the truth in our history will be established. And history is all about the truth, and not as my friend Howl put it “to propagate and perpetuate political and economic policies of the (BN) Government.”

For instance we  need to  know who Parameswar really was, not what we want to make him out to be for such reasons,

When I first studied Malayan History in the early sixties Parameswara was supposed to be an Indian Prince from a Hindu Kingdom , later when my younger brother learned this in the seventies it became a Hindu Prince but not an Indian, well I objected and later I agreed saying well it could be so, now we are being indirectly  told he is the father of one of our former Prime Minsiters as his name has been changed to Iskandar, and he was a Muslim, and incidentally that  Prime Minsiter has Indian blood too and is claiming to be a full blooded Malay, and his father's name is Iskandar too. Coincidence?

We need to know of the great Hindu Kingdoms that ruled over these parts of Asia,  we need to revisit the origins of the Wayang Kulit, (the Ramayana version I mean not the wayang kulit the BN plays), our history is our heritage, and in that heritage we'll see our oneness.

We need to know the real Hang Tuah, and the Hang Jebat, were they  related to Hang Li Poh and what were their real roles in the History of Malaysia, these people as their names will suggest were from the Hangs of China.

To write them off as mere legends is to hide our own heritage, I rememebr in the sixties on Children's day each year it began in the sixties we had a "Child Hero's Award" it was a National Award and it was called the 'Pingat Hang Tuah." whatever became of that award.

 There has been this urgent desire of late to wipe out our heritage, the Merdeka Stadium has lost its importance, no one seems to talk about it any longer? Bukit Jalil built by Mahathir has taken its place.

There are these continuous problems with Parliament House, leaks, broken latches, stinking toilet bowls, due to poor maintenance and use, to  what seems to me to be willful neglect,   it is deteriorating, is this done on purpose so that a New Parliament can be built in Putra Jaya, the Putrajaya built by Mahathir,  and the present one forgotten?

Kuala Lumpur which was made a Federal Territory just so that Selangor would continue to be in UMNO hands has been  replaced by Putrajaya as the seat of government, again by Mahathir?

The UMNO of 1946 is dead, killed by Mahathir, the UMNO we have today is UMNO Baru - it is a completely new party set up in accordance with Mahathir’s rules?

Mahathir has been trying to wipe out our  history, the parts that came before him, now he has attempted to establish a new Independence, a Mahathirian Merdeka, his very own agenda, where  the ketuanan Melayu reigns supreme, and he will be proclaimed the father of  that Merdeka (coup), and interlok whether you like it or not is locked to this agenda.

To respond to this Mahatrhirian agenda, we need to go back to our real history, we need to establish the truth, and South East Asian History has a lot to do with it.

We need to excavate and restore our edifices of our great History, the temples in Kedah, the lost city in Johor instead of confining statues   to the basements of museums hidden in the jungles  or kept as the personal property of rulers.

What race is ashamed of its own heritage? Only a people who deny their own real racial origins I suppose.
Who is Mahathir? Very recently it has been reported that he has said he is not sure of his own roots.

Or are we walking down the road of the Taliban, where they blew up centuries  old Statues of the Buddha in Afghanistan, are we becoming that intolerant, or could we be moving towards extreme right wing  policies led by UMNO and Perkasa.

Our heritage is ours and ours alone we have to defend it with our lives all of us as Malaysians, Najib included,  not our positions in Putrajaya, because without a heritage what is Putrajaya.

Get into the real history of our country, and we'll find that all the Malays, the Chinese the Indians are yes in someway children of immigrants, the Aborogines and the native population of Sarawak and Sabah the original people of the land, the real Bumiputera, and this UMNO hang up of  "Ketuanan Melayu" created by an Indian who claims to be a Malay, is to usurp the legitmacy of these natives and rob us of our history.

We are linked to the rest of South East Asia historically and we can't run away from that. South East Asian history is our history that is something we have to make compulsory reading for our form five students to mould them to know who we are how we came here and where we go from here.

Whatever it is, once the truth is established, it will be our history, of which we will all be proud of, it will be our heritage which we shall pass on to our children and our childrens children, it must be the truth, we should not live on lies, and then and only then can we talk of  a 1 Malaysia.

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