Sunday, September 27

MIC reps retained as ‘Interlok’ panel

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KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said three members of the ‘Interlok’ independent panel, who are representatives of the MIC, who were reported to have withdrawn from a discussion on Wednesday, are still members of the panel aimed at resolving the controversy on the book.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he was made to understand that there was a misunderstanding over the incident, but the three panellists had been called up to continue discussions on the matter.

“I was made to understand that there was a misunderstanding but (MIC president) Datuk G Palanivel had said the three men had not withdrawn and would remain in the discussion so that they would settle the matter together,” Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

On Wednesday, Dr N S Rajendran, G Krishnabahawan and Uthaya Sankar SB were reported to have withdrawn from the panel because they were said to be dissatisfied that their demand on 100 other amendments were not entertained. — Bernama

Muhyiddin also explained that the basic issue that led to the controversy had been resolved while the other issues raised were petty.

When asked on the suggestion that Interlok be replaced with another novel, he said this was not necessary and that Interlok would remain as one of the books in the Form 5 syllabus.

“The question of withdrawing the book from the school system does not arise. It is a good novel, many people had read it and there was no problem. The issue cropped up in schools after certain matters were raised by the Indian community,” he said.

Muhyiddin also said that discussions on the book had shown some developments and they would continue until the best solution had been found.

“There must be a full stop to this issue. It will take some time so that everyone is satisfied. We hope to resolve the matter soon,” he said.

On Jan 27, Muhyiddin announced that the novel, Interlok, would continue to be used as a component text for literature for the Bahasa Malaysia subject for Form Five students in Zone 2, namely in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan.

However, the government had agreed to make amendments to parts which were considered sensitive by the Indian community. — Bernama