Malaysia to review textbook depicting Indian caste systemJanuary 1st, 2011 - 3:04 pm ICT by IANS
Kuala Lumpur, Jan 1 (IANS)A textbook for school students that talks about caste system among the ethnic Indians is being reviewed following concerns expressed by the community, a senior Malaysian official has said.Education director-general Abdul Ghafar Mahmud’s statement came Friday after Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong said his ministry’s review panel was open to changes and discussions.
The panel would deliberate on the suggestions made by the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), the country’s oldest Indian-based political party.
“From what I know, they (MIC) want us to make certain changes in sections which describe the caste system and we will have to wait for the review panel’s decision,” he was quoted a saying by the daily Star Saturday.
MIC vice president S. Subramaniam, who is also the country’s human resource minister, earlier this week said the references to caste system did not reflect the condition in the 2.1 million Indian community and, if studied by students, would give “a misleading impression”.
Titled “Interlok”, the book, written by Abdullah Hussein, is about Malay literature and highlights the daily struggles of individuals from three major races in the country before Independence.
The book’s contents have been defended by some writers who say that they should be read in their totality.
Persatuan Penulis Nasional Malaysia (Pena) president Saleeh Rahamad said the claim that the book would paint an inaccurate picture of the Indian community in Malaysia was “not acceptable”.
“One must read the entire text to get the message, which is about realising that unity and cooperation among the races are vital,” he said.
Malaysia National Translation Institute chief executive officer Khair Ngadiron said one should not look at any part of the book in isolation or take an issue out of context to justify such a request.
“Interlok discusses various racial issues with the ultimate intention of uniting the nation,” Ngardiron said.
- Book row: Malaysian-Indians to stay in review panel - Mar 18, 2011
- For ethnic Indians, Malaysia makes changes to textbook - Mar 25, 2011
- Book burning by Malaysian Indians sparks debate - Jan 19, 2011
- Malaysian parliament shuns debate on novel opposed by Indians - Mar 17, 2011
- Malaysia to amend textbook after ethnic Indians' objection - Jan 28, 2011
- Malaysian PM disapproves of protests by ethnic Indian group - Feb 28, 2011
- Consider views of Indian panelists on 'Interlok' issue: MIC Chief - Mar 19, 2011
- Book row: Malaysian government to talk to MIC leaders - Jan 25, 2011
- Parts of Malaysian school textbook hurtful to Indians' sentiments to be edited - Jan 28, 2011
- Malaysian Indian objects to caste system section in school book - Dec 29, 2010
- Honour sought for Malaysian Indian football coach - Jan 01, 2011
- Roundtable of Malaysian Indian parties mooted - Jul 12, 2010
- Malaysia allows entry of 45,000 foreign workers - Mar 01, 2011
- Malaysian Indian party readying for general election - Apr 01, 2011
- Vellu may be Malaysia's special envoy to India - Dec 07, 2010
Tags: chief executive officer, daily star, director general, education director, education minister, human resource, indian caste system, isolation, kuala lumpur, mahmud, malay literature, malaysia national, malaysian indian congress, misleading impression, penulis, school students, subramaniam, totality, ultimate intention, wee ka siong