The Interlok Issue
One might be asking about the Interlok issue which have gotten a lot of Malaysians talking in recent times. So what is the issue really? First it came from the Malay Literature text book of the Form Five syllabus which the Indian community has been calling for it to be altered as it contained an offensive term.The Education Ministry of Malaysia has since been evading the issue and some has claimed that the term would not be offensive if they are considered based on the context it was written.
The novel was the work of Datuk Abdullah Hussain, a national laureate and the book is a compulsory reading material for those taking the Form Five Literature paper but it did not go very well particularly with Indian leaders over the novel which used degrading words that referred to the ancient caste system. That which was written was the words ‘kasta pariah’ which means pariah caste as it was contained in page 211 of the literature. While a single mention of the word might sound offensive, it was deemed to be appropriate as it was to describe the situation at that time when Indians from South India were sent to Malaya to work in the plantations where they had to be in overcrowded ships and endure long journeys.