Parts of Malaysian school textbook hurtful to Indians' sentiments to be edited

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Kuala Lumpur, Jan 28 (ANI): Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has said that the novel 'Interlok' would continue to be considered as a textbook in the literature component of the Bahasa Malaysia subject, but some parts that are viewed by Indian community as sensitive will be altered.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said an independent panel would be set up to study the types of amendments and submit recommendations to the Government, but added that any amendment will not affect the story and messages the writer wanted to convey.

"The decision to continue using the novel, with amendments so as not to hurt the feelings of the Indian community, is the best solution," The Star quoted him, as saying.

Muhyiddin further said that the panel would comprise linguists, academics, literary figures and representatives of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and the Indian community, and added that the novel would be distributed to schools for use only after the amendments had been incorporated.

In the meanwhile, teachers would reportedly continue with the existing syllabus so that the teaching and learning process does not get hampered.

Interlok, the novel by national laureate Abdullah Hussein faced criticism following the Education Ministry's decision to use it as a literature text, with several parties claiming that it contained words sensitive to the Indian community.

Muhyiddin said the decision was made after considering opinions of all parties that eventually agreed that the book was good in nurturing and strengthening unity among the multi-racial and multi-religious communities in Malaysia. (ANI)

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