The Book That Launched A Controversy
Just like how Helen of Troy had launched a thousand ships, Abdullah Hussain’s book, “Interlok” recently launched a controversy. Initially, this book is about the main three races in Malaysia: the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians, and their struggles before the Japanese occupation. This was the book required for the Form Five Malay literature students in national schools. However, the Indian society was enraged at the fact that the author used the word ‘pariah’ in the book. It is a very offensive word to the Indian society just like how the word ‘nigger’ is to African-Americans.
Now, everyone is making statements about what they think about the book and some people are coming up with solutions to settle the “Interlok” problem and one of the solutions is to censor certain parts of the book.
I personally think by censoring certain parts of the book would destroy the context and I have read the synopsis of the book, not only were the Indians are being talked about. The Malays and the Chinese are, too being touched on in the book. On the plus side, the Indian character, Maniam is described as a grateful, faithful and loving man. What more can we ask for? In fact, our society should learn to be more open-minded to literature. That way, we understand the true meaning of a book and its content.
“We Want Jobs!”
It all started last year, when a man; a young graduate, torched himself to death, in order to protest against the poverty of Tunisia, after the Tunisian police confiscated his unlicensed fruit cart as he was not able to get a job, thus selling fruits and vegetables to earn a living.
Tunisian youths used social network sites like Facebook to organise protest against the regime. January 15th, the president of Tunisia of 23 years, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia due to the overwhelming of protestors protesting against unemployment among the educated and the lack of freedom. The police killed many demonstrators in order to restore order.
On January 18th, however, Mohammed Ghannouchi, the current governor of the country, claimed that he would remain as the head of the unity government until the general election coming within the next 6 months in order to set up a new government. This riot had caused 94 people to get injured, while 78 people were killed during the protest.