Wednesday, November 5, 2014

MP: Racial conflict poser from ministry textbook

3:24PM Nov 4, 2014
By Ram Anand
The fact that the controversial "racial" SPM model question was the work of a private publisher does not absolve the ministry, DAP's Sibu MP Oscar Ling said.

This is as the question was based on an Education Ministry-approved short story which touches on the May 13, 1969 racial riots.

Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby today, he said this raises the question of whether such a short story is "relevant" as a  school text.

Ling (right in photo) also asked what the answers will be if students are asked about May 13 in SPM.

The excerpt referred to in the SPM workbook is from the short story 'Mellisa' by national laureate Abdullah Hussain.

It is of an anthology of short stories called 'Harga Remaja', which is part of a Form Four text for the Bahasa Malaysia literature component.

Abdullah also wrote the novel 'Interlok' which caused controversy when it was selected as a school text, for allegedly perpetuating racial stereotypes.

Yesterday, Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that the ministry would not be able to take any action on the matter the workbook was published privately.

He also expressed hope that the material did not come from the ministry itself.

In the workbook published by Info Didik this year, students areasked why the "Chinese willing to even kill Malays" and vice-versa, among a host of other racial innuendos.

Titled 'Kertas Model Sebenar SPM Bahasa Malaysia', the book is authored by Khairudiin Ayip and Yusanizan Shafie.

The publisher had apologised for the question and promised to take the books off the shelves.

Ling, however, believes that this is insufficient.

"Even though this book will be retracted, it has been widely distributed and our students are being told that vernacular schools is the cause of bad race relations here."
~ Malaysiakini

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