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No racist element in Interlok: Anwar

PETALING JAYA, Tuesday 11 January 2011 (Bernama) -- The novel "Interlok" does not contain any racist element as claimed by certain quarters, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.

"I read this novel a long time ago; I did not see any racist element in there," he told a news conference here.

Anwar, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader said a calm discussion should be held between those who questioned the content of the novel and the Education Ministry, which introduced the novel as a literature textbook for Form Five starting this year.

Anwar was asked to comment on the call by certain quarters who wanted the novel by National Laureate Abdullah Hussain to be withdrawn from school, claiming that it contain elements deemed offensive to the Indian community.

On Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's criticism of the opposition pact's 100-day reform plan, Anwar said he was prepared to engage the prime minister in a debate on the matter.

Najib said yesterday that the plan, which the opposition intends to implement within 100 days if they win the 13th general election, was unrealistic and contained only populist measures.

Meanwhile, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has spoken against any move to ban the book, saying doing so was not in line with the current development in the information age.

What should be done instead was to hold discussions involving those who were against the book, and the Education Ministry, he said.

"I feel that there should not be a barrier to the free flow of information," he told reporters after attending a dialogue with the Selangor Business Council in Shah Alam.

Abdul Khalid said however that the country's education system should be sensitive to the needs of the people of various cultures and ethnicities.

MySinchew 2011.01.11



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