KUALA LUMPUR: Independent writer Uthaya Sankar SB has expressed concern over the emerging trend of Indians being belittled in the education system annually.
“Why are the Indians being belittled on an annual basis by the education system? It is not new. A few years ago there was the Interlok followed by reports of Indian school children being forced to eat in toilets,” he said today.
He was commenting on a factual error in a Bahasa Melayu STPM text book entitled Bahasa Melayu STPM Ace Ahead, published by Oxford Fajar Publication.
The book claims that Tamil was a language that borrowed words heavily from European languages such as Greek, Portuguese, English as well as from Eastern countries.
Uthaya, who writes exclusively in Bahasa Malaysia, said that the text book was not officially commissioned by the ministry.
“This is not a text book for the sixth formers.”
He also described the book as an embarrassing blunder to one of the authors – Nik Safiah Karim – who is regarded as an authority on matters related to the Malay language.
“The book listed Nik Safiah Karim as an author and this is embarrassing to her. It is also a blunder. It shows how stupid they are,” said the writer of short stories.
Uthaya also suggested that Indians should instead read a book entitled Kata Pinjaman Bahasa Tamil dalam Bahasa Melayu.
“The book is based on research and was published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka last year,” he said of the book, authored by Noriah Mohamed and Selvarani Subramuniam.
Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan is reported to have met the publishers of the erroneous book.
“They have apologised and instructed that the book be recalled immediately from all stores. The company is taking full responsibility for the error,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Kamalanathan has called upon Oxford Fajar to probe how the error was overlooked as well as to make a report.
“I reminded them that such an error should not be repeated. I also remind all other publications that have a similar factual error to rectify it immediately,” he said.
Berita Daily, 2 September 2016