Page 160, scanned excerpt from ‘Interlok’.
If you thought ‘pariah’ was the worst insult there is in the novel ‘Interlok’, you’re mistaken.
Below are scans from the book. We’re using the original, ISBN 983-62-5578-8. There is a new abridged version tagged ‘Edisi Murid’, edited for students however.
Pages 119-120: Kim Lock, the father of the Chinese main character Cing Huat, is depicted by the novelist Abdullah Hussain as someone quite prepared to sell a daughter.
Page 151: Kim Lock is tempted by the bad guy Paman Kok Leng to sell Cing Huat. Because Cing Huat is a boy, the father has qualms. However, he would consider the proposition if the child was a girl.
‘Gua menyesal gua dapat dua [anak] lelaki saja. Kalau ada orang mau tukar anak lelakinya dengan Poh Eng dan Poh Kheng gua mau sekarang ini.’
Cing Huat, now a father himself, is portrayed by Abdullah as someone who is in turn prepared to trade his daughters (for boys) without second thought.
This novel is full of negative racial stereotypes and BTN-like slurs. Remember Nasir Safar (the prime minister’s aide) who resigned after the comment (below) attributed to him:
‘Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese especially the women came to sell their bodies’
‘Interlok’ is filled with the same characterizations of Chinese — prostitutes, womanisers, gamblers, cheats, scumbags, opium addicts, and more. Although the Chinese have no ‘pariah’ in their language, Abdullah Hussain portrays the ones who came here as debased creatures and from the dregs of society.
So you must be wondering why it is only the Indian NGOs and political parties that have raised complaints and nothing is heard from the Chinese even when they have been similarly subjected to the implied ‘pariah’ slurs?
Watch this space. Hartal is running an Interlok Week of excerpts.
Our series kicked-off yesterday with why we think the book is part of a hidden agenda to promote Biro Tata Negara-like (BTN) objectives.