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HRP fears crackdown before anti-Umno’s racism march

The Human Rights Party (HRP), which is organising the ‘People’s March in Solidarity Against Umno’s Racism’ on Feb 27, claims they have been subjected to intimidation in a move to thwart its efforts. 

The demonstration is to protest against Interlok, the controversial novel that Form Five students use as a literature text.

hindraf feb 27 march against interlok 030211 posterHRP information chief S Jayathas told Malaysiakini when contacted that the police had called their branch in Perak and told its chief to cancel a car convoy planned for tomorrow to rally support before the big march on Feb 27. 

The party had previously organised a similar convoy in Penang to publicise their upcoming protest in Kuala Lumpur. 

However, the alleged phone call to their office in Perak was made after cops had attempted to “raid” HRP’s branch in Johor. 

“About half a dozen police officers had enquired from the neighbouring shops on the ground floor on the anti-Interlok and anti-Umno banners hanging outside the headquarters as the office was closed (yesterday),” he said. 

NONEThe police also allegedly asked about the leaflets that are being circulated in Johor Baru regarding an anti-Interlok forum being organised at the HRP Johor office at 10.30am tomorrow. 

Jayathas (left) added that they expect raids at their offices in Bangsar, Lunas, Prai, Buntong and Port Dickson until the march, which is in two weeks time. 

“Irrespective of this police harassment, HRP will proceed with its peaceful Interlok march against Umno’s racism at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC),” he said. 

The issue first surfaced at the end of last year when Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department T Murugiah registered his protest against Interlok after his ministry discussed the novel with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).

MIC has also called for changes to be made to the novel before it is used as a literature textbook, as it contained a chapter that was offensive to Indians.

Indian NGOs decry the book’s description of Indians in Malaysia as being from the lower caste, among other racial stereotypes.

Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had announced on Jan 27 that the novel will remain as the textbook for the literature component of the Bahasa Malaysia subject for Form Five, but with amendments to those parts deemed offensive by the Indian community.

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