The deputy minister says there is no truth to the text message which claims that he defended the controversial book during a BN meeting.
The MIC leader was responding to a widely circulated text message accusing him of being a traitor for condoning the use of the book in schools.
According to the text message, Devamany, while speaking at a Barisan Nasional (BN) meeting in Kuantan last month, said he found nothing wrong with the book.
“The book was published 20 years ago, why was the Indian community silent then? Why blow up the issue now? This is the work of Pakatan (Rakyat),” he was quoted as saying.
The text message also claimed that Devamany was then reprimanded by Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob, who told the deputy minister not to insult his own race.
Below is the actual text message being circulated:
(Ucapan Dato SK Dewamani dlm Perhimpunan BN di Kuantan pada 30-01-2011, (Saya pun seorang Sasterawan India, bagi sy tiada apa2 Kesalahan dlm Buku Interlok,Buku ini Terbit 20tahun dulu, kenapa kaum India diam pd masa itu, tiba2 nak besarkan masalah, ini semua adalah kerja pakatan)inilah ucapan Troghi sk Dewamani. Walaupun MB Pahang seorang kaum Melayu tetapi beliau Marah SK Jangan Hina Kaum sendiri.)
‘This is a malicious lie’
In a statement issued this afternoon, Devamany described the text message as a “malicious lie”.
The deputy minister said that he was among the first to oppose the book as it contained disparaging and inaccurate information about the Indian community.
“There is absolutely no truth to the allegation and the rumours that have been spread by certain irresponsible people.
“I have repeatedly reiterated the Indian community’s stand that the novel must not be used as a literature text,” he said.
Devamany said that he had penned a letter to the director-general of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka on Dec 14 last year, stating his opposition to the book.
In the letter, the deputy minister had argued that the book would not help promote racial unity and contradicted Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia concept.
Copies of the letter were also sent to Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and MIC president G Palanivel.
MIC was among several Indian organisations which registered its protest against the book, authored by national laureate Abdullah Hussain.
Muhyiddin later announced that the book would be retained but a special panel would look into amending the offensive portions.
While MIC’s protest went silent after this, certain groups such as Hindraf Makkal Sakti, continue to push for the complete withdrawal of Interlok.