Thanks Animah for bringing my attention to this story in the Nation section of the Star yesterday:
Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz was shocked during a recent work trip to India to find a newspaper there carrying a front page article that claimed that Malaysia was practising apartheid against Hindus.Here's the original article from DNA, and of course the link, of course, to Sharanya's blog where she talks on all these issues at greater length.
Holding up the DNA newspaper of Nov 28, the International Trade and Industry Minister said that the article quoted a 22-year-old Sri Lankan-born poet who had spent 17 years in Malaysia, as saying that she fled Malaysia last month to escape “systematic racial harassment.”
“Fleeing Malaysia? Oh my goodness gracious. Can you imagine? This is really telling lies,” Rafidah told reporters yesterday after chairing a Wanita Umno meeting.
The Wanita Umno chief said that the poet, Sharanya Manivannan, had also claimed in the article that there had been cases in Malaysia of “body-snatching” of Hindu corpses by the authorities so that the deceased could be buried according to Muslim rites.
She said that the poet, however, had never mentioned that these men had converted to Islam.
Rafidah added that Sharanya had said in the article that “countless (Hindu) temples have been demolished and idols smashed – oftentimes in the middle of prayer sessions and devotees attacked”.
“What a lie. Words like this are terrible. The article really hurts,” she said.
At this rate the girl is going to be very famous (infamous?) even before she gets her first volume of poetry published!
Am hoping to bump into her this weekend at the Singapore Writers' Festival.