Rethink literature for students amidst 'Papa.....Akhirnya Tewas Jua' controversy

ANISA AZNAN
ANISA AZNAN
20 Jan 2023 10:05pm
(From left) National Council of Professors  fellow Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong and Malay linguistic expert Datuk Dr Nik Safiah Karim.
(From left) National Council of Professors fellow Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong and Malay linguistic expert Datuk Dr Nik Safiah Karim.
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SHAH ALAM - A book with a questionable plot which was being taught to form five students a while back is making its rounds on the internet for teaching the wrong values.

The book entitled ' Papa.....Akhirnya Tewas Jua' or can be loosely translated as ' Papa in the end you lose' tells the story of its main character Papa who had forced his wife to get pregnant despite her health issues.

Commenting on the novel, Malay linguistic expert Datuk Dr Nik Safiah Karim said the government should reevaluate the suitability of the novel as reading material in the Bahasa Melayu literature syllabus.

“I request for the suitability of this novel to be reviewed again, regarding its suitability to be used as a school textbook, should ask the committee from the Education Ministry to reevaluate whether it is suitable to be used because of its plot.

"As it seems to be worrying a lot of parents,” Nik Safiah told Sinar Daily today.

She explained that usually reading material for students are selected by a committee from the Education Ministry.

Nik Safiah added that if the novel is not taught well, it may have a bad effect on students due to the negative behaviours portrayed in the novel.

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“If these elements are not taught well, it may have a bad effect on students because maybe students see that it is not wrong, that certain elements in the novel is not bad and acceptable.

“So we are worried. Isn't there a better book to convey the same lessons that are apparently in this book?" she questioned.

As the novel advances in its story the main character proceeds to get into a relationship with his student, while he is being employed as a university lecturer marries her as a second wife, while reprimanding his daughter for having a relationship with an illegitimate child.

The first wife later wakes up from a coma, finds out her husband has remarried and dies of a heartbreak, the main character suddenly regrets his decisions in life Meanwhile,National Council of Professors fellow Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong stated that the use of the novel is justified just as long as students are guided by the teachers.

"They can be guided to evaluate the reality of such a life that exists in society.

“This particular novel tells a story about cruelty and so on, but behind that story, we can foster something positive for our students, such as repentance and consciousness.

“We introduced them at the age of 17, and I think their intelligence level is not low. We guide and nurture them towards virtue through real-life stories. Those things really happen sometimes in real life, so what is important is that we build a good thing from the bad thing," he elaborated.