The Borneo Post (Sabah)
Call for ‘multiracial committee’ to review history textbooks
The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) has called on the government to set up an independent committee consisting of historians of various races, to conduct a thorough review of the latest edition of secondary school history textbooks, and to make necessary corrections.
Its president, Tan Sri T.C Goh said this is necessary, so as to ensure that the said history textbooks are accurate and unbiased, in the true context of a multiracial and multicultural Malaysia. He reminded that Malaysia is a multiracial country and that all races including the Chinese community, which is the second largest in the country, should be treated fairly and be accorded with their rightful position in accordance to historical facts of the nation.
He underscored that by adopting a faithful stance towards our national history, especially in educating our young generation that Malaysia’s formation was the fruit of the struggles of Malaysians of various races, is significant towards stemming the growth of the toxic and destructive extremism in our multiracial society, and ultimately
Goh who is also the President of Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) said this in a statement, in response to the concern expressed by a historian that the latest edition of secondary school history textbooks were biased and inaccurate, and called on the education ministry to take action to rectify it.
The concerned historian, Ranjit Singh Malhi especially pointed out that the textbooks, for use in Form 1 to Form 5, were Malay and Islam-centric and had omitted key facts relevant to nationbuilding while including factual distortions and exaggerations.
He claimed that most of the textbooks’ writers were Malay, and this meant that students were learning world and Malaysian history from the perspective of one particular ethnic group. Goh concurred that our national history must not be slanted to emphasize or glorify one or any particular race, as that would be unfair to the other races who too had made significant contributions to nation building all these while.
He thus hoped the Ministry of Education (MoE), politicians from both sides of the divide and relevant organizations included, could pay serious attention to this issue, and to make serious efforts to rectify whatever discrepancies or mistakes there are in the history textbooks, so as not to mislead our future generations, which may one day lead to dreadful consequences, if left unchecked.
He further opined that, being a young nation, it shouldn’t be a major problem for the relevant authorities to conduct a thorough review and fact-checking on our history, and to amend whatever mistakes or discrepancies there are in the history textbooks. “Being a multiracial country that upholds democracy, it is absolutely important that we must instill in our young generation the right historical narrative of our nation,” he concluded.