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

eliminatin­g it.

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.

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