Major shortcomings in current History teaching

CPI Asia | 20 May 2011

Introduction by CPI

Under the Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah (KBSM), the History textbooks used in secondary schools are written by the Education Ministry and published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

The authors for the present KBSM History series are Ahmad Fawzi Mohd Hassan, Mohd Fo’ad Sakdan, Azami Man, Masariah Mispari, Johara Abdul Wahab, Ridzuan Hasan, Ramlah Adam, Abdul Hakim Samuri, Muslimin Fadzil, Nik Hassan Shuhaimi Nik Abdul Rahman, Mohd Yusof Ibrahim, Muhammad Bukhari Ahmad, Rosnanaini Sulaiman, Ramlah Adam, Shakila Parween Yacob, Abdul Hakim Samuri and Muslimin Fadzil.

Ramlah Adam’s name appears twice in the above list as she co-authored both the Form Three and Form Five textbooks. Ramlah, who is a Perkasa council member, is also the deputy chair of the government review board on the History syllabus.

CPI and others have noted that there is a conflict of interest for an author who has a vested interest to not only be sitting on the board but to also serve as its deputy chair.

Even more notably, Ramlah has gone on record to say in public that there is “nothing wrong” with the current history syllabus for secondary schools. She argued that “the history syllabus is well-balanced” and “the non-Malays do not understand this because they do not want to accept the concept of Malay supremacy (ketuanan Melayu).”

Any person holding such views surely would have the moral decency to decline serving in the panel.

The fact that the government has seen it fit to appoint her as the deputy chair, and her acceptance of the nomination, reveals the underlying political, racist and religious agenda in the entire exercise, in which the other panel members are likely to serve as token figureheads.

Below is Dr Ranjit Singh Malhi’s Power Point presentation made during his presentation at the ‘Reclaiming our truly Malaysian history’ campaign launch in Petaling Jaya on May 15. It points to the many shortcomings of the KBSM History textbooks in the form of sweeping statements, value judgments and selective interpretation.

While we are not hopeful that the government review panel will take into account these alternative points of views and other important perspectives reflecting the concerns of the larger society and communities, we will continue to highlight them to energize the public into demanding that the new curriculum and textbooks are reflective of our truly Malaysian history.

  1. #1 by frothquaffer on Friday, 20 May 2011 - 4:49 pm

    They say the victor gets to write the history books. i see there are no Chinese names in the list above and only one Indian with a Malay surname, (a convert perhaps?). Looks like there is room for other books to fill in many gaps. Perhaps a visit to Selangor Pewter’s shops to see how a pendatang made a successful business through hard work and creative design.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Friday, 20 May 2011 - 7:56 pm

    //She argued that “the history syllabus is well-balanced” and “the non-Malays do not understand this because they do not want to accept the concept of Malay supremacy (ketuanan Melayu).”//

    These would be the exact words of the Japs had they won World War 2. All Malaysians would have to kowtow in the direction of Tokyo and to Emperor Akihito and sing “Aku suka pangsai Banzai!” as the national anthem

    //She argued that “the history syllabus is well-balanced” and “the non-Japs do not understand this because they do not want to accept the concept of Jap supremacy (ketuanan Jepun).”//

  3. #3 by good coolie on Friday, 20 May 2011 - 11:20 pm

    What happened to the “Malaysia” of Tungku, Tan Cheng Lok, and Sambanthan? We were equal then. Now we have this ketuanan nonsense which is anti-constitutional. Look here, Ahmad, Ah Kow and Ramasamy, show these Perkasa blokes (and their Umno Baru mentors) the door in the next elections.
    Enough of this MCA, MIC, Gerakan, and “what not”.

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