Today, the MCA-owned Star report entitled “Penang’s first CM will not be in history books” made the startling announcement:
“Kuala Lumpur. It seems Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee will not be joining the ranks of other local top leaders in the Year 6 history textbooks used by Chinese vernacular schools after all.
“Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the history books were already printed and would soon be sent to schools.
“’There will be no more amendments made to the history books,’ he was quoted in a report by Sin Chew Daily.
“Mahdzir pointed out that corrections were made to Malacca which was mistakenly labelled onto the state of Terengganu.”
Mahdzir’s explanation is neither satisfactory nor acceptable. If the ghastly mistake in the SJKR Year Six history textbook, which shifted the Malacca state to the north of the country near Kelantan, could be corrected, why could’nt the omission of Wong Pow Nee in the formation of Malaysia, as one of the members of the Cobbold Commission which recommended positively on the establishment of Malaysia in 1963, be rectified?
Page 10 and 11 of the textbook showed various Malaysian leaders like UMNO’s Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Razak, two leaders from Sabah namely Tun Fuad and Tun Mustapha and three from Sarawak, Stephen Kalong Ningkan, Temenggong Jugah and Ong Kee Hui, and even Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, as “founders” of Malaysia but no mention of any MCA leader, whether Wong Pow Nee or even the MCA President Tun Tan Siew Sin.
For the past three weeks, MCA Ministers and leaders have been protesting that MCA’s contributions to nation-building like the formation of Malaysia had been sidelined in history textbooks.
What is the use of having three Cabinet Ministers and four Deputy Ministers, one of them the Deputy Education Minister, when MCA cannot even protect the name, dignity and national services and contribution of their founding leaders like Siew Sin and Pow Nee in the school history textbooks?
In an earlier Facebook posting, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Wee Ka Siong claimed that he, along with the MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, had managed to persuade the Education Minister to feature Pow Nee more prominently in the history textbooks and to rectify the sidelining of MCA’s contributions to the nation.
Wee said MCA want the school texbooks to “truly reflect” the nation’s history, allowing future generations to remember those who contributed in forming Malaysia, reminding all that Pow Nee was not only the proclaimer of independence at the Esplanade, Penang on August 31, 1957; the first Chief Minister of Penang but also the second senior member of the Cobbold Commission.
MCA is history when it cannot even ensure that the national contributions and roles of MCA founders, like Tun Tan Siew Sin and Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee, are given proper respect and recognition in the school history text books.