Malaysian history is skewed towards Malay and Islamic history?

One Dr. Ranjit Singh Malhi, a historian, I am not sure whether he is as well known as Prof Khoo Kay Kim, recently berrated the Education Ministry for allowing the history syllabus to abused and so much so that it became a Malay and Islamic history in Malaysia. I am not very familiar with the current history syllabus which has been revised so many times that I have lost count of the number of times it has been chopped and changed. From my days in the textbook division, two subjects are constantly changing – History and Pendidikan Islam. No sooner than one big time politician discover something is wrong somewhere with our schoolkids, more often than not, the teachings of history and Pendidikan Islam would be blamed and a new round of deep discussions on making the syllabi more current and more in tune with the need of the nation would invariably starts. I tell you the history syllabus was not simply the work of a few half baked historians. Many of Malaysian’s whose who were in it. And of course there were so many different opinions on the course of Malaysian history and how it should be written and taught. From what I heard, some version were not favoured by other fellow historians and when one version was not chosen, one had the tendency to rave and rant about it.
Somebody told me, history is written by the victors and the vanquished had very little say. That is why we know very little of people like Mustapaha Hussein, Sulaiman Palestin, or Dr. Zulkifli Ahmad or what actually triggers the Bukit Kepong incident. But to say Malaysian school history is skewed towards Malay and Islamic history is a bit too much. Then again what is true history? Things of the past were documented based on evidences and interpretations of them? This is where different opinions would come in and whose is to say what is correct and what is wrong? What says you?


2 thoughts on “Malaysian history is skewed towards Malay and Islamic history?

    1. It was world history in my my days where we learnt about the Tigris, Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, Mayans, and aztecs, but then some people think we were not patriotic and the syllabus has been chopped and changed many times ever since.

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