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Presentation on theme: "Ranjit Singh Malhi THE ISLAMIC AND MALAY-CENTRIC NATURE OF OUR HISTORY TEXTBOOKS."— Presentation transcript:


2 1. Objectives of History Teaching. 2.Biased History Textbooks. 3.Half-Truths and Factual Errors in Our History Textbooks. 4.“Historical Death” of Yap Ah Loy and Malaysian Freedom Fighters. 5. Ketuanan Melayu and Special Position of Malays. 6. Recommendations. PRESENTATION OUTLINE

3 “We lie to our students. We lie to them by omitting parts of our history; by reinventing other parts; by glamourising aspects of it at the expense of other aspects. Our youth are not given the whole picture; not told the true story.”  Ms. Johnson Nga (ex-principal of Methodist Girls Secondary School, Malacca)

4 ● Provide an objective, truthful and balanced account of Malaysian and World History ● Promote inter-ethnic relations and forge greater national unity ● Develop a sense of national identity and instil patriotism ● Promote critical thinking among students OBJECTIVES OF HISTORY TEACHING

5 ● Factually accurate ● Generally objective ● Well-balanced ● Devoid of value judgements GOOD HISTORY TEXTBOOKS

6 “All serious historical writing must respect all nations, ethnic groups, religions and cultures.... The historian’s role is not to make value judgements about historical facts but to try to establish them more accurately...” Muhammad Adnan Bakhit History of Humanity, Vol.4, UNESCO,2000

7 ● Islamic and Malay-centric biased ● Some half-truths ● Numerous factual errors and contradictions ● Politically motivated OUR HISTORY TEXTBOOKS

8 BIASED HISTORY TEXTBOOKS 1.Downplay the roles of the non-Malays in the development of our nation and its independence. 2.Scant attention given to the contribution of the Chinese and Indians in the development of the tin mining and rubber industries.

9 3.Lopsided emphasis on Islamic Civilization. Five out of ten chapters (116 out of 284 pages or 41%) of the current Form Four history textbook deal with Islamic history Earlier Form 4 history textbook had only one chapter (39 out of 231 pages or 17%) on Islamic history

10 Quotation from the Quran (page 101) besides Islamic teachings and religious terms Undue emphasis given to trivial matters and unimportant personalities which are of no historical significance (e.g. Hanif religion, al-Basus War, Abu Lahab and Bilal bin Rafah)

11 4.Do not tell the whole truth. Omits the fact that the founder of Malacca (Parameswara) was a Hindu prince from Palembang who died a Hindu Gives wrong impression that Indian-Gurkha, Australian and British soldiers did not fight courageously in defending Malaya during the Japanese onslaught, unlike the Malay Regiment

12 “Tentera British di Tanah Melayu yang terdiri daripada askar-askar India-Gurkha, Australia dan British tidak mampu menyekat kemaraan tentera Jepun. Mereka terpaksa berundur ke selatan. Bandar-bandar utama dari utara ke selatan jatuh satu per satu ke tangan tentera Jepun. Di samping itu, tentera British sememangnya tidak berhasrat mempertahankan Tanah Melayu dengan bersungguh-sungguh kecuali Singapura. Tumpuan mereka ialah mempertahankan negara Britain daripada serangan tentera Paksi di Eropah. Sebaliknya, Rejimen Askar Melayu pimpinan Leftenan Adnan telah berjuang bermati-matian mempertahankan Tanah Melayu.” Form 3 History Textbook, page 11 HALF-TRUTH

13 ● Thousands of Punjabi (mainly Sikhs), Gurkha, British and Australian soldiers died defending Malaya during the Japanese onslaught ● In the Battle of Kampar, Indian-Gurkha and British soldiers fought courageously and temporarily halted the advance of Japanese ● 33 out of 232 names on Tugu Negara are Sikhs HISTORICAL TRUTH

14 5.Current Form Four textbook has reduced more than 25% the amount of text related to Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism as compared to the earlier textbook (from about 1115 words to about 832 words).

15 Topic1991 Edition2002 Edition Hinduismc. 275 wordsc. 202 words Buddhismc. 283 wordsc. 165 words Confucianismc. 337 wordsc. 100 words Taoismc. 220 wordsc. 151 words Christianityc. 237 wordsc. 214 words

16 6. No coverage of some famous Malaysian freedom fighters such as Gurchan Singh (“Lion of Malaya”) and Sybil Karthigesu who resisted the Japanese Occupation of Malaya.

17 GURCHAN SINGH ● Gurchan wrote and secretly distributed a newspaper during the Japanese Occupation of Malaya ● His wartime exploits were contained in a textbook, Heroes of Malaya, widely used in Malayan schools (1950s)

18 ● Sybil Karthigesu and her husband treated wounded guerrillas of the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army ● Although tortured by the Japanese, she did not give up ● A woman of principle with tremendous courage SYBIL KARTHIGESU

19 YAP AH LOY 1.Current Form 2 history textbook (page 153) has downplayed the role of Yap Ah Loy in developing Kuala Lumpur. It has just one sentence (not even in the main text) on Yap Ah Loy: “Yap Ah Loy antara orang yang bertanggungjawab membangunkan Kuala Lumpur.”

20 HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE OF YAP AH LOY “... his [Yap Ah Loy] perseverance alone, I believe, has kept the Chinese in the country [Malaya].”  Frank Swettenham “Down to 1879, Yap Ah Loy was Mr. Kuala Lumpur.”  J. M. Gullick

21 “Yap Ah Loy did more than anyone to establish the little township destined to become Malaya’s capital.”  J. Kennedy “Kuala Lumpur was another town created by the enterprise of the Chinese.”  Margaret Shennan

22 EventTextbookAuthoritative Sources Outbreak of American War of Independence 1776 (Form 5, p. 67) 1775 (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Daniel Roselle) Date of formation of Sabah Alliance Party 1961 (Form 5, p. 143) 1962 (Cecilia Leong, A.J. Stockwell) Age at which Siddharta Gautama started searching for the truth about life 39 years (Form 4, p. 65) 29 years (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Daniel Roselle, T. Walter. Wallbank, et al.) FACTUAL ERRORS IN HISTORY TEXTBOOKS

23 VALUE JUDGEMENTS IN OUR FORM FOUR HISTORY TEXTBOOK ● Baginda merupakan ketua keluarga yang patut dicontohi kerana kepimpinannya serta sifat pengasihnya dan timbang rasanya. ● Kemunculan tamadun Islam memberi rahmat kepada seluruh manusia …. ● … unsur-unsur Islam boleh dipraktikkan dalam sesebuah negara yang terdiri daripada berbilang bangsa dan agama.

24 ● Bagi penganut Kristian, agama ini dikatakan telah diasaskan oleh Jesus Christ yang berasal dari Jerusalem ● No main teachings of Christianity, unlike earlier textbook ● Coverage reduced by about 10% Form 4 History Textbook, page 66 CHRISTIANITY IN HISTORY TEXTBOOK

25 ● Concept introduced in current Form 3 textbook (page 45) ● Ketuanan Melayu ditakrifkan sebagai semangat cinta akan apa saja yang berkaitan dengan bangsa Melayu seperti hak politik, bahasa, kebudayaan, warisan, adat istiadat dan tanah air KETUANAN MELAYU

26 ● Malay dominance ● Malays are the “masters” ● Non-Malays are “pendatang” IMPLICATIONS OF KETUANAN MELAYU

27 Ringkasnya, kemajuan dan kemakmuran Tanah Melayu telah berjaya menarik minat imigran untuk datang ke sini dan keadaan ini berterusan hingga kini. Kita seharusnya berbangga dengan negara kita yang menjadi tumpuan pendatang asing kerana kekayaan dan kemakmurannya. Di satu sudut yang lain pula, masyarakat tempatan seharusnya lebih giat, berinisiatif dan bersedia mengusahakan sendiri kekayaan negara, terutamanya bagi mereka yang tidak bermodal besar. Jika tidak, orang asing yang sentiasa mengintai peluang untuk mengambil ruang tersebut, akan mengambil alih peranan kita, seperti yang berlaku pada hari ini. Form Five History Textbook, page 255

28 ● A temporary measure to ensure their [Malay] survival in the modern competitive world ●A temporary “handicap” as in golf ● Should not apply in perpetuity Tun Dr. Ismail bin Abdul Rahman SPECIAL POSITION OF MALAYS

29 RECOMMENDATIONS 1.The Form 1-5 History textbooks should be reviewed to ensure factual accuracy and consistency, objectivity and a balanced account of our nation's history. 2. The advisory panel and writers should be drawn from various ethnic groups. 3.History textbooks should be devoid of value judgements.

30 4.Writers chosen should be those who have content mastery, are meticulous (pay attention to details) and with a proven track record. 5.The teaching and learning of History should be geared towards enhancing deep learning, critical thinking, information literacy and presentation skills of our students and not merely for memorization and to pass exams.

31 6.History should be taught in a lively and interesting manner using various instructional strategies (e.g. debates, discussions, group presentations, document studies, video clips) and not limited to the traditional lecture method. Students should not be mere spectators in the teaching and learning process. Active learning should be promoted.

32 Thank You!


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