History / Racism

Confusing history with racial prejudice

The Sun produced on its front cover yesterday, an article entitled “History Textbooks Biased, says writer”. I would agree to some parts of the article but in most parts, it actually had proved correct to what I have said in this original article of mine.

The reporter, Zakiah Koya, interviewed two academicians named Dr Ranjit Singh and Mr Ng How Kuen regarding their opinion about the current history syllabus. Bear in mind, these two academicians are currently working within the education system whereby they play an active part in producing what our children is currently refer to in schools.

Some of the excerpts are:

“Secondary school history textbooks have been used to promote political interests. It should be a scholarly pursuit and not politically-motivated,” said Ranjit who showed theSun history textbooks with errors and exaggerated facts.

“Five out of 10 chapters of the Form Four history textbook deal with Islamic history as compared to only one chapter in the earlier textbook. The intention of the earlier syllabus was to expose our students to World History,” he said when commenting on the announcement that the history syllabus is being reviewed and that the subject will be made a compulsory pass in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia from 2013.

He also said certain historical personalities, such as Yap Ah Loy (the third Kapitan China of Kuala Lumpur), were not given due recognition. Yap played a major role in the development of Kuala Lumpur as a commercial and tin-mining centre, particularly after the fire of 1881,” he said, adding that the Form Two history textbook had only one sentence on Yap as “one of the persons responsible for developing Kuala Lumpur”.

“There is also no mention of freedom fighters such as Gurchan Singh (“Lion of Malaya”) and Sybil Karthigesu who resisted the Japanese Occupation of Malaya,” he said. (Gurchan secretly distributed a newspaper during the Japanese occupation while Sybil, who was tortured by the Japanese, and her husband treated wounded guerillas of the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army).

“The 1996 Form One textbook stated inter alia that a few Indian merchants lent their junks to the Portuguese in their attack on Malacca. I know of no historical evidence to support this fact,” said Ranjit.

“Six Chinese captains agreed to lend their junks to the Portuguese due to their hatred for Sultan Mahmud who had earlier detained them and their men to help attack Aru. The Portuguese used only one junk provided by one of the Chinese,” he said.

Ranjit pointed out that the decision to make history a must pass subject for SPM from 2013 was rooted in a wrong premise. “It is not right to assume that students will study history seriously and will be more patriotic after clearly understanding the Federal Constitution and the social contract.

“Patriotism thrives when citizens have a ‘sense of belonging’ and perceive themselves being treated equitably,” he said.

Ng, meanwhile, fears that making history a compulsory pass subject would mean one would have to subscribe to one’s version of events or risk failing the entire examination.

Ng, whose textbooks are still used in Chinese-medium primary schools, however stressed that it was timely to review the syllabus. “We always had to follow the curriculum given by the MOE and therefore the ruling parties have the upper hand in defining our history.”

As an example, he said when writing on the fight for independence, the contributions of the communists were left out.

He said history books should be written by historians and not teachers as the former were not bound by the curriculum. “Students do know the truth but as textbooks are written according to approved curriculum, students end up learning history that is skewed,” said Ng

I mentioned earlier in this very article that people must not view history of this country from racial perspective. The fact that both of the academicians above chose to highlight the contribution of their own race just gave proof to my assertion that racial kind of thinking (instead of being Orang Malaysia kind of thinking) had made them suffer from one-upmanship. i.e., the ‘kiasu-ness’ that his particular race contributed more than other races; or his particular race should not be found guilty of any mistakes made in the past.

First and foremost, the reporter above did not do a thorough homework in getting enough information from all parties. Did she interview Professor Dr Khoo Kay Khim? Have she interviewed a representative from the Minister of Education. If The Sun wishes to have a balanced view in their reporting, Zakiah Koya should have at least given the view from the other side of the divide so that the party accused of being biased can have the right to defend themselves within the same opinion piece.

Now that is what good and ethical journalism is. News reporting must not be similar to the one sided propaganda machine of a political party say for example, the propaganda news that are coming out from the office of the PKR’s Information Chief.

Anyhow, both academicians above failed badly in the effort to be professional. Writing history textbooks must be based on events that were so prominent that they actually changed the course of history.

If we want to put every single bit of information within the textbooks of our young ones, their textbooks will be voluminous and super thick. And that is just on Malaysian history! Together with all the massive volume and information on the rest of the world, our children will have to study history syllabus as huge as our national library!

Thus, when Ranjit Singh wanted the history books to include the adventures of Gurchan Sing and Sybil Karthigesu, as mentioned before, he was thinking from his own racial prejudice. No doubt that both historical figures were important. But in the larger context, were they more prominent than say, Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM) and Malayan Union?

If that is the case, all descendants of gurkhas and all the unknown malay heroes would want their respective historical figures to appear in the history textbooks. Even I would want my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather to be included in the history textbooks as he and his comrades fought off Dutch army in the battle near Serkam, Melaka about two hundred years ago.

The point is, you must not be looking at history using racial perspectives when it comes to history syllabus. George Washington, in the textbook of American children is a noble founding father; not the owner of black slaves.

Abraham Lincoln in the American textbook is a great leader who catapulted America to become the land of the free and of liberty. Although some historians deemed him as racist with his anti-blacks remarks, he is revered by all Americans as a great leader.

Now what can we learn from these two academicians of ours?

We know that they are a couple of ‘exclusionist historian’. They want to exclude the whole generation of the young from learning about their country through a standardised version. History must be standardised so that children can be instilled with knowledge of their country.

And mind you, history that we know is not a total lie. Those two merely wanted more information to be included in the textbook so that the contribution of some race be prominently shown in the textbooks.

However, I was disappointed with Ng when he said that the communists contributed to our nation building too. Now that is a total blasphemy. Yes, Chin Peng fought the British and the Japanese. But to what end? Were their intentions pure? Were they really fighting for freedom? Chin Peng admitted that they fought because they wanted to pursue communism ala China in this country.

He wanted this country to be the Communist Republic of Malaya (or any other name besides Malaya). That is why he continued to fight and kill the Malaysians among us even after we had achieved independence. In Perjanjian Baling in 1955, he suggested to Tunku Abdul Rahman to secede half of Semenanjung Tanah Melayu to him so that this nation will be like North Vietnam and South Vietnam. One is communist republic with him as President, while the other is democratic with constitutional monarchy.

So Ng, we want to celebrate Chin Peng this way?

Chin Peng and his CPM is relegated as butchers of Malaya and this is how our children should remember them. How do you reconcile the fact that they killed many of our citizens in the past?

Again, racialised thinking from this Mr Ng.

But fear not dear exclusionists, Malaysia has never banned any historical journals from the public. Even Chin Peng’s book can be purchased in the book stores. I read more about KMM and Mustapha Hussain not from the textbooks but from MPH.

I read the achievements of Thutmosis III and Khalid Al Walid well in my early 20’s from encyclopedias.

But I sure studied the date of independence and the list of Kings in Malaysia as well as the basic history of this country when I was seven, in school. I learned how to be Malaysian and how to love this country before I reached eight years old.

If Ranjit Singh wants to highlight the exploits of the people he mentioned, he can always publish books like how Chin Peng did.

Mainstream history will unite the young Malaysians and make all races think like Orang Malaysia.

Yet, Ranjit downplayed the importance of history because to him, patriotism is instilled when the children perceived themselves as being treated equally. What a strange premise that is. Does he think children that young  would think they are treated unequally? Do you think they are concerned with affirmative action at that age?

And if Ng thinks that the present history syllabus is skewed, what kind of history he think is not skewed? A history where Chin Peng is a hero?

I wonder whether those two academicians are wearing their correct hats. Or were they thinking more like a politician?

Overall, yes, the syllabus needs to be improved. But not to kow-tow to these exclusionist and racially charged historians because the arguments they brought forward will be a huge contributor to further segregate our society and will give rise to apathetic Malaysians.

Thank you.

(Jebat Must Die is a part time blogger who wishes nothing more than to see the Battle of Serkam, Melaka be included in the history textbooks but understood the fact that the brain capacity of a child from the age 7 to 17 may not be big enough to digest a billion information contained in the history of the world. They have other subjects to study too).

52 thoughts on “Confusing history with racial prejudice

  1. I have mention many times, that the Star once published a picture of a father and child looking at a picture, blown out/up hundred times perhaps until the faces on the picture consist of large dots and one cannot make out the features of the faces. At the bottom, the caption read, chinese freedom fighters or something along that line, but in actual fact, I saw the same picture while browsing a picture book, by some colonial person, and it was a picture taken during some chinese riot in Penang!


    • Koya is an Indian. Does the name Lateefa Koya sound familiar? The Sun belongs to the Chinese gambling head Vincent Tan and is anti Malay and the Constitution. that is why they are promoting Chin Peng.

      What is the KDN, Hishamuddin doing about this? Nothing?

      We should also boycott the Chinese english paper the STAR. Constantly promoting Chinese interests in the name of social justice.


  2. First of all, thank you very much, JMD, for writing this article. It is indeed a breath of fresh air, after the stench of calls for a ‘revised’ history of Malaysia, which smacks of anti-Malay racist propaganda.

    I even wrote a letter about it to the Star and NST about the problem of ‘political correctness’ and how how history is being distorted by certain groups to further their own agenda.


    On a side note, it is alarming that today, people have no respect for history and historians. Being a history student in the University of Malaya, it is disgusting to hear other students follow slavishly that amateur pseudo-historian, Fahmi Reza, and not proper historians who actually understand the methodologies and discipline of history.

    Prof Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim made a comment (which is arguable) that there is no evidence the British actively pursued a ‘divide-and-rule’ policy and the separation of races according to work is an unintended result, rather than a conscious policy on the side of the British. And for this comment, no respectful disagreement with facts were given. Only the same, lame accusation that Prof Khoo is a mouthpiece and lapdog of UMNO.


    • hazou,

      I like to say something on the report you linked up there, if I may.

      As much as my name is Nono, I say it’s balderdash. It’s hogwash. It’s sourced to George Town, Penang, and it’s obvious that the origin of the attempted mischief is DAP-ish.

      The report doesn’t even name the so-called “group of prominent politicians and social activists from East Malaysia .. seriously contemplating pulling out Sabah and Sarawak from the Federation of Malaysia.” They can contemplate what they want, dream what they like, but it’s anti-national and prejudicial to the national security interest of Malaysia the moment they open their mouths on it publicly and should be dragged by the collar to the ISA detention centre.

      No one can simply do that, old chap. The views of the people of Sabah and Sarawak were sought by the Cobbold Commission, determined and verified during the discussions on the formation of Malaysia in 1962, and certified during the formation of Malaysia proper in 1963. Malaysia was recognised internationally and no question was ever asked at the United Nations or anywhere suggesting any hanky panky whatever.

      Sukarno tried to divert the attention of his people from the worsening economic and political problems of his country by opposing the formation of Malaysia and staged what he called “Confrontasi”, but it was not on grounds of protests or non approval of the people of Sabah and Sarawak. The political entity called Malaysia was signed, sealed and delivered. The Constitution of Malaya was amended to cater for that. And no such nonsense as breaking away.

      At the last count, the Army has a brigade each in Sabah and Sarawak headed by a Major General. These soldiers are tasked with the defence of the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and this includes the states of Sabah and Sarawak being a part of Malaysia. Any attempt to change the status quo must be regarded as a belligerent act.

      When it is an internal act, it must be regarded as acts of treason and those speaking for it must be ISA-ed. The Police must be watching them. In times of war, those committing treachery are shot dead. In times of peace, treacherous blokes ought to be hanged. The actual law on this may be checked but the blokes talking about this know the seriousness of the offence, hence no one dares to identify positively the so-called “group of prominent politicians and social activists”. Let them be damned.

      It’s the kind of group like the secret societies, thugs and gangsters of Larut in the mid 19th Century where the Kapitan Cina and 44 gangsters committed treachery to Malaya by petitioning the British in Penang to help recover tin mines lost to rival gangs, the British entered Perak, leading to British colonisation starting from 1874. They must not be allowed to commit treachery again. Ever.


    • On Professor Khoo Kay Kim’s statements that you linked above, I agree with most of what he said.

      “Bloggers especially talk absolute rubbish! They think they are very clever and that they have the right to say anything they want,” he said. I agree with him but a few do get their facts correct according to established history. It’s when bloggers express their opinions based on inaccurate or wrong facts that the problem began.

      I support his opinion on the urgent need for history teachers to be specially trained to understand history beyond the realm of school textbooks. “Hold special courses for them and rope in experienced teachers to run these courses,” he said. “And strive to get history teachers who are truly passionate about history. Those who teach for the sole purpose of exams are of no use.”

      I’m glad that Professor Khoo was greatly heartened by the decision making History a compulsory pass in the SPM by 2014. This move is indeed so important.

      I also agree with him that young people today “are so ignorant of the past.”
      But he said, “it was the Chinese tauke who brought in the Chinese.” I have not done any academic research on it but I have read from historical journals that it was the British colonial masters who made each and every decision on allowing the Chinese taukes to do so and in that sense the British were responsible in the influx of the Chinese into Malaya.

      I would not disagree with the Professor Emeritus on too many issues on a subject of his expertise.


  3. The two academics merely pointed out the facts… the exclusion of non-Malay personalities who have made contribution to our nations history.

    But you chose to accuse Ranjit of preferring his own race while totally ignoring his statements on the near-omission of yap ah loi. Red herring & strawman alert.

    read your previous post the other day, but no time to comment. Having studied in the States I say your take on the US History is flawed. History there does not teach about ‘Ketuanan orang puteh’ and all the other races (blacks, hispanics, asians, natives) are immigrants while Whites are the original inhabitants. It does not teach the minority races to know their place and not question authority. It does not teach that US history was made by the white people and exclude people like Martin Luther King & Cesar Chavez.

    Instead, it teaches about inclusiveness, and learning/correcting/avoiding past mistakes like slavery, racial supremacy, Jim Crow, and mistreatment of native americans. It attempts to make its students patriots through inclusion & equality. Like what Ranjit was talking about. Students are encouraged to discuss, debate, and question, not memorize and regurgitate.


    • I’ve been keeping quiet for a while, rather sickened with people saying things loosely, curtly and disrespectfully. But I can’t keep quiet seeing people like those two mentioned in the article above and now this “obefan” fellow is defending them by saying nonsense.

      What “merely pointed out the facts” are you talking about, man? There’s a whole load of subjective thinking, judgmental statements and questionable opinion expressed by the fellows. Didn’t you read the excerpts JMD put out up there? Accusing people “to promote political interests … politically-motivated”, saying “not right to assume that students will study history seriously and will be more patriotic after clearly understanding the Federal Constitution and the social contract” … “Patriotism thrives when citizens have a ‘sense of belonging’ and perceive themselves being treated equitably”. He may be a PhD but there are thousands of them around these days. What he says needs not be the gospel truth, can be far from the fact.

      There are those far more qualified, longer in service, in lecturing, reading, presentation of papers and dissertations at international forums, written books and articles in publications recognized world wide. Like Professors Emeritus who have been established in their fields and are entitled to use the title for life. Like Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim who JMD referred to. Those who have a deep sense of responsibility as citizens of this country, respect and abide by the Constitution fully.

      Now, who decides on the “non-Malay personalities who have made contribution to our nations history”? Fellows attempting to re-write history by writing in the ever-changing Wikipedia? Or DAP fellows who want communist terrorist leader Chin Peng be allowed to enter Malaysia? Saying Chin Peng and the Malayan Communist Party are nationalists? You must be joking. Read up man, read up. Not the outlandish “re-written history” but the “established” and internationally accepted historical works based on records of facts.

      “Having studied in the States ..” but did you study History? And you said JMD’s take on the US History is flawed. History there does not teach about the Chinese Exclusion Act? The Act that stated in its Preamble that it was enacted because of the bad behaviour of the Chinese there. And the sending back to China shiploads of the Chinese railway construction labourers and the hired California gold diggers? And you talk of US history not talking about ‘Ketuanan orang puteh’ and about “inclusiveness”. Yet there was the Chinese exclusion by a law deliberately enacted by the Americans, don’t you see? Grow up, old boy.

      You are skewed in your thinking and drunk on your facts, aren’t you? “Whites are the original inhabitants”, you said. Have you heard about Red Indians, old boy? You must have been engaged in the familiar habit of seclusion that your kind is known even in Malaysia. Going about mainly in the US China towns and not knowing about the Red Indians being the original settlers there. The kind who attend Chinese schools here and not bothered about the mainstream of society. Such a waste of your parents money studying in US and talking like you do. Shame on you.


      • You should actually do your research before shooting off. Stuffs liek the chinese exclusion act (along with Jim Crow law, etc) are well documented and taught in US history subject. The prevailing view among current US historians and scholars is those laws are seen as racist and discriminatory. It is taught and seen as something to be avoided in future.

        I said “US History does not teach that white people are original inhabitants”. You claim I said that the white people are original inhabitants. Another straw man argument from you.

        No Chinatowns in the university where I studied bro. And I’m from LaSalle PJ. Do you happen to make a living making straw men?

        Next time, tolong baca dan faham sblm hantam dan membebel ok?


        • obefan,

          You now say what you said earlier was “US History does not teach that white people are original inhabitants”. Complete with quotation marks. You did not say that, old boy. Come on, don’t do this. Pure, outright lie.

          Here’s what you said earlier –

          “History there does not teach about ‘Ketuanan orang puteh’ and all the other races (blacks, hispanics, asians, natives) are immigrants while Whites are the original inhabitants.”

          What are u talk, man? Me no speaking Englais or Ameeriikan, ha? Why mention “Whites are the original inhabitants” at all? Suuusssaaah la ini maciam.

          Anyway, don’t wanna waste time arguing like this. It’s not semantics, it’s the frame of mind, I think.

          Now you are implying I don’t read up US history. You said “You should actually do your research before shooting off. Stuffs liek the chinese exclusion act (along with Jim Crow law, etc) are well documented and taught in US history subject.”

          Yet what I said was a rhetorical question (hope you know what a rhetoric is – it means no need to answer, as I was making a point). I might as well repeat what I said making it easier for you to check –

          “History there does not teach about the Chinese Exclusion Act? The Act that stated in its Preamble that it was enacted because of the bad behaviour of the Chinese there. And the sending back to China shiploads of the Chinese railway construction labourers and the hired California gold diggers? And you talk of US history not talking about ‘Ketuanan orang puteh’ and about “inclusiveness”. Yet there was the Chinese exclusion by a law deliberately enacted by the Americans, don’t you see? Grow up, old boy.”

          You think my saying those shows I’m illiterate about US history? You must be having your head buried in one China town somewhere. You may not be physically there, but your thinking is there. Comprendo?


          • (quote)Here’s what you said earlier –

            “History there does not teach about ‘Ketuanan orang puteh’ and all the other races (blacks, hispanics, asians, natives) are immigrants while Whites are the original inhabitants.” (unquote)

            And tq for proving xactly what I said in my first post. 🙂
            I didn’t lie, I didn’t change statement. U just didn’t pass the comprehension test.

            p.s. Cliffs notes for those who fail ESL

            History there does not teach about:
            – ‘Ketuanan orang puteh’
            – all the other races (blacks, hispanics, asians, natives) are immigrants
            – Whites are the original inhabitants

            JMD : Correct Obefan. If I may interject, history there in the US do not teach about Ketuanan Orang Putih. Here, history do not teach about Ketuanan Melayu either. Don’t seem to recall any mention about Ketuanan Melayu in all my years in school. Even now, is there any mention of Ketuanan Melayu in history textbooks?

            Obviously the Americans, particularly the whites, know that they came to America as immigrants. But they become Americans with the help of their single stream schools. They were no schools with italian as the main medium of instruction to cater the italian immigrants or schools with dutch language as the main medium of instruction when the dutch moved to the States 200 years ago. Everyone went into the same school to become Americans. But they do know they were immigrants. If not, the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower will be not be taught in their schools.

            The thing that unifies them as Americans are the schools. Like I mentioned in the previous article, ‘to make Americans out of the immigrants’.

            Try having immigrants having their own set of schools and segregated from the rest. America will be in chaos.

            They indeed do not teach the whites as the original inhabitants because the whites were indeed NOT the original inhabitants.

            We must accept history and view it from non racial lenses. So what if the Malays and the orang asli were the original inhabitants here? So what if the chinese and indians were immigrants? Those are facts. But all of us became Orang Malaysia.

            But sadly, due to the fact that our children go into different set of schools, then, we cannot be united as one.

            Granted there are a of weaknesses in our education. We must streamline and improve them. The history syllabus now is not totally made of lies. There were just probably imbalanced. But to distort history (like some people championing the communist as saviours of the people) is totally absurd. We do not want to be the people that was described in the article here and here.

            Thank you.


    • You wrote, “Having studied in the States I say your take on the US History is flawed. History there does not teach about ‘Ketuanan orang puteh’ ”

      If the American were to teach about “ketuanan orang puteh”, the world will laugh in their face. The origional people there, “the tuan tanah”, are the natives of America. But they were hunted, destroyed and finally put the survivals in the reservations. Their history , the white man version that is, is only a few hundred years old, the Natives American history goes back a few thousand years.

      I believe there was also “white immigrant only policy” imposed some years back.

      You may also like to find out that in Australia they used to give a bounty to kill the aborigionals. The white here also cannot use “ketuanan”. And they dont.


    • But telling that Yap Ah Loy is the founder/important personality of KL is total lie and you want it that to be recorded in history book. So if the lie is for you, its ok? KL is open by Raja Abdullah by the order of the Sultan and Yap Ah Loy status is just like other personality at that time like Abdullah Hukum, Haji Taib, etc, that also develop KL in their own ways. But you want Yap Ah Loy to be the center and higher than everybody. If the non-malays want to talk about blood for independence, then they don’t deserver to be included at all in history book. Compare to how many blood of Malay when they fighting Portugues/Dutch/Japanese/English etc. No one remembered the sacrifice of the nameless foot soldier that fight along Sultan Mahmud to retake Malacca from Portuguese, no one remember the nameless people that fought the Siamse. No one remember the people that dead alongside Dol Said in Naning War. What ever fight the non-bumi fight, they fight for reason other than Malaya. Its either for mother India/China or for something else, but not for this land, because its impossible for someone to fight for things that is not theirs. Only in 1957 that non-bumi got citizenship and that explain their motive before that period. But for the bumi, this land is always their and that what they died for. Actually, giving citizenship to these people is one of the biggest mistake done by this country and should be recorded in history as a moment of shame because its signify failure of the native to defend their land from intruder.


      • “Actually, giving citizenship to these people is one of the biggest mistake done by this country and should be recorded in history as a moment of shame because its signify failure of the native to defend their land from intruder”

        I agree with this statement. More over between them and us, it is like oil and water. However much we try it will never mix.
        The goverment should accept this fact and solve it.

        Slogan is cheap and it does not work.


        • Is this the same intruder that currently finances you by paying more taxes? Finances your 7% discount? Works harder without crutches? etc etc etc ?


          • Last check its Petronas that finance alot of country development. You don’t want to become ingrate do you? Actually the proper implementation of citizenship given to these intruders should be 1 : 10 votes for intruders and native. Ie., one vote of native equal to 10 votes of intruders. I mean they are intruders in the first place. But of course, the British is more powerful than Malay Sultan at that time, then the native have to settle for1 : 1 vote. All those you said is not enough, if someone come to your house and willing to pay the rent, you still can impose more rule if you want right? Its your house anyway.


    • “‘Ketuanan orang puteh’”? … heheh … you are refering to … … nevermind.

      History here never teaches ketuanan melayu, but ketuanan cina imported from China is slowly and surely eating away Tanah Melayu. Sob. Sob. (Nangis … just in case somebody deliberately wants to misread me)

      And these importers insist that they are contributing.


    • Does the book didn’t mentioned DR Manikavasagam, Tan Cheng Lock? Yap Ah Loy is chinese capitalist, but Tan Cheng Lock played more important role in Nation Building.

      “There is also no mention of freedom fighters such as Gurchan Singh (“Lion of Malaya”) and Sybil Karthigesu who resisted the Japanese Occupation of Malaya,” he said.”….. Don’t you know that my great grandfather was also freedom fighter and so do many unsung Malay heros??? I don’t know who is Gucharan Singh so do you also don’t know who my great grand father was… Not a big deal.

      And don’t you acknowledge that more Malays were suffered and many even being killed during the Japanese occupation???


  4. Just read the reporter name and you know its going to be against the Malays.
    Koya.. remember that Latifa Koya who make false staturoty thingy aganst najib? so what else is new. this kelings are a danger to malaysian history.

    For the info of all Malays the SUN is given out free by BERJAYA owned by the Chinese gambling tokey Vincent Tan. That is why it s writers are all indian and chinese who day and out write hate articles on the malay government.

    Yet Mahathir gave this vincent tan his licence to make money. recently the govenemtn reduce the prize money so vincent tan margin will go up!

    Is this an MCA initiative allowed by UMNO? Why should umno align itself with jahat tokey cina? beter the dap chinese who are socialist and frown on gambling.

    The STAR is Chinese english language paper. owned by chinese tokey in MCA it promote chiese interests all the time.

    So now you know just because the SUN is in english it is still keling english. And the the star is in english it is still english chinese papers not national papers.


  5. The funny thing is that – I bet these are the people who kept touting ‘Malaysian FIRST, ‘insert race here’ second’!!

    Not practicing what they preach eh?

    I wish everyone can read this. I’ll be very sad if there’s a chapter in my children’s history book that says communist are heroes in this country 😦


  6. Pingback: History In Malaysia « BJ Thoughts…

  7. Dear JMD,

    Thanks for an enlightening piece. I so enjoy it. I had my first encounter with Malaysian history when I had to study for the common exams required of government servants to be confirmed. Had my BM July paper in 1990.

    Just to share: I did history at secondary school in Singapore in the early 1970s. I recall listening about all the Chinese dynasties, the Crusades, Raffles as the father of modern Singapore (in which Malays were described as a handful of fishing community). We had (still have, I believe) schools and roads named after historical figures and prominent Malays like Sang Nila Utama, Tun Seri Lanang, Radin Mas, Ahmad Ibrahim and Ambok Solo. For a community which is described as insignificantly a community of fishermen, they sure had made their mark from the way Malay words are used to name all the islands in Singapore (Pulau Ubin, Pulau Ayer Chawan, Pulau Sekijang, Pulau Brani, Pulau Blakang Mati (sic) now Sentosa, Pulau Hantu, Pulau Bukom Kecil, Pulau Bukom Besar, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Damar Laut, etc.). Even if they are not Malay words, they are certainly not Chinese nor Indian in origin. There are places which still exist today (some of which are nowhere near any fishing village), with Malay names (e.g. Telok Blangah (sic), Bukit Merah, Bukit Batok, Tanah Merah, Pasir Ris, Bukit Panjang, Pasir Panjang, Telok Kurau, Bedok, Kampung Wak Tanjung, Bukit Timah, Tanjung Katong, Kampung Kembangan, Kampung Ubi, Paya Lebar, Kranji, Sungai Kadut, Ulu Pandan. But if you see new HDB housing areas with Chinese names, these are relatively new compared to the many places with originally Malay names.

    As a Singaporean then, I knew nothing about Leftenan Adnan, nor our history as part of the Johor Sultanate before the arrival of Raffles. Through history lessons in school, I knew more about the dynasties in China, I didn’t know then that Saladin was the great Muslim warrior Salahuddin Al-Ayubi. He was described as the man who fought against the Crusaders. As a teenager then, I did not identify him as “one of us”, but more as “one who was an enemy of the “great crusaders”. There was certainly a lot written and learnt about the different Christian leaders who led wars in faraway Europe.

    But I don’t recall learning anything significant about Malaya nor the Johor Sultanate of which Singapore belonged to. The presence of Malays in Singapore before the Chinese and Indians was never considered important enough to be included in school history texts. What I learnt about my race was through my acquiantance with friends I got to know from Malaysia – one of whom I later married. I bought “Sejarah Singapura” when I was in my late teens at his suggestion. I found my roots after I left Singapore.

    To the Chinese and Indians who have become part of the Malaysian landscape, try putting yourself in my shoes and the shoes of those like me who are still there. They have no voice nor real knowledge of their roots. The very existence of their ancestors in Singapore has long been denied and their history altered.

    There are Chinese in Malaysia who feel that their race should be given due recognition for bringing prosperity into the country. They describe themselves as hardworking and they look down on the way Malays conduct themselves in business. To them I say, consider yourselves lucky that the Malays are magnanimous in their treatment of visitors; it’s our culture. There are countries in the world which would rather remain economically less endowed than risk allowing Chinese money to come in. I know there are countries in West Asia which do not even allow Chinese students to study in their universities, let alone having any business dealings with them.

    It’s true that Chinese are business-minded, and it is also true that wherever they go, they bring along with them the culture of triads, the scourge of prostitution and big-time gambling. So, not only did Yap Ah Loy help develop Kuala Lumpur, but his community brought along with them a way of life which was socially disruptive. They still do now in Malaysia if we were to see the number of cases involving trafficking of humans from China (for prostitution), multi-million ringgit drug trafficking, illegal gambling and other activities which are economically lucrative. To these greedy towkays, it doesn’t matter if one whole hill slope is cleared of trees, as long as it brings in money into their coffers.

    There you are, that is cross-cultural studies for you. By the way, (this is off topic, but just to share), according to a worldwide survey on Happy Planet Index (HPI) introduced by the New Economic Foundation (NEF), a country’s economic prosperity does not equate a nation’s wellbeing, thus in 2006, Malaysia was placed at No. 44 compared to Singapore’s 133rd position as the happiest countries to live in. And Singapore still could not beat Malaysia in position in a second survey conducted at a later time.

    My suggestion: if there should be Chinese remembered for their contribution to the development of Malaysia – now and before – they should be picked among those who have managed to assimilate to the culture and way of life of their adopted country. These Chinese figures should not be chosen among those who contribute to the social scourge that plagues current Malaysian society through a culture that goes against Malay/Islamic values. After all, this land is called “Malay-sia”, not “Chin-asia” nor “Indi-sia”.


    • They have drama serials based on the past such as Fighting Spiders which had only a satay seller to represent the Malay. There was no significant Malay presence in those episodes.

      Imagine the impact on those young viewers when they see only chinese and “ang mohs” living in the early years.

      But in the second season, they introduced a young Malay boy as a new friend, I guess as an afterthought.


    • Salam JMD,
      This post may be sensitive to some readers, feel free to censor/disallow if it is out of line.

      @ Anak Pulau
      Great personal account. Thanks for sharing.

      “if there should be Chinese remembered for their contribution to the development of Malaysia – now and before – they should be picked among those who have managed to assimilate to the culture and way of life of their adopted country.”

      Going by your recommendation, the Peranakans (Baba Nyonya) should be given due credit like Tan Siew Sin (a Straits Chinese/Peranakan) who does not even speak Chinese, but is categorized as a Chinese. I am sure you would have come across many more of them in Singapore, Chinese who speaks in their Malay patoi.

      However, unlike the other immigrants (e.g., TunM’s ancestors) who are Muslims or embraced Islam later on, the earlier assimilations such as the Peranakans are now reversed and slowly undone because of the preeminence of race in Malaysian daily life, every single form whether it is for the government (understandable) or for running in a marathon has the ‘Race’ category. The Portuguese are luckier to be defined as bumiputra, even though by all accounts they too arrived from a foreign land, invaded Malacca and are not Muslims.

      The Malaysian Malay, not unlike the Jews, but unlike the other Malaysian natives, is a race where the membership is not by blood, but by definition, and anyone can become a Malay, just as is stated in the Malaysian Constitution. And like the Jews, it has become a race, where religion is one of the, if not the main, prerequisites.

      I think the main beef is that these days the Malays, Chinese and Indians are described as some kind of a singular entity just because they look the part, when we know they are not but yet are lumped together as separate identities for national policies and are made to believe so.

      For example if you discovered your ancestors are of the mighty Bugis from Sulawesi or Javanese or Acehnese from Sumatra or even from a royal lineage of the ancient Malay Kingdom of Langka Suka in Pattani, then what does it have to do with the Sultanate of Malacca in the 15th century. And we also know that the Malay states were at war with each other during various times.

      So its indeed confusing history with racial identification!
      (Sorry JMD, can’t help it there.)

      And what about the many chapters dedicated to Sejarah Islam in Sejarah Tingkatan 4, how does that help with our national identity? How would learning about Islamic-Arabic history, complete with geography, help to unite us as Orang Malaysia as JMD puts it. (http://www.kolejku.com/ppk/hsp/sejarah/hsp_sej_ting4.pdf)

      Even the Islamic Golden Age (7th century to the mid-13th century A.D), predates the establishment of the Sultanate of Malacca and most likely the majority of the Malays weren’t Muslims then, so how does that help with national identity and unity? Shouldn’t we be learning something closer to home, like the history of South East Asia and East Asia?

      Having said all that, I fully agree that the foundation of the history syllabus and the main part of it should be about the Orang Nusantara and acknowledge the different tribes, peoples, races that make up this country for the fact that it is called Tanah Melayu, but also please spare a thought for the people of Borneo, whom also, have their own history going on at the same time when Parameswara saw a deer kick a dog into a river.


      • Msleephyead,

        I think that, additionally, they should be picked from those who hold dear the values inscribed in the Constitution of the country and those who contributed to the development of the country based on that.

        Tan Siew Sin deserves mention. He was fully appreciative of the generosity of the Malays in agreeing to the citizenship right for the non-Malays and, in exchange, the non-Malays agreed to the enshrining of the Special Position of the Malays, which as the British said in their Parliament, has always been there “since day one”. That formed the basis for the development of the country since independence.

        I’m not sure whether “the Peranakans are now reversed and slowly undone because of the preeminence of race in Malaysian daily life” or whether it was due to the aggressive propaganda of the DAP that its chief, Lim Kit Siang, and his son, Guan Eng carried out when they were based in Malacca some time ago. Both subtle and crude open attempts to identify the Chinese as a distinctly different race, to use your word. The so-called Malaysian Malaysia propaganda making it appear that they were fighting for the rights of the Chinese as a distinct entity and criticizing anything Malay and with Malay dominance – the government, the Police, MACC, the Armed Forces, etc.

        It’s inaccurate to say that the Malaysian Malay is a race where the membership is not by blood. Those who become Malay strictly by constitutional definition are the exception, not the rule. As a general rule, the Malays are those who have Malay blood in them, whatever the percentage may be. Additionally, they invariably practice Malay customs and traditions as a way of life. Hence, the Muslim stevedoring Indian families in Penang, who speak Malay elsewhere but Indian at home and during meetings among themselves, and do not follow all aspects of the Malay adat, are not Malays. No doubt, many pass as Malays, even enjoy Bumiputera benefits. But you must appreciate that discrepancies exist everywhere in the world and that theory often differs from practice. Still, Mustapha Ong, DS Najib’s buddy buddy, is not a Malay and not claiming to be Malay, because he does not habitually speak the Malay language and practice the Malay custom and tradition.

        The book, “Tamadun Alam Melayu” published by the Historical Society of Malaysia, 2009, tells the origins and the vast family of Malays or Rumpun Melayu. It includes the natives of Sabah and Sarawak, who are not Malay by the constitutional definition, but are Bumiputeras. In answer to your question, they do have something to do with the Sultanate of Malacca in the 15th century because they are a part of that Rumpun Melayu or Large Family of Malays. Despite the fact that the Malay states were at war with each other during various times. Would you otherwise say that those in south China, who were said to be descended from the Tai and other tibes and settled in south China long before the northern Chinese migrated south, are not Chinese?

        It’s not “confusing history with racial identification” if you approach the matter with the correct perspective. Pre-Merdeka history must be viewed from the angle that the Malays have been ruling this country until the British came and for hardly a century. Portuguese, Dutch and British rule of Malacca and the Straits Settlements did not interrupt Malay rule in the other states. The sovereignty of the Maslay Sultans were respected by the British even during the 80 or so years of British colonization; the British appointed “British Advisers” to the Malay Rulers. The British had said that the Special Position of the Malays, from which the Ketuanan Melayu was derived, has been there “since day one”.

        Arguing about what helps and what doesn’t as far as our national identity is concerned can be touchy. Fully accepting the Constitution and the values written in it would be necessary in order to appreciate how, for example, learning about Islamic-Arabic history would help to unite us as Orang Malaysia. The Constitution says Islam is the official religion of the country. Accepting that would help bring the spirit of goodwill, understanding and unity. It would, for example, avoid Theresa Kok’s complaining of the azan calls to prayers. Especially when Muslims do not complain about the sounds of lion dances.

        You imply that the Islamic Golden Era is not “close to home”. That’s not taking into account the position of Islam in the Constitution and the majority in this country are Muslims. You see, values enshrined in the Constitution must be the basis for determining what and who should be included in our history books.


        • Thanks Dot. We meet again.

          Agree with you on all points, except,

          on Tan Siew Sin – Special Positions already in place since Day 1 as you said, and further here:
          so whatever TSS said, is moot, he speaks for himself, just as Chua Soi Lek does not speak on behalf of the Chinese community. I don’t see how mentioning his name lends any credit to the matter.

          It’s neither ‘tit for tat’ or ‘quid pro quo’, because Citizenship and SP are two separate matters. (Still that doesn’t explain how the Portuguese became Bumiputeras, but let us leave that for another time.)

          And this points out the assimilation issue, even when TSS spoke Peranakan Malay, and practices some form of Malay culture through the Peranakan culture, the Perakans does not really have a place in the Malaysian sense and are lumped together as Chinese. It must be the DAP’s fault since they were the ones who were and are the present day government since Merdeka. I don’t know what DAP has to with the Peranakans but since you brought them up and their Malaysian Malaysia or Middle Malaysia scheme, it must be their fault.

          And racial identifications will continue on because how else would we identify the Malays from the Others in the Constitution for the Special Positions to be applied.

          And if you feel that the Islamic Golden Era is important in a historical context for everyone by virtue of majority persons and the official religion of this country, I think you would also understand and appreciate the need for the Other Malaysians to also look back to their roots. E.g. a Chinese Malaysian is supposed to be proud of and know that the Chinese invented paper, gunpowder, fireworks etc, by virtue of association, hence we have the vernacular schools.

          As a supporter of the SSS, I don’t agree to the vernacular schools of course but neither do I agree to learning about history simply because of association. IMHO, we should have more local content, that’s where our historians have to come in and also DBP, just like this one:

          The phrase “Teach for Malaysia” seems to take precedence over “Mendidik Untuk Malaysia”.

          Can we use Bahasa Malaysia for all official campaigns and documentations, please?

          came across this, nice discussion going on: http://www.asiafinest.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t155468-300.html

          Thanks again for taking the time to write Dot.


          • Thanks for the links, msleepyhead.

            I’m not much into theories and academic research or presentation. Merely go by the bare facts and the opinions expressed by experts who have studied, written and presented them throughout their working lives, like Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim. Those that have become established by virtue of the fact that they have been recognized and accepted internationally as well. Like the fact that Chin Peng and the Communist Party of Malaya were bloody terrorists and not nationalists.

            Unlike what people like Kua Ka Siong may have tried to put out. Fellows who are not even historians and write books to promote their own agenda, including making money from book writing. What he wrote about 13 May 1969 has been dissected and shown to be ridiculous in several instances by JMD in this blog. Sensationalizing what one writes does bring buyers. Like the low-content tabloids in London and elsewhere. He had just launched a book questioning Malaysian defence purchases in a London restaurant of all places. Pathetic. Big Dog blog has written about it.

            We have been over the argument on what Tan Siew Sin said, elsewhere earlier. I’m disappointed that you still perceive what TSS said as speaking for himself. The fact is he was speaking at least for MCA, my dear. Similarly, Chua Soi Lek may not speak on behalf of the Chinese community. But he was speaking at least for the MCA. And MCA has a much bigger membership than Gerakan or DAP. What they say reflects the kind of people they are with respect to values encoded in the Constitution of the country. And helps determine whether they deserve mention in history. If so, in what light.

            Your perception that Citizenship and the Special Position of the Malays are not linked is devoid of an appreciation of what the Constitution of the country is all about. How the Constitution came into being, the history of Merdeka and the negotiations for independence. This is where the decision making History compulsory in schools beginning in 2013 is excellent. It’ll help future generations understand the Constitution, the highest set of laws in the country, from which all other laws emanate. It’ll create a better understanding of the role and the responsibilities of all citizens, develop mutual respect and bring about unity in the country.

            Until and unless there is a level playing field and Malaysians no longer look to mainland China and Sun Yat Sen (DAP naming a public facility in Penang after him), but instead look to Malaysia and fellow Malaysians for solace and comfort, you may be right in saying “racial identifications will continue on because how else would we identify the Malays from the Others in the Constitution for the Special Positions to be applied.”

            The Islamic Golden Era is not “Malay root”, my dear, and is not comparable to “Other Malaysians to also look back to their roots”, like Mandarin as medium of instruction and anything else contrary to the constitutional provisions. Not just Chinese but other Malaysians should also “be proud of and know that the Chinese invented paper”, weights and measures etc because they contribute to civilisation. (I’ve omitted gunpowder, fireworks from your list as they are destructive!). But that’s about all. They should not be a reason for not respecting all aspects of the Constitution.

            Good that you are a supporter of the Satu Sekolah untuk Semua (SSS) concept, but I’m afraid your perception is amiss again when you talk about “learning about history simply because of association.” You need to accept that the Constitution provides that Islam is the official religion of the country and mentioning the Islamic Golden Era is in line with that. All Malaysians need to be reasonable for long term peace and stability in this country. Unlike Theresa Kok who complained against the Muslim azan call to prayer when Muslims do not complain against the sounds of lion dances.

            Note that DAP, too, can go into history, but mostly for the wrong reasons. And what basis to determine what the right reasons are – the Constitution. No other way. The basic issues had been discussed so many times during the negotiations for Independence, the draft had been argued, discussed, deliberated upon, and finally approved by Parliament twice – once at Merdeka, another at the formation of Malaysia. How democratic it had all been. Only the undemocratic goons of the so-called DEMOCRATIC Action Party try to say otherwise.


            • I’m a bit late here but Dot you keep on saying that “Unlike Theresa Kok who complained against the Muslim azan call to prayer when Muslims do not complain against the sounds of lion dances.” – Did she really complain about the Azan? I believe it was subsequently pointed out in teh various newspapers that this did not involve her (I don’t have the links as it’s too long ago).


  8. In the last Singapore’s national day celebrations, one episode on how Singa Pura got its name, showed dancers in Chinese lion costumes were used to depict the lion that was spotted by Sang Nila Utama and Demang Lebar Daun on Temasek island. Why Chinese lion dancers and costumes? This is the Singapore way to symbolically show the island was already inhabited by the Chinese before it was founded by the Sumatran Malay prince. This is the Singapore’s way in subverting the local history. The Chinese were the pioneers of Temasek, and not the Malays!


  9. The basis of determining who should be glorified in our history books must be those who have contributed to the nation in a realistic and constructive manner. What may be discussed here is whether the “contribution” of some are realistic and constructive or not. It must be judged within the context of present day values and requirements for nation building. It must be based on respect for and abiding by the Constitution fully.

    Hence, Yap Ah Loy needs not be a hero just because he built 1-2 shop houses that went dilapidated and torn down after a generation or so. Or he wielded a strong influence on the Chinese community of the time though the institution of secret societies, thugs and gangsters grew and is still a hideous menace to society now.
    If he had managed to get rid of that institution, of course he’d been a great hero worth pages in the history books. But he was just a Kapitan Cina like so many of the Kapitan Cinas before and after him.

    And there were also the notable Malays like Raja Abdullah (referred to in one comment above) and those who opened up, say, Kampung Baru, KL. Especially when Raja Abdullah was instructed by the Sultan to do so. Where space may not be permitting, Raja Abdullah’s name should appear in school history books as the pioneer in opening up Kuala Lumpur more than any others. Only when the Sultan gave the instruction would KL be really “opened up” and developed. Remember, the Sultan had tremendous say and influence even during those days under British colonial rule. The institution of the Sultan, or the Ketuanan Melayu as reflected by that, has always been there “since day one”, and respected by the British all along, as the British Colonial Secretary told the British Parliament when tabling the Malaya Independence Bill in 1956.

    Of course those who caused notoriety, deaths, suffering and economic losses should also be mentioned. History, after all, is a record of the good deeds and misdeeds of mankind for later generations to learn from, to emulate the good and avoid the bad. Hence, communist terrorist Chin Peng and the Malayan Communist Party must be included in our school history books. But never in glowing terms. Because they were terrorists, not nationalists. Chin Peng wanted Malaya to be under the suzerainty of communist China. Some facts to prove this important point need to be mentioned in the school history books. Like he continued to fight the Government even after the British left, and the financial, moral and material support he got from communist China.

    Similarly, the role of the DAP in bringing about a situation that led to the race riots of 13 May, 1969 needs be stated in school history books. The fiery and seditious campaign speeches they made. The wanton and unbridled election victory celebrations they carried out in Kampung Baru, even in front of the then Jalan Traverse Police Station and in Brickfields, humiliating the Malays with extremely rude, obscene and highly inflammatory words, actions and gesticulations. A paragraph or two need to go into the school history books to remind future generations to avoid the recurrence of another May 13.

    Of course, the contributions of the non-Malays who genuinely felt for this country need to be included. JMD has dealt on this subject sufficiently, I think.


  10. Yap Ah Loy never been the founder of Kuala Lumpur. Thats fact. Kuala Lumpur has been there even before Yap Ah Loy was born. Yap Ah Loy merely open new area for his personal gain (read his business exploiting tin). Never he has the vision to expand Kuala Lumpur to what KL is now…..

    To mentioned Yap Ah Loy as the founder of KL is totally lie and he did nothing for the nation building. For me, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Senivasagam, Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu deserve more space in the history books as compared to either Yap Ah Loy or so called Gurchan Singh (“Lion of Malaya”) and Sybil Karthigesu.

    Malaya/Malaysia has never regard Lion as heroic model, but TIGER ! Mana ada singa di Malaysia, harimau ada la….!!!!!


  11. History is written by the victor. That is how it is..and always will be.
    Did any one of us really saw..the kancil during the founding of Melaka? or Singapore was attacked by ikan todak and banana trees were used as shields from such an attack!!!.

    The above rants in this thread only amplifies the discord between the nons and “specials ones” as what is acceptable in terms of historic value. But I seriously think that each and everyone is missing the point. The true issue which is at hand is “what HISTORY are we going to teach our children”. It doesnt really effect us anymore because …our preception of histroy is based what we gained during our school days …but the new History syllabus will effect our next generation…

    So I propose that in the coming syllabus we just blanket out on any contributions by the nons..since most of the contributors keeps harping that the nons did nothing to this country except bringing strife and misery. By doing so, the future generation of nons will know that they should not ask for anything more, hence the end of any risistence to the assimilation in this society. Just 1 rule, you dont deserve it because your forefathers did nothing to this country!

    Might as well we just, like a contributor echo earlier- put it on record that the biggest mistake by the “special ones” were granting citizenships to the nons…no more consession for the nons anymore. Pack your stuff and begone if you dont like it…

    Great..maybe now I can revist another of the nons most cherished historical event- The Long March..ahh…sorry I am biased..I can only use a chinese example. Now where did I put my suitcase huh?


    • gladfly,

      Haiyya, kawan, jangan merajuk lah. We just state our views and let others decide betul ke, agree ke, like that lah.

      True, history is written by the victor. But you are over-simplifying it lah. There have been good Germans, only bad Nazis, good Jews, only bad Zionists,
      good Chinese, only bad communists, subversives and ultra kiasus lah. Even extremist Malays.

      But extremist Malays like Dato Sagor and his warriors who speared British Resident JWW Birch to death in 1875 were nationalists. Because they opposed the British attempt to impose their rule in this country. Even British historians would not deny this. On the other hand, communist terrorist Chin Peng and the Malayan Communist Party were anti-nationalists because they wanted to bring Malaya, later Malaysia, under the suzerainty of communist China. If not, they would not have continued fighting after the British left after Merdeka. There are many other historical “facts” to prove that point.

      Quoting Singapore dilanggar todak is rather mischievous lah. We go by “established history” la, kawan. What has been written for decades and accepted by academicians and the public at large. You see, when things are not yet established, they call it “hypotheses”. Later more people accept them and they become “theories”. When, over a long period of time, academicians and others don’t dispute them any more and accept them, they become “facts”.

      That Chin Peng and the MCP were anti-nationalists has become an established fact of history. Only the wayward fellows, anarchists and subversives want to change that fact and claim those people as nationalists. Mana boleh.

      You see, even Chin Peng deserves a place in history. Just like DAP, whose politicians made fiery speeches during the 1969 election campaign, whose members and supporters went on unbridled election victory celebrations that led to the racial clashes – they too deserve to go into history. But for the “wrong” reasons. Who determines whether it’s the right or the wrong reasons – it’s the process of hypotheses, theories and facts I’ve stated above.

      Remember, Wikipedia is never history. It’s attempts to “re-write” history that practically any Tom, Dick and Harry can do. Surely they don’t compare with, for example, Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim, who has been engaged in the study, writing and dissemination of history throughout his life.

      So, “what HISTORY are we going to teach our children” must be the history that experts like Professor Kim writes or endorses. It’s wrong to say “It doesnt really effect us anymore because …our preception of histroy is based what we gained during our school days”. That perception may be inaccurate, may even be wrong if the History syllabus has not been properly vetted or not in conformity with the standard one. Especially when we have three systems of education – national schools, Chinese and Indian schools. Hence the making of History compulsory in schools and the reviewing of the History syllabus being announced recently.

      Many comments have mentioned people like Tan Cheng Lok and Tan Siew Sin had contributed. Only those who have not been viewed as contributing to this country from the perspective of the Perlembagaan negara may be said as not having contributed “constructively”. Differences in opinion there will always be. But surely we cannot rely on Lim Kit Siang saying Chin Peng is nationalist when he is not a history expert and his view is not in line with the “established fact of history”?

      Don’t merajuk. Merajukking and wanting to cabut on grounds of differences in interpretation of history may be seen by some as lacking genuine feelings for this country. That might have been an example of the basis for the call to pack up and go that you quoted above.


    • Well, actually if one truly disagrees with the provisions in the constitution, one should start packing one’s bags.

      If any singular clause causes deep resentment and frustration in oneself, then perhaps one should relocate to a “greener pasture”.


      • Nice one Abu,

        Look..I am not endorsing Chin Ping as a hero…he deserve a place in history as a communist… because that he was.

        I am just tired of rants ..the non did nothing to this country. Tired of people saying, giving citizenship was a grave mistake…that Malaya should have adopted the Chinese Exclusion Act. Brother Ray is an expert in this field, perhaps he can elaborate more.

        The example of Singapura dilanda todak was just my example of how at times “history” may not not make sense. Not trying to be cute or what, but in today’s contexts.. it can be referred as something quite illogical.


        • To Abu.

          P.S. I thought it was Datuk Maharajalela that speared J.W.W Birch at Pasir Salak and to be honest I am proud of him. This is a man who faught “for king and country”.I am sure he knew of his fate when delivering that fatal blow, he was also staring death right in the face.


          • Just watch TV1 now about ethnic Bisaya in Sabah, they show a war monument where Bisaya people of Sabah fought a war with British in the 18th century with the help of Sultan Brunei’s two son. They fought for their land and died for it, what is sad is that, Beaufort of Sabah was Pekan Api (something like that) before some Brit guy named it Beaufort because his name is Beaufort. The field where the monument placed is not taken cared of, those who don’t know will think that it some drug addict place. I don’t remember reading this war in school history book, but I will support if more pages are given to these people in history book, this people deserve recognition more than any Yap Ah Loy kind.


  12. i dont know who to ask this question, but from reading your blog for these past 2 years,i understand that you are a man of malaysian history.
    i went to melaka recently,and when i was there it reminds me of the text book story about the history,melaka glory days,portuguese attack,the melaka kingdom move to johor,and the story continues with melaka sultanate in johor.what happen to melaka at that time,how about the people of melaka,im sure most of them or at least some of them stayed in melake while others ran off to johor.i cant seem to find information about that side of the story.maybe you can help me on that.thanks in advance.


    JMD : Hello. Life goes on as usual in Melaka after the Portuguese took over. If the story is correct, they even installed a puppet ruler – Sultan Abdullah (cousin to Sultan Mahmud who escaped to Kampar). But the population dwindled from the highs of 100,000 to about 10,000 a few decades after that. I don’t have the information right now but will e-mail you the references later. Thank you.


  13. Aku nak cakap satu je, ‘ Oi jebat cerita la sikit pasal Battle of Serkam tu’. ( Kalau kau tak cerita, kau tunggu situ nanti aku naik aku cerita. Engko bukan tak tau aku dah tunggu kau berapa punya lama kat sini Jebat? Dan kau sudah tau berapa kali aku sudah terbuang air besar. Ini pon ada rasa aku nak terkucil lagi. )

    JMD : Haha funny!


  14. Dear JMD,

    Have you read thru the current form 4 and form 5 history text book? I was told recently that it is ….

    Since I have not read it but being your blog following I trust your judgement on the matter.

    Waiting eagerly for your response to this


  15. Pingback: Are you not ORANG MALAYSIA? « Kempen SSS

  16. to all i have been reading this article many times.even it have been 2 yrs ago..it gives a good insight of what really is the particular feeling inside the hearts of Malaysian.. i think JMD explanation should be a part of lesson in history


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