Education / History

A plea for common sense

A question allegedly from a Form 3 History workbook

This snapshot is currently making its rounds in Facebook pages. And many people are aghast with this type of question and criticise it as against the spirit of 1Malaysia.

To the masses that feed on sensationalised issue and unable to think beyond the typical knee jerk reaction, this question was deeply riled as a racial and political plot to promote the much maligned ‘Ketuanan Melayu’  dogma.

If people would dare to apply their common sense and step back and breathe for awhile, the question posed was in the context of Malayan Union and the struggle of Malayans against their British oppressors.

Obviously the exploits of Datuk Onn Jaafar was learned by all of us and kids these days are not excluded from learning the history of Malaysia.

Try answer the question please.

Done? What have you answered if you were Onn Jaafar? What would you do in order to maintain the status quo of the Malays at that time in the face of being colonised formally by the British through the Malayan Union?

Don’t know? Are you not Orang Malaysia? Why are you offended with this type of question in the first place?

It is part of history.

The snapshot above is from a History subject. It is not a subject about 1Malaysia or current affairs or current political studies.

This is History education.

I wrote sometime back which greatly emphasised this exact issue:

History as a subject has two pronged objectives. One, to instil patriotism into the heart of every citizen from their childhood stage. Two, as source of knowledge on their surroundings and how they perceive their world.

In America, History was a touchy subject for the people especially with the advent of multiculturism among its people. With the influx of foreigners and the calls for equality among the afro-american movement, history as a subject was a sensitive issue indeed.

For example, how do you reconcile the fact that George Washington, the founding father of United States of America, has many black slaves and treated them harshly?

How can one see Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest President the United States had ever had but at the same time he ‘supported projects to remove blacks from the United States’ and said that ‘blacks could not be assimilated into white society and rejected the notion of social equality of the races’?

Multi-culturism pose a big threat to the learning of a country’s history because history in the eyes of each community living in a particular country is different from one another.

Was the Great Settlement of the Mid West by the white colonials in America a great human achievement for the whites? Or was it a mass extermination of the native Red Indians and their way of life by the europeans?

So what if George Washington owned slaves? So what if Abraham Lincoln was racist?

Each and every American out there reveres them both as the founding father and a great leader based on their achievements alone and what good they had brought to the Americans even centuries after they had passed away.

In other aspects, the native Americans in the USA are very patriotic regardless what happened to their people in the past.

Back in Malaysia, we hear so many negative opposition from the people who are against the subject of history made compulsory in schools. This is precisely because their views came from the racial angle.

All the prejudice, the stereotyping, the paranoia are the by-products of segregated education they experienced in their early childhood. At the very least, their views were contaminated by the very people that champion the need to segregate our children.

In the end, history is being promoted by these clustered group of people as evil and should not be taught to our children. We see so many unsavoury characters in the cyberspace trying hard to re-write history based on fiction and malicious motives.

In any case, like how the Americans are accepting their history, Malaysians must accept their country’s history from the eyes of Orang Malaysia.

The need for racial posturing when it comes to history must be stopped. Only desperate politicians would look through the racial lense and try to skew history to further their agenda for power. People must not look at history as if it is a disease that must be eradicated.  – Full article here.

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16 thoughts on “A plea for common sense

  1. When I first saw the picture, I honestly did not know what to make of it, sort of a mixed feeling. But then I realised, this was because I had no idea which book it came from nor the context of the question. The fact is, the picture came with a lot of condemnation and very little explanation, which led to a lot of misguided sentiments.

    There seems to be a lot of this going around nowadays.


  2. Typical half-truths for instigation. When the question was taken out of its context, the supposedly “racist” element was highlighted. They then fully exploit it to spread the hate politics against UMNO (fall guy for anti-Malay sentiments).

    Really cheap shot. The one who started it must genuinely detest being governed by the Malays.

    This brainwashing may be a by product of the vernacular schools. Najib should not support this unconstitutional feature of the education system. But if he can’t demolish these vernacular schools, he should have his Education Minister heavily monitor the curriculum content of those schools. They may be elements of racist indoctrination. Namewee comes to mind.


  3. I would like to clarify that whoever posted this pix doesn’t know history…the question is about ‘sejarah’ on the Malayan Union…that ‘dua langkah’ answers I would put as ‘Bantah penukaran Sultan kepada Presiden’ and ‘Bantah Malayan Union diperintah oleh seorang Gabenor British’…I would probably get 2 ‘markah’ there easily….see ?

    To me this history syllabus is good bcoz it (Malayan Union) happened in 1946. Then,the Chinese n Indians weren’t viewed as M’sian citizens yet bcoz no nationality status were given to anybody.The Malays thought they were auto citizen w’out thinking of othr races.To them othr races came here to make money n leave once they’re rich.But when they saw othr races too wanted to gain ‘merdeka’ n willing to fight the communists,the ‘persidangan raja2’ all sultans decided to give nationality to the other races,hence the birth of masyarakat majmuk (with the UK’s approval). I’m blur about other details tho…



  4. Bro JMD,

    I believe the alternative media has totally taken hold of youngsters today.

    They don’t read newspapers anymore. Granted those in the opposition would tell them the MSM is pro-Govt, that is nothing wrong, to each his own. But even myself, I rarely buy the newspapers nowadays at least.

    What everyone forgets is that the newspapers, admittedly supporting the Govt of the day, would not and never post negative articles instigating hatred among the races.

    Case to point the the Star’s latest blunder, re Erykah Badu, which was quickly nipped in the bud, more importantly, the print media realises that there are limits within a free press.

    Smartphones and tablets for easy blogging, micro-blogging, facebook, twitter, sms and mailing for communication/information, good and bad, easily disseminated.

    Bro, I tell you this is what my daughter seems to think, her (just entered U) study group are almost entirely pro-opposition. Which U? The one that carries our father of independence name.

    Yeah loh, but I got no problem with that, I always tell her to engage them in civil manner. Find out why they are like that.

    I tell my daughter NEVER take my position because I am her father. Always have an open mind. Why I (and my wife) support the Govt, I (we) explain but tell don’t take my (our) word for it, find out herself.

    Just yesterday she mentioned about the first Malaysian elections being a topic in an assignment but I do not know how it can be related to the degree course she is taking. Never mind, she knows my stand, lecturers must be partial. I trust her to make a distinction.

    When I read your post, always on my mind – when did all this start? Not so long ago, right?

    Thank you, best regards


  5. What a load of rubbish. Its a fucking stupid question probably created by some misguided BTN dumb ass…and people like you defend it..oh well…stupid is as stupid does..


    • @ Fed

      you’re the one who is utterly STUPID. the questions are all about Malaysian History, not 1Malaysia. can’t you differentiate between the two, if you aren’t stupid? f*** your mother!


    • This is one opportunistic instance for brainwashing the chinese masses against UMNO, BN and the constitution. The latest green demo against Lynas is another “golden” opportunity for their ABU agenda. No prizes why the majority of the participants are chinese.

      The reason why LGE had to RELY on a written script in a debate is because he is just an opportunistic DAP spokesman for the remnants of PAP.


    • Now the Chinese youngsters are beginning to realise this is Malay land. OK. good job BTN. The truth hurt but Chinese come from China period. stupid Chinese.


      • that’s kinda… racist. Don’t say things like that. This is Malaysia, though everyone has to respect her origins and history. But in the end it still Malaysia, for everyone.

        The problem is getting people to respect her history and not having others ostracize them while doing so.


  6. Fed, a BTN course is a few days. It doesn’t promote racism, just a ‘semangat perpaduan’ amongst the Bumis. You might know if you were invited. I wonder what they teach you in your Chinese schools for YEARS though.



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

  8. the stupid and short-minded people will read at the sentence itself and the rest, emotions come in for bashing for nothing… He/she should stop for a while, look at the whole picture/ context and clarify why this question posed in the way it is…


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