‘History must be balanced’

(The Star) – The history of Malaysia presented to students must be balanced and document sufficiently the contributions made by all the races, said MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

He added that the party supported the move by the Education Ministry to make History a compulsory subject for SPM.

Commenting on the content of current History textbooks, Dr Chua said that some parts did not really reflect the contributions of all races.

Dr Chua added that the subject should be more interactive and not only be about memorising dates and personalities.

“It should be more about events and the significant contributions by all the races that first made Malaya and later Malaysia,” he told a press conference after launching Ulam – Salad Herbs of Malaysia book here yesterday.

To a question whether English should be a compulsory pass subject for SPM, Dr Chua said he believed that such a move was necessary.

However, he said it was not easy to implement this at the moment.

“I am afraid many people will fail, including school teachers, because many have a poor command of English,” he said.

Dr Chua suggested that Malaysians master three languages – Bahasa Malaysia, English and Mandarin.

In a separate statement, MCA Publicity Bureau deputy chairman Loh Seng Kok said the syllabus for History should not be politically aligned.

“The teaching of History can influence the attitude of students towards their peers who are of a different race and religion and more importantly, towards nation-building.

“As it is about time to conduct the five-year annual review of the subject, there should be a multiracial panel sitting on the curriculum review committee to oversee the writing of the History syllabus Year One to Upper Six,” Loh said.

He said the MCA had received feedback from parents that History textbooks tend to predominantly favour a particular race and religious civilisation.