Group wants ‘balanced’ school history textbooks

(The Malaysian Insider) – The campaign for “A Truly Malaysian History” today urged the Education Ministry to heed its call to reform secondary school students’ history textbooks with a more balanced coverage of different religions and cultures in Malaysia, as well as on world civilisation.

“We call upon the government and relevant authorities to undertake quicker policy reform and urgent measures to ensure a broad and balanced perspective of major civilisations and events in the world history, accurate historical facts on Malaysia’s historical development from an unbiased viewpoint, and ensure due and fair recognition to the contribution of all communities towards the historical development of the nation,” campaign spokesman Dr Lim Teck Ghee, director of the Centre for Policy Initiatives, told reporters at the KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) here.

The campaign, also known as Kempen Sejarah Malaysia Sebenar (KemSMS), took root on May 15 last year. It comprises a group of scholars and non-governmental organisations pushing for greater accuracy in history textbooks.

KemSMS chairman Datuk Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim said the group has presented six reports to the special government committee to study the history curriculum and textbooks for secondary school. It hopes the panel will include its recommendations in its final report to the ministry some time in May.

The History Review Panel, whose members were appointed on May 3, is headed by Malaysian Historical Society chairman Datuk Omar Mohd Hashim while the dean of Universiti Teknologi Mara’s Administrative Sciences and Policy Studies Faculty, Datin Paduka Prof Dr Ramlah Adam, is the deputy chairperson.

The reports include improving and discussing the syllabus and history textbooks for high school and a review of current textbooks from the Sabah and Sarawak perspective.