History textbooks filled with factual inaccuracies

(The Star) – Factual inaccuracies, biased viewpoints, as well as outdated sources plague local school History textbooks.

According to a series of reports by the Kempen Sejarah Malaysia Sebenar (KemSMS) on the History syllabus, textbooks also lacked sufficient information of global events and the development of Sabah and Sarawak.

One report in particular offered student criticism on the textbooks, claiming “no serious study on the orang asli community” and information that was “presented in a boring manner … lacking context”.

KemSMS committee member Dr Lim Teck Ghee said the reports, which will be made public soon, were presented to the government-appointed History syllabus review committee on Dec 27 last year.

KemSMS chairman Datuk Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim said the current History textbooks failed to provide a comprehensive picture of the country’s past.

“Also, there should not be an over-emphasis on the Islamic civilisation at the expense of the information about other religions.

“All religions and cultures should be presented equally,” he said.

In 2010, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that History would be made a compulsory subject to pass in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia.

The announcement sparked calls for a review of the History syllabus and on May 3 last year, the Education Ministry announced the appointment of a 10-man committee to review the current syllabus with a nation-building agenda.

Consisting of parents, academics and representatives from non-governmental organisations, KemSMS was formed in May last year with the aim of offering feedback on possible revisions to the History syllabus.