HISTORY is indeed a most thought provoking subject.
Simply defined it means ‘His- story’. It is a “story” which unlike fairy tales is based on substantiated facts looking back at developments and committing this to the written word and text for dissemination to the public.
As it is a matter of record for generations to come, it is crucial that it is accurate and encompasses the deeds, good or bad, of all who had played their respective roles in this documented piece of historical observation.
Given this background which is accepted by scholars the world over, it is most disturbing to read the letter “Glaring bias in history book” (The Star, March 13) by Dr. Ranjit Singh Malhi.
Biasness and factual errors, if proved, have no place in school textbooks; history or otherwise.
Are there not sound intellectuals in the Education Ministry who are responsible and professional in their work? Where are the ethical standards?
If the said textbook has been published, given the bureaucratic process, definitely there would have been or should have been many levels that the contents would have passed through before final publication.
Are all in the same thinking mode where attention to facts and detail are compromised?
We must remember that we are a multiracial country which is the bedrock of our society. Various ethnic groups have contributed to what has made Malaysia what it is today.
Sadly there are a few who fail to appreciate this key point. Such people have no place in today’s Malaysia.
They should essentially be branded traitors as they are working against the good of the country including being subversive to the point of undermining racial harmony.
It is not a simple mistake which can be swept under the carpet.
The immigrant ethnic groups in the early years did not come in and live off the fat of the new found homeland.
This is unlike emigrants from Malaysia who migrate to perceived better pastures in Australia, UK, the US and elsewhere.
Those who came to Malaya back then endured hardships and helped in their own unique way to unlock the potential of this British colony.
The Chinese unlocked the earnings from tin mining and those from the Indian sub-continent in the plantation sector including serving in the civil sector. This is what has made Malaysia rich.
Such entrepreneurial spirit speaks volumes of their contributions. This spirit that they displayed must be ingrained in all who form the fabric of modern day Malaysia.
It should serve as an example to our younger generation who often take things for granted.
History books which play down this fact or distort it are guilty of a grave injustice.
Do not go off on your own tangent and fight personal crusades based on myopia at the expense of our next generations. Surely writers of history books cannot be so uninformed and naive as to miss this salient point.
If it is an honest mistake, it should be speedily corrected.
History should be free of political, racial and religious bias.
The younger generation should not be educated on half-truths, omissions and errors.
With the contributions of all races, irrespective of origin, Malaysia can only be poised to take on greater challenges.
We should not suffocate ourselves having misfits within our midst. Walter Sandosam Kuala Lumpur The STAR Home News Opinion Letters 16 Mar 2015