kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,

History: It shapes the thinking of young minds

I REFER to the article by Dr Paridah Abd Samad ("The day the Malays decided not to be fooled" -- NST, April 1). Her article took the stance of "us against them". She has selected events to support her view of us against them. However, she neglected to mention it was Datuk Onn Jaafar who later persuaded Umno to relax the conditions for citizenship and to make Umno a multiracial party.

Onn formed Parti Kemerdekaan Tanah Melayu, a party for all Malaysians to lead a better quality of life. He was a visionary for the Malays and Malayans.

History should be told as it is. To say the Malayan Union idea was a plan to punish the Malays is Dr Paridah's view.

To mention that the British administration was sympathetic to the non-Malays and as a result, Malayan Union favoured non-Malays because of the presence of Tun Tan Cheng Lock is reinforcing this attitude.

It must not be forgotten that Onn was also considered as being close to the British and, as such, his request for federal legislative elections to be held in 1956 was rejected by the Malays.

Let us teach our young that the Malays fought to establish themselves as a race, to quote Hang Tuah "Tak kan Melayu hilang dari muka bumi...". This is acceptable and it is good for the psyche of a Malay 15-year-old and the non-Malay teenager would agree.

They should see the struggle, sufferings and sacrifices of the immigrant races like the Javanese, Indians and Chinese, who came initially to earn some money and return home to settle in bliss.

But, alas, this was not to be as what they earned was mere pittance as labourers. In the end, after untold miseries experienced during the Japanese occupation and the Malayan Emergency, they decided to make this ... I used to teach my students "syurga dalam dunia" ... their ... "tanah tumpah darah ...".

The young should be told all the three races forged together to form a united nation on Aug 31, 1957 and later Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963. No one child should be made to feel his existence in this country is due to the magnanimous action of someone. Our education system should build confidence, pride and love for the nation in every child as envisioned in the Razak Report.

The history teacher is a dangerous animal. It is how things are put together by him that will shape the thinking of young Malaysians.

Let us use the syllabus and the textbooks and right attitude of trained history teachers to build a united Malaysia. Let us leave the interpretation of events to the academics and politicians.

Valli G. Rajoo, Petaling Jaya, Selangor NST Opinion letters-to-the-editor 02 May 2014

Tags: history

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