Changing history in textbooks? Education Ministry clarifies amendments

Ben Tan
Yesterday, several Chinese dailies reported MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong expressing his party’s disappointment at the purported omission of certain parts of Malaysian history from the Form Three textbooks. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PETALING JAYA, July 18 — The Education Ministry today denied changing history in its national curriculum and textbooks following claims that the current secondary school content — particularly relating to the multiracial fight during the Japanese occupation and the Malayan Emergency against communists — was revised under the Pakatan Harapan administration.

The ministry said it did not omit these contents, clarifying that certain parts of the history curriculum were rearranged to be more systematic and make it easier for students to understand the country’s history.

“The Education Ministry, under the new government, has never made any amendments or reviews of the history subject’s curriculum and textbook,” it said in a statement.

The response followed media reports in Chinese dailies alleging that chapters on the Japanese occupation between 1941-1945 were no longer included in the Form Three history textbooks.

The ministry explained that the history curriculum was last revised in 2017 and the changes carried out in several phases after that as reflected in the current batch of textbooks for public schools.

“The 2017 revision started back in 2012 involving history experts, university lecturers, history subject teachers and curriculum officers from the History Subject Improvement Working Committee,” it said.

The ministry explained that history in its secondary school curriculum is now arranged according to the timeline of historical events, and that the topics are taught the topics chronologically from Form One to Form Five.

“The Education Ministry advises irresponsible parties to stop spreading false information on this matter,” it said.

Yesterday, several Chinese dailies reported MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong expressing his party’s disappointment at the purported omission of certain parts of Malaysian history from the Form Three textbooks, especially those concerning the Japanese occupation after World War Two and the multiracial fight against the Malayan Communist Party during Malayan Emergency of 1948.

It was reported that the Form Three history textbooks also did not have chapters that detailed the cooperation of all the different races for Malaya’s independence from the colonial British rulers.

Related Articles Education Ministry studying replicating best lessons in science, maths for every class PM: Don’t let prideful defence of Bahasa be obstacle for Malaysian students Kit Siang condemns MCA president for supporting Najib as BN adviser, praises KJ, Nazri for standing up