Reports by HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAM, MARTIN CARVALHO and TARRENCE TAN
Malaysian students will soon be learning about kleptocracy and 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) as part of their history lessons, says the Education Minister.
“I will make sure that 1MDB and how some leaders robbed the nation will be included in the history books so that future generations will not make the same mistake,” Dr Maszlee Malik (pic) said when answering a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian).
Ahmad had asked whether local history would be taught in private schools, including in the 60 Chinese independent schools.
He also wanted to know how many years would pass before an event would be deemed part of history.
Earlier, Dr Maszlee informed lawmakers that the Education Ministry was setting up a committee to review and improve history textbooks and the methods used in its teaching.
In response, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Dr Maszlee would himself be in the history books soon.
“There is a place and time for politics, not in schools.
“Do not use our children, do not tarnish their future,” he said on his Facebook page.
Dr Maszlee also came under fire from ordinary Malaysians.
Many criticised him on The Star Online’s Facebook page for not focusing on more “relevant” issues such as teachers’ burdens and stress in schools.
“There are more problems faced by the teachers in Malaysia and you are making such statements and decisions.
“Teachers are facing loads of stress from all the unnecessary work that is being given, you are not helping them at all,” Facebook user Chris Mashii wrote.
Some users pointed out cases involving 1MDB that were still pending in court.
“Right now it is still just allegations. How can you include it?” asked Pratap Krishnan.
“It is too early to talk about this. He has to wait for the court case to finish before making any conclusions,” H.S. Low wrote.
Many also suggested that Dr Maszlee include topics such as peace, harmony and unity in history textbooks.
“First of all, have a syllabus on unity and how the country got together as a nation to get its independence.
“Teach the younger generation about tolerance and harmony,” Sudhasen Mooruthi wrote.
“No need la ... focus on the historical achievements of our leaders instead.
“No need to plant hatred in students, it gives more harm than harmony,” Gauthem Sivanathan said.