PETALING JAYA: The late Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim, widely regarded as one of the country’s most prolific historians, is the true symbol of Malaysia’s spirit of unity, said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.
The Sultan of Selangor, who said he had known the late Prof Khoo since the mid-1980s, extended his appreciation for all the professor’s contributions in providing his views and ideas in various fields, especially local history.
“Tuanku is impressed with the spirit and efforts made by the late professor who always prioritised accurate historical facts in his research, although there were some parties who tried to twist historical facts,” he said via a statement uploaded on the Selangor Royal Office official Facebook page.
This was expressed when His Royal Highness granted an audience to Prof Khoo’s wife Puan Sri Rathi Khoo and their children Eddin and Rubin at Istana Bukit Kayangan, Shah Alam, last Thursday.
Prof Khoo passed away on May 28, 2019 at the age of 82 due to lung failure.
The national historian was part of the committee which drafted the Rukunegara, the set of five principles that charted Malaysia’s national philosophy in the wake of the 1969 riots.
During the royal audience, Rathi expressed her gratitude to the Selangor Ruler for consenting to rename a road in Selangor after Prof Khoo.
Sultan Sharafuddin, however, expressed his displeasure over the perception and treatment by certain quarters from the Chinese community over their narrow views with regard to Prof Khoo’s contributions and expertise.
His Royal Highness is also puzzled with certain politicians who made light of the importance of the country’s racial history, which was highlighted by the late historian and which could also serve as a guide and lesson.
The Sultan also told all parties, including politicians, to learn and understand the nation’s history correctly if they wanted to better move forward.
“The Selangor Ruler also hopes that the contributions and services of late historians like Prof Khoo will be remembered by all Malaysians, regardless of their race and background,” said the statement.
These include Prof Khoo’s efforts to revive the spirit of loving the nation’s history among the youth and the development of local sports, especially football.
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