Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Support for including the 'skipped facts'

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Bersatu Sabah's (PBS) plan to study the "skipped facts" on the formation of Malaysia in school textbooks has received the backing of the State's Minister in charge of Education – Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun (pic).

"We welcome any effort to set the facts right on history.

"There is nothing wrong with that, after all, the main focus of the State is for us to progress," he said.

According to the State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, there is also nothing wrong with those who viewed Aug. 31 as a National Day celebration, in view of the Independence Day of Malaya, and those who viewed the date as Sabah Day.

"Everybody knows that on Aug. 31 in 1963 Sabah gained self-rule … personally, in the education context, it is very clear to everyone that Sabah did gain independence on Aug. 31 in 1963.

"As far as Malaysia is concerned the intention to proclaim Malaysia was supposed to be on Aug. 31, but the Philippines and Indonesia objected to the plan and that was why there was about a two-week delay on the formation of Malaysia on Sept. 16, 1963," he said.

Masidi said Sabahans should, however, feel content with their own historical leanings as they are "neither, wrong nor right" on the Independence Day issue, saying it should not be used to divide Sabahans in general. This was not the first time the Minister has said something over the matter.

In 2012, Masidi had also proposed to a special committee to revise the history text books set up by the then Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to include more historical facts on Sabah and Sarawak.

Citing there could be a lot of historical facts of Sabah which may now have become forgotten, he remembered witnessing as a young boy, the declaration of Malaysia on Sept. 16, 1963.

On Aug 30, PBS Acting President Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili announced it is setting up a working committee to study the "skipped facts" on the formation of Malaysia and would come up with a submission for the Education Ministry to do a revision on the academic syllabus on the history of the country's formation.

Ongkili had said the treatment on such facts only received a "minimal treatment" in the school curriculum when "it should be taught in detail."