Education minister: 1MDB scandal to be included in history syllabus

Education Minister Maszlee Malik says that mistakes from history must be learned, therefore the ‘crimes’ committed by politicians will also be included. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
Education Minister Maszlee Malik says that mistakes from history must be learned, therefore the ‘crimes’ committed by politicians will also be included. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 ― The 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal will be included in the history syllabus, Education Minister Maszlee Malik pledged today.

Maszlee told Dewan Rakyat that he agreed that mistakes from history must be learned, therefore the “crimes” committed by politicians will also be included.

“I give my guarantee that the 1MDB issue will be included in our history syllabus so that the future generation will not repeat such a mistake,” he said during Question Time.

He was answering a supplementary question by Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan how long would an event be considered history and included into the syllabus.

Ahmad then asked Maszlee to also include the RM31.5 billion losses suffered by Bank Negara Malaysia due to its foreign exchange dealings between 1992 and 1994.

Earlier, Ahmad also wanted to know if local history is taught at private schools in the country, such as the 60 Chinese independent schools.

Maszlee responded by saying Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, the government body responsible for coordinating the use of the Malay language and Malay-language literature in Malaysia, had been engaging with the independent schools.

Maszlee also said the history syllabus taught at schools was no longer solely based on the memorisation of facts, instead students are required to carry out projects.

The minister said the Education Ministry would set up a new a text book and curriculum improvement committee to work with existing committees and invite historians to present their views in order to obtain a fresher perspective on historical narratives.

He was responding to a question from Hulu Langat MP Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus on whether or not the government would revise the History subject to ensure it does not contain erroneous facts and too much exaggeration.

“The present curriculum was introduced in 2017 but nonetheless the ministry takes importance in the changing landscape of history that is able to bring significant changes in shaping new narratives,” Maszlee said.