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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching has today denied influencing the Form 4 History textbook to allegedly “glorify communism”, after she was accused of being responsible of doing so in an Umno Youth forum last night.
The DAP MP said she is considering to sue Datuk Yazid Othman, the deputy chairman of a secretariat opposing the textbook who made the malicious claim, following former education minister Maszlee Malik’s sending a letter of demand to Umno’s Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.
“All of Datuk Yazid Othman’s allegations are unfounded, malicious and unreasonable. I will discuss with lawyers to take legal action to defend my reputation and credibility during my tenure as deputy minister of education,” she said in a statement.
“Throughout my tenure at the Ministry of Education, my team and I at the Office of the Deputy Minister have never been directly or indirectly involved in the preparation of drafting and textbook printing, let alone changing the contents of the history textbooks.
She added that Maszlee himself has already explained the process of how the textbooks were prepared.
“It’s impossible that there is any intervention from me in that matter,” she said.
The Kulai MP added that she found it odd that a wing from Umno, who is itself part of the Perikatan Nasional government, is attacking a ministry.
“When I was deputy minister of education, we were often bombarded with various issues brought about by the Opposition. However, it is odd this time around because propaganda on the Form 4 History textbooks was initiated by one of their own,” Teo said.
On February 24, Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki alleged that the current syllabus was revised as an alleged deliberate attempt by the previous PH government during its brief 22-month rule from May 2018 to February 2020 to purportedly condition students into thinking that socialism and communism are acceptable.
Asyraf’s remarks came as earlier this week, non-government organisation Yayasan Kasih Tauhid reportedly filed a police report in Shah Alam, Selangor against the syllabus on behalf of Islamist groups’ coalition Pembela.
Yesterday, Maszlee had instructed his lawyer to issue a letter of demand to Asyraf demanding the latter issue an open apology and pay compensation for his allegations against the Form Four history syllabus.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Education (MoE) clarified that the textbook had its contents checked by a multiracial panel of history experts in April 2018, with the facts even sent to government bodies such as the National Archives and National Museum for review.
The MoE explained that the Form 4 History textbook under the Secondary School Standard Curriculum (KSSM) is based on the Standard Curriculum and Assessment Document (DSKP), as well as the ministry’s standard operating procedures for the publishing of textbooks which were updated in 2018.
Earlier today, Asyraf again defended his remark blaming the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration for allegedly manipulating the content in Form 4 History textbook to what he claimed was “glorifying communism”.