24 November 2017
November 24, 2017
Don’t glorify Yap Ah Loy , says Perkasa
PETALING JAYA: Perkasa has questioned those who credit Yap Ah Loy for the development of Kuala Lumpur, after a recent tribute to the Chinese kapitan in the form of commemorative stamps by Pos Malaysia.
Instead, the Malay rights group said Yap was involved in criminal activities in the city.
“Yap Ah Loy came to Kuala Lumpur much later. And his businesses were opium trading, prostitution and running gambling dens,” said Perkasa deputy president Sirajuddin Salleh.
He went on to attribute the opening of Kuala Lumpur to Raja Busu, a member of the Selangor royalty during the 19th century.
Sirajuddin was commenting on a statement made during the launch of Yap Ah Loy commemorative stamps issued by Pos Malaysia in cooperation with several Chinese organisations, in conjunction with the 180th year of Yap’s birth.
“When we look at history, we can see that without Yap Ah Loy, there would not be a Kuala Lumpur,” said Yap Wai Ming, Yap’s great-great-grandson, at the launch of the stamps on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Sirajuddin said the role of Chinese migrants in the growth of Kuala Lumpur had been exaggerated.
“Can you say without Chinese, Brunei will not be what it is today?” he asked.
“Can you say without the Chinese, Indonesia will not be what it is today? There are big cities in Indonesia which have grown without the Chinese?”
“Don’t blow about Yap Ah Loy so much. He was here. He could have been one of the community leaders then,” he added.
- Written by Dr Ranjit Singh Malhi
Dear Shazwan Mustafa Kamal,
(the Malaysian Insider journalist concerned)
I have spoken to my solicitors. The blatant lie by Dr Ramlah Adam pertaining to me “checking” and “signing” the History syllabus is tantamount to defamation. They have approved the following response to be forwarded to The Malaysian Insider.
Dr Ramlah Adam has erroneously accused me (a blatant lie) of being paid to “check the syllabus”. I have irrefutable documentary evidence that I was only appointed as a “Pakar Rujuk” to ascertain factual accuracy of our History textbooks (menyemak buku teks sejarah untuk mengelakkan kesilapan fakta). I would like to state categorically that in no way was I ever involved in checking the current lopsided and biased History Syllabus. In this regard, Dr Ramlah should either apologize for making a false accusation against me or provide solid evidence that I was involved in checking our History syllabus and that I signed it.
I would also like to add further that in my letter dated 3 September 2002 to the Education Ministry, I volunteered to “menyemak buku-buku teks sejarah” without any payment. The Education Ministry did [however] pay me an honorarium.
I am also dumbfounded by Dr Ramlah’s…assertion that the non-Malays who came to Malaysia contributed “as either investors or labourers (kuli)”. Make no mistake about it. Many cities and major towns developed and prospered due to the hard work and sweat of the non-Malays. A classic example is Kuala Lumpur. All historians worth their salt will admit that Yap Ah Loy was the prime builder of early Kuala Lumpur. It is sad to note that Dr Ramlah Adam provides a flimsy excuse for denying the rightful place of Yap Ah Loy in our country’s history by saying that this is so because he was not the founder of Kuala Lumpur. Yap Ah Loy was definitely not the founder of Kuala Lumpur. Nevertheless, we can never deny the historical truth that it was Yap Ah Loy who was primarily responsible for rebuilding Kuala Lumpur after the Selangor Civil War. According to J. Kennedy in his book (A History of Malaya), “Until the coming of the British Resident to Kuala Lumpur in 1880, Ah Loy was the real authority in the town.” He further states that Yap Ah Loy ” … did more than anyone to establish the little township destined to become Malaya’s capital”. Kennedy’s views are shared by other historians. According to Margaret Shennan, “Kuala Lumpur was another town created by the enterprise of the Chinese”. In the words of J. M. Gullick, “Down to 1879, Yap Ah Loy was Mr. Kuala Lumpur”. According to B.W. Andaya and L. Y. Andaya, Kuala Lumpur in 1891 had a population of 43,786 with 79% being Chinese.
Dr Ramlah Adam makes a classic contradiction in her statements. On one hand, she says “The history syllabus is well-balanced” and that there is “nothing wrong” with the current history syllabus for secondary schools. She subsequently contradicts herself by admitting that the Form 4 syllabus had placed a lot of emphasis on Islamic civilization and that the government was working to revamp it. The learned professor should make up her mind and not beat around the bush.
I am a strong proponent of One Malaysia wherein every ethnic group is treated equitably under the Malaysian sun. I believe all Malaysians have a moral duty of ensuring that our students in schools study History that is not only accurate but also generally objective and well-balanced. In this regard, I would like to urge renowned historians and other educated members of the public to speak the truth and not what is politically correct to safeguard one’s rice bowl. Let’s take heed of Edmund Burke’s famous saying, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. May God always bless Malaysia!
I trust that you will do the needful.
Dr Ranjit Singh Malhi
Non-Malays don’t understand Malaysia’s history, says Perkasa
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Secondary school history textbooks seem too Islamic and Malay-centric because non-Malays fail to understand Malaysia’s history, Malay rights group Perkasa asserted today.
Perkasa leadership council member Datin Paduka Professor Dr Ramlah Adam flayed historian Dr Ranjit Malhi Singh today for saying that the current history syllabus had downplayed the contributions of non-Malays and other religions in the country’s history.
“The non-Malays do not understand this because they do not want to accept the concept of Malay supremacy (ketuanan melayu),” Ramlah told reporters here.
Ramlah, who is also a historian and the author of the Form 3 and Form 5 history textbooks, insisted that there is “nothing wrong” with the current history syllabus for secondary schools.
“The history syllabus is well-balanced … we don’t talk or put in negative issues that have happened, we take in the positive (parts).
“What do you want to be put in? About how the contributions of the non-Malays are in the form of the Malayan communist party?
“We do not emphasise May 13 even. It is negative … we only put in one line, the important thing is that we must maintain racial harmony and patriotism,” she stressed.
Ranjit, who was the author of history textbooks until 1996, believes that “scant attention” has been paid to the efforts of the Chinese and Indians in the development of the nation.
He has also charged that there are too many “half-truths and factual errors” in the current syllabus, and that it is laden with “value judgments.”
But Ramlah said the reason for the emphasis on Malays and Islam was because the Malays were recognised by the British as the original inhabitants of the land.
She also said that historical records showed that various agreements were done and signed by the British and Malay rulers, and not any other race.
Ramlah pointed out that the parties which signed the 1957 Merdeka agreement and the agreement for the formation of Malaysia in 1963 were also the Malay Rulers.
“We are not discriminating, we are following what has been clearly recorded in history.
“The non-Malays, they came to this country, contributed as either investors or labourers (kuli),” she added.
The Perkasa leader went to great lengths to explain that the contributions of the non-Malays have been mentioned in the history textbooks — the late Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun H.S Lee, for example, were duly recognised for their efforts in shaping Malaysia.
“Ranjit was talking about how Yap Ah Loy was not recognised … well, he did not form Kuala Lumpur, that’s why he’s not mentioned.
“Ranjit himself was called by the government, along with Tan Sri Professor Dr Khoo Kay Kim, to check the syllabus … he signed it and got paid. There was no complaint then,” Ramlah claimed.
Ranjit had lamented the fact that non-Malay leaders like Yap Ah Loy were not duly recognised in the history textbooks.
Ramlah admitted, however, that the Form 4 history syllabus had placed a lot of emphasis on Islamic civilisation, and that the government was working to revamp the current module.