Monday, September 5, 2011

Two Versions of "Bukit Kepong"

Malaysians are only just waking up to the fact that for a long time now, the nation’s history has been given a massive makeover. History books used by Malaysian schoolchildren are telling the UMNO version of our history and this amounts to a narrow interpretation of what we ourselves learned in schools many years ago.

And so when Mat Sabu allegedly remarked at the Bukit Gelugor ceramah on August 21, 2011 that freedom fighters – he didn’t even use the label “Communist” – attacked the Bukit Kepong police station in 1950 – he was quickly vilified. I repeat, the year was 1950 and this was during the time of British-occupied Malaya. He had referred to Muhammad Indera (or better known as Mat Indera), a Malay communist leader who led the guerilla assault against the police barracks manned by policemen under the British administration. The fact of the matter is that he was already acknowledged as a freedom fighter by UMNO-controlled daily Berita Harian on August 13, 2010!

Anyway, UMNO appears determined to use Mat Sabu’s statement to woo support from the Malay electorate, among whom communism remains a bogeyman, ahead of anticipated snap polls.

Political analysts however told The Malaysian Insider Sunday that UMNO wanted to maintain their interpretation of history – which has been “propagated in schools and by the official media” – that they were the main force behind the nation’s fight for independence.

“Of course, the UMNO at that time is totally different from the UMNO of today, and independence came about through the efforts of various forces, including the Malayan Communist Party,” said Lim Teck Ghee, the director of policy reform organisation Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI).

Monash University political analyst James Chin echoed Lim’s remarks, saying: “The real history of Malaysia is (that) UMNO is just one of the independence fighters; they’re not the only one. They’re trying to paint themselves as the only one.”

UMNO should stop corrupting Malaysian history.

On the football front, there’s good news! Celtic have been reinstated in the Europa League after their play-off conquerors Sion were punished for fielding ineligible players. So we have another crack at Europe!

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