Friday, July 18, 2008

A little something for the Malaysians

A friend of mine just acquainted me with the works of scholar-hero Dr Farish A Noor. The more I read of his works, the more I find he fills in the yawning void in my head that was supposed to have been filled by secondary school-level history but, thanks to the Kementerian Pendidikan, was in fact filled with meaningless patriotic bullshit.

It is unfortunate that so many of my generation, and of the generations after me, the ones who weren't there when Malaysia won it's independence haven't received the education in Malaysian history that is our right. Instead, we mostly fall into any of two groups:

1) The people who "studied" history just to regurgitate it in a meaningless exam, then forget it 5 minutes later; and

2) The poor bastards who actually believe the Ministry-approved textbooks.

There's a very famous quote by some guy who's probably very famous but I simply can't remember his name right now: "Why does history repeat itself? Because nobody ever listens." Or something like that. You get the idea.

As such, knowing that a majority of my readers are Malaysian or from somewhere nearby or at the very least used to be Malaysian, I consider it a matter of civic duty to do my part in disseminating the works of someone who can provide a fresh, unbiased insight to a very interesting part of this ball of dirt and water that we call home. The URL says it all:

Now go and see.

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