PETALING JAYA: Knowledge of history is important to introduce Malaysian youths to their own country, said historian Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim.
He said many young people were doing strange things, such as stepping on the national flag, because they did not understand or appreciate the country’s history.
“Many people today do not even know the difference between ethnicity and nationality.
“We need to introduce the young to our country so that they understand the unique and interesting history of Malaysia,” he said during a press conference yesterday.
Dr Khoo, 75, a renowned historian, is a professor in the History Department of Universiti Malaya and also the Chancellor of KDU University College.
His contributions to the country include co-authoring the Rukun Negara in 1969.
“Unless you understand history, you cannot understand what is happening in the country today,” he said after receiving RM100,000 in sponsorship from the Sime Darby Foundation.
The contribution is to sponsor the publication of Esei-esei Lengkap Sejarah Malaysia, a compilation of essays by Dr Khoo since 1966.
Writer Eddin Khoo, who is Dr Khoo’s son and the chief editor of the publication, said all of his father’s works would be available in both English and Bahasa Malaysia for the first time.
Sime Darby Foundation council member Tan Sri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin praised Dr Khoo for being very passionate about his work.
“The support is critical as the study of Malaysia and its past is a concern for our current education system,” he said.