Maszlee issues letter of demand to Umno Youth chief over communism claim in history syllabus
Maszlee demanded Asyraf Wajdi issue an open apology and pay up for his allegations against the Form Four history syllabus, stressing that this slanderous culture among politicians needs to be stopped. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Former education minister Maszlee Malik today instructed his lawyer to issue a letter of demand to Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, after the latter accused the Pakatan Harapan administration of glorifying communism in the syllabus.

The Simpang Renggam MP has demanded Asyraf Wajdi issue an open apology and pay compensation for his allegations against the Form Four history syllabus, stressing that this slanderous culture among politicians needs to be stopped.

“Now should be the time that politicians focus on helping the people and start a political culture of service, not the culture of accusation and defamation,” he said in a tweet.

He added that he hopes this letter of demand would urge parties from both political divide to put a stop to this culture of racially-fueled slander immediately, especially when it involves the education of children.

“I will keep posting updates when there is a development. I’d like to thank Malaysians for the support, and I believe that Malaysians are on my side and disapprove of this political culture, especially when it can threaten racial unity in the country,” he said.

Two days ago, Asyraf alleged that the current Form Four History syllabus was revised as an alleged deliberate attempt by the previous Pakatan Harapan 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.

Among other things, Asyraf said Umno Youth wants the Ministry of Education (MoE) to immediately withdraw the Form Four History textbook and restore the facts that were allegedly manipulated.

Maszlee had previously polled the public via his official social media accounts, asking whether he should take legal action against Asyraf over his comments.

He shared screenshots of the poll’s results, showing that 93 per cent of his Instagram followers and 92 per cent of his Twitter followers supported his plans to take legal action.

Yesterday, the MoE said the current edition of Malaysia’s Form Four History textbook, which was recently the subject of controversy, actually 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.

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.

It had among others complained about alleged revisions in the Form Four History textbook over alleged inclusion of content purportedly recognising communists as having contributed to Malaya’s independence struggle.