Umno Youth chief refuses to apologise, still blames Pakatan for history textbook despite MoE saying otherwise
Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki has refused to apologise to Maszlee Malik by claiming that he had never named the Simpang Renggam MP, even as the latter was the education minister in that administration. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 ― Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki has again defended his remark blaming the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration for allegedly manipulating the content in Form 4 History textbook to what he claimed “glorifying communism”.

Speaking in a forum held by his own wing last night, he also refused to apologise to Maszlee Malik by claiming that he had never named the Simpang Renggam MP, even as the latter was the education minister in that administration.

“I did not mention his name. I just said that the contents of this Form 4 History textbook need to be withdrawn and need to be amended,” he reportedly said, referring to Maszlee.

“And the writing of the contents of this textbook was manipulated and happened during the Pakatan Harapan government.”

He then claimed that the textbook needed Cabinet approval to enable the printing process.

Also present during the forum was Prof Datin Paduka Ramlah Adam, an Umno supporter who was the author of the previous History textbook, and Datuk Yazid Othman who is the deputy chairman of a secretariat opposing the textbook.

On February 24, Asyraf alleged that the current syllabus was revised as an alleged deliberate attempt by the previous PH 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.

Yesterday, Maszlee had instructed his lawyer to issue a letter of demand to Asyraf demanding the latter issue an open apology and pay compensation for his allegations against the Form Four history syllabus.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Education (MoE) clarified that the textbook 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.

The MoE explained that the Form 4 History textbook under the Secondary School Standard Curriculum (KSSM) is based on the Standard Curriculum and Assessment Document (DSKP), as well as the ministry’s standard operating procedures for the publishing of textbooks which were updated in 2018.

Maszlee had also explained that the new History textbooks under the KSSM replaced the old Secondary School Integrated Curriculum (KBSM) in 2017 after the MoE revamped the subject in 2014, with textbooks printed in 2019 and used in 2020 being based on a process that started from 2014/2015.

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.