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Thursday, September 29, 2011

'Sabuism' brings cheer to professor

'Sabuism' brings cheer to professor

A local professor has coined the term "Sabuism" to describe what he said was a new phenomenon in which people were publicly questioning historical details in an attempt to re-learn national history.

Sabuism – after PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu - was the term coined by dean of University of Malaya's Arts and Social Science faculty Dr Mohamad Abu Bakar, (pic) during a forum on Malaysian history to discuss the recent controversy sparked by Mat Sabu's speech urging people not to be duped by British-friendly version of the independence history.

“There is one healthy development. Prior to this, people had a hard time discussing history, in fact politicians would shun it. But Mat Sabu’s courage has now ignited their interest into finding out about the real history,” said Dr Mohamad at the public forum “Should history be re-written” organised by Malay-language tabloid Sinar Harian yesterday.

Also on the panel were PKR secretary general Saifuddin Nasution, historian Ramlah Adam and deputy Education minister Puad Zarkashi.

Dr Mohamad said due to Mat Sabu's commments on the subject, the whole nation was now engrossed in taking a second look at what they had learnt about the nation's history.

He said that history would need to be updated, renovated and corrected if there were new findings to strengthen or demolish existing facts.

“In line with globalisation demanding reforms among many other things, our nation's history will need to be reviewed.

"We do not want that only those who fought for independence (in 1957) be called as heroes, but those who had fought earlier were never mentioned," he added.

He recalled a forum he took part in Kota Bharu together with Mat Sabu, and said he was surprised to see tens of thousands of people attending to hear on history.

"I am deeply impressed with the changes, and in fact, the forum organised at History department also saw a rise in attendance. The people have clearly awaken to this new phenomenon. In the past, if such a forum was scheduled at 8.00, a few would have turned up by 8.30.

"Now every Malaysian is rushing to know the real history,” he remarked.

Last August, Mat Sabu during a speech hailed the late Muhammad Indera as a hero for his 1950 attack on a colonial-era police station in Bukit Kepong, killing scores of police personnel serving the British government in Malaya.

UMNO leaders then embarked on a major media campaign lambasting Mat Sabu over the remarks, and even claimed that the PAS leader was glorifying communists. Mat Sabu however said it was UMNO-owned Utusan Malaysia, and not him, who mentioned the word 'communist', and reminded that Mat Indera had attacked colonial policemen serving the British government at that time.

The ensuing debate became so intense to the point that a pro-UMNO historian Zainal Kling said Malaya was never colonised.

Mat Sabu was later charged at the Butterworth Sessions Court for criminal defamation, sparking criticisms against the government.

- Harakahdaily

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