Dr Cheah Boon Kheng (pic right) presented a talk recently entitled, “Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Malaysian History: Some Dominant Themes” at the Ipoh Swimming Club. It was a dinner talk organised by Perak Academy, under its “Perak Lectures” series.
The speaker was formerly professor of history at University Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang until retirement. He has since taken up visiting fellowships at the Australian National University, the University of Singapore, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore and USM. Cheah is the author of several popular books, the latest being “New Perspectives and Research on Malaysian History” (2007).
In his talk, Cheah addressed three questions that have been raised by the Malaysian public lately. Was Malaya ever colonised? What was the role of the Malayan Communist Party in Malaysia’s independence? Should Malaysian school textbooks be revised?
Cheah gave his views on the topics debated. He concluded by saying that history is partial and no one has the last word on the subject.