A man of history

James Chai

Modified 31 May 2019, 2:31 am

COMMENT | I asked an intern yesterday if he thinks history is important. At 19, his answer is impressive. He says that history determines how a generation thinks.

If we do not teach our children history, we would create a generation that is lost. If we teach our children history that is false, then the generation will go on to shape thinking that is out of touch with reality.

History determines how you think. Knowing the past will help you know where you are going.

The loss of Prof Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim to lung failure is a loss to the country.

There are very few national historians who are more authoritative and well-loved than Khoo. Sultan Nazrin called him a “walking encyclopedia of Malaysian history”. He was frequently referred to as the source of what really happened in the past.

His rooms were famously overflown with books, journals, manuscripts, and the newspapers he collected every copy of. His thirst for knowledge and curiosity of Malaysian history is rare in a country that doesn’t enjoy reading...

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