What we've got here is (a) failure to communicate - Cool Hand Luke
In one of my class, I asked my students about the Berlin Wall. Majority of them never even heard about it, which stopped me from asking further whether they even know about the East Germany and West Germany that are divided by the wall. History has never been a favourite subject for students as it is not being given the importance and recognition that it should get. I was reading an entry by saifulislam.com. He talked about how Prof. Khoo Kay Kim commented that Geography and History are not being given the preference in the education system. This leads to students studying Science and Maths subjects more so that they can score as many As that they can thus getting to study engineering or medicine. Undoubtedly, the profession that is being craved by the students, such as medicine, is a very noble and important profession. But at the same time, there is no balance between the left brain subjects and the right brain subjects. This leads to what saifulislam said, producing workers, but not thinkers. Arts and history actually help students to look at the aesthetic of life rather than what should be gained in life. Creative minds are being suppressed, I guess.
And now I know why.
I was taken aback when Deputy Finance Minister Awang Adek, said that the Pudu Prison has no significant importance in view of the impending construction of new commercial buildings on the site of the demolished Pudu Prison. Something as historic as the Pudu Prison has no significant importance? Wow, that is surely one way to teach our kids about history then. I went to the start of the demolition of the walls yesterday. There were many people who came and watched as the bulldozer demolished one part of the wall. That shows that there are many others who are still interested in watching the historic building being demolished, as a remembrance for the future. While development is a must and something must be sacrificed to make way for development, there should be something that is left from the historic Pudu Prison for the future generation to look at. At least one part of the wall should be preserved, just like one part of the A Famosa that is still standing as a tourist attraction and serves as a reminder of the past. Just because the land of the Pudu Prison is located at a prime place, commercialisation should not take place at the expense of education and history. There should be a strike of balance between them. But the world is never fair, thus the capitalists have their way and disregarding the opinion of the masses.
And they still dare to say that the youths do not appreciate history when the reason that it happens is because of the people in power prefer money over history. How many historic buildings must be demolished? How many Pudu Prison? How many Bok House until we realise that history plays a part in our life. This might sound like disappointment talking, but it is actually a hope, that one day, there will be people who realise that the development of people is more important than the development of commercialization which only benefits the few.