Merdeka! British Rule and The Struggle for Independence in Malaya 1945-1957 – Khong Kim Hoong
October 2, 2010 § 2 Comments
It has been quite a while since I’ve read non-fiction for leisure. I had initially picked this book from the library as a reference point for the job I’m doing right now. The contents, however, weren’t quite what I had expected it to be, and so was of little use for what I had intended. But I came to a point in the book where history became real for me, and it was like re-living the past. And from there onwards, it was just like going on a journey.
We all learn the basic history of how our country came about. We got our independence from the British on 31 August 1957, and during our school years, we were taught about the processes that our leaders then had to go through, and how they negotiated gaining independence for Malaya (now Malaysia).
Little is known besides what is officially in our history books. Probably because there is definitely a lack of reading habits in Malaysians in general. And also probably because the way we are taught history in school, we grow up thinking of it as a bland boring subject.
I’ve always been interested in history, though not Malaysia’s history in particular. This book, however, opened my eyes and mind to a whole new perspective from which to view my country. Besides what we are told in school, it turns out that there are so many other dimensions to the story, so many different characters that I thought were minor, and now it turns out that they are in fact very influential in the process of our country-in-making.
Look out for more posts and thoughts on books similar to this. =)