Prominent historian Emeritus Professor Dr Khoo Kay Kim passed away after suffering from lung failure. He was one of the instrumental figures in the drafting of Rukun Negara (Malaysian declaration of national philosophy) to foster national unity, following the 1969 racial riots that killed hundreds. Khoo’s works has been used as a primary source of reference for national history curriculum.
Khoo Kay Kim
- Khoo Kay Kim was born in Kampar, Perak, Malaysia on March 28, 1937.
- He received a B.A., M.A., and a Ph.D. in 1959, 1967, and 1974 respectively from the University of Malaya.
- His doctoral thesis was entitled The Beginnings of Political Extremism in Malaya 1915-1935 (1974), where he was supervised by Kennedy G. Tregonning, the Raffles Professor of History at the University of Malaya.
- Khoo is one of the co-authors of Rukunegara. He is a highly regarded national academic for his views on local sports and socio-political issues.
- The Rukun Negara or Rukunegara (Malay for ‘National Principles’) is the Malaysian declaration of national philosophy instituted by royal proclamation on Merdeka Day, 1970, in reaction to a serious race riot known as the 13 May Incident, which occurred in 1969.
- The incident proved at that time that Malaysian racial balance and stability was fragile.
- Immediately thereafter, the Malaysian government sought ways to foster unity among the various races in Malaysia. One of the methods used to encourage unity is the Rukunegara.