Wednesday 18 September 2013

2 Significant Errors in Malaysian Form 5 Physics and Chemistry Textbooks (KBSM)

On 10/9/2013, I wrote to Ministry of Education on the above matter; and I am glad to say that the Ministry
has agreed with my findings. And, what is heartening is that the Ministry replied within 8 days - Excellent job to all concerned 
at the Ministry of Education. The lady who handled my call - to get the correct email to send my mail - was very professional.

I therefore urge all educated parents to be vigilant and proactive about errors they detect in their kid's textbooks - 
do write to the Ministry for actions because we don't want our kids to study the wrong things and give the 
correct "wrong" answers in their public exams. 

With that, may I wish all school children sitting for PMR and SPM
very soon: Good Luck and Best Wishes!!!

(P/s: Only 2 significant errors for the many pages that I have gone through - really not bad!)

Here are my letter and the Ministry's reply:

My letter:


To: Whom It May Concern

From: A Concerned Parent

Re: Significant Errors in Malaysian Form 5 Physics and Chemistry Textbooks (KBSM)

In good faith, I write to inform about what I think are significant errors in the above-mentioned Form 5 Science Stream textbooks.

If the Ministry agrees that they are indeed serious errors, I sincerely hope that "Corrections Circulars" can be sent out urgently to notify all relevant parties - particularly to the Form 5 Science students who will be sitting for their SPM exams. very soon. The errors:

1. Form 5 Physics Textbook (KBSM):
  • At page 13: the 2nd paragraph on refraction: "By comparing the angle of incidence, i with angle of refraction, r in Figure 1.19, you will find that when waves travel from a denser medium to a less dense mediumthey are refracted towards the normal." The correct underlined wordings should be "away from normal" and not "towards the normal" . This is a very serious fundamental error!

2. Form 5 Chemistry Textbook (KBSM):
  • At page 188: The chemical formula for "lauryl alcohol" was given twice there as CH3(CH2)9CH2OH. The correct chemical formula for "lauryl alcohol" should be: CH3(CH2)10CH2OH (error highlighted in red).
I would be grateful for your follow-up actions.

Thank you.

Douglas Tan
(Handphone: 011-2328 xxxx)


Ministry of Education's Reply:

"Rough translation of the Ministry's reply (please see below for the original):

Mr. Douglas Tan.


1. With respect, I refer to your email...

2. Your statement about the factual errors has been referred to ...(of the Ministry) for scrutiny/investigation/study.

3. Upon our scrutiny/investigation/study, we found that there is basis to your statement about the factual errors.

4. We will carry-out immediate remedial and follow-up actions on the matter.

5. We thank you for your pro-activeness and working together on the matter.

Thank you."

The original:
Ramlan Abu Talib <>
8:51 AM (1 hour ago)
to mePengarahParidinCheKrishnanSyedSimWan

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En. Douglas Tan,


1.     Saya dengan hormatnya merujuk kepada e-mel tuan kepada Bahagian Buku Teks, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia,  bertarikh 10 September 2013 berhubung perkara di atas.

2.     Penyataan tuan terhadap kesilapan fakta dalam buku teks Physics Form 5 dan Chemistry Porm 5 KBSM telah dirujuk kepada Sektor Penerbitan Sekolah Menengah untuk penelitian.

3.     Setelah dibuat penelitian , pihak kami mendapati bahawa penyataan pihak tuan terhadap hal ini mempunyai asas.

4.     Pihak kami akan melaksanakan tindakan penambahbaikan dan tindakan susulan terhadap hal ini dengan segera.

5.     Pihak kami mengucapkan terima kasih di atas keprihatinan dan kerjasama tuan terhadap hal ini.

Sekian, terima kasih.

Ramlan bin Haji Abu Talib
b.p Pengarah
Ketua Unit Khidmat Selia
Sektor Penyeliaan dan Penyelidikan
Bahagian Buku Teks, Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia
Aras 1-3, Blok E-15, Parcel E
(03-88844484) ) (019-6644435) (Fax-03-88844489)"


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