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Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Wednesday, 2nd December 2009: 

BTN’s racist, anti-national and seditious indoctrination courses should not be glossed over or minimized as it makes a total mockery of 1Malaysia slogan and concept

The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Ahmad Maslan, who is directly responsible for Biro Tata Negara (BTN), is trying to gloss over and minimize the condemnation of the BTN courses as racist, anti-national and seditious indoctrination programmes detrimental to Malaysian nation-building and national unity.

Adding insult to injury, Ahmad claimed that BTN courses were based on facts, asking:

"If we say that two-thirds of the population consist of bumiputeras and one-third non-bumiputeras, is that considered racist?

"If we say 66 percent is bumiputera and 24 percent consists other races, is that racist? That is just stating the facts."

Ahmad, who is also Umno information chief, cannot be so obtuse as not to know that nobody objects to such factual information.

What is legitimate and most proper cause for objection is the communal poison oozing from the BTN course, inciting racial hatred and prejudices which are a great injustice and disservice to 52 years of nation-building, dividing instead of uniting Malaysians of diverse races and religions.

Ahmad’s claim that “We have thousands of ceramah and maybe one minute of the ceramah, the speaker makes some kind of mistake” reflects badly on his incorrigible denial complex.

If the Umno information chief and Deputy Minister specificially responsible for BTN is responsible, he would have known about the barrage of complaints about the divisive, racist and seditious BTN programmes and would not have feigned ignorance.

For instance, there were three letters on this subject in the Star in one week in May this year.

In a letter ‘BTN course teaches disunity” (Star May 22, 2009), “Disappointed” wrote:

AS parents we are glad that our grown up children attend the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) course, which is compulsory for government servants. They are all mature professionals.

But what angers me is that, instead of talking integrity, unity and harmony among the various races, participants are taught about disunity and racial hatred. Is this what our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib wants for 1MALAYSIA?

Throughout the five days of the course, participants are repeatedly told not to question Malay rights and so on. The course coordinators keep talking about social contracts and telling non-Malays not to question Malay rights and so on.

Many participants, including my Malay friends, are upset.

Are we still living in a primitive age? If the BTN course is to be conducted in this manner, it is better to abolish it or let it concentrate on only one ethnic group.

The course is not bringing unity but only arousing anger and hatred.

As it is handled by the Prime Minister’s office, please do not say that they do not know what is going on.

Four days later, in the letter “BTN course turning into a farce” (Star May 26, 2009), “GOVERNMENT DOCTOR, Kuching” wrote:

REFERRING to the letter “BTN course teaches disunity” (The Star, May 22), I agreed with the writer. I’ve talked to almost everybody who had attended the course and the common reaction was how much more they dislike the Government after the course.

I believe BTN should be dropped. The course is not achieving its objectives.

On the contrary, it is sowing hatred against the Government and encouraging disunity.

All BTN course participants are grown-ups and know what is right and wrong.

By trying to enforce a belief, the Government is instead causing a backlash.

If the organisers of a five-day course think they can convert an opposition-minded government officer to change his mind, they are being naive.

The course is compulsory for all new government servants and those who entered the service from 2002 to 2004.

If one does not pass BTN, one will not get a promotion or salary increase even though one gets “Aras 4”, the highest mark for the PTK (Penilaian Takap Kecekapan) exam.

On May 28, 2009, in the letter “BTN course is having the opposite effect”, “Disappointed Parent” from Shah Alam wrote:

I REFER to the letters “BTN course teaches disunity” (The Star, May 22) and “BTN course turning into a farce” (The Star, May 26).

My son attended the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) course in May 2008 and came out of it very angry and utterly dejected.

Throughout the five-day course, he and other Indian participants were constantly hounded and attacked on the actions of the now out-lawed Hindraf movement.

He and his friends are not supporters nor sympathisers of the group, and yet they felt disgusted and disappointed at the way the instructors kept harping on the issue at every turn and opportunity.

I am not too sure if my son and his friends have become anti-establishment as a result, but I am quite certain that they have neither forgotten nor forgiven BTN and the Government for their unprofessional and crude indoctrination methodologies.

I pray that the Government will scrap the BTN course as it is certainly not in line with the “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” policy espoused by our Prime MInister.

This is just one example of the widespread disgust, anger and alienation caused by the divisive, racist and seditious BTN course after Datuk Seri Najib Razak became Prime Minister with his 1Malaysia slogan and concept.

Is Ahmad seriously suggesting that he is completely in the dark and knew nothing about these these serious allegations against the BTN course?

If so, he is not fit to continue as Deputy Minister although this might be the most fitting qualification for him to be Umno Information chief.

I call on the Barisan Nasional Ministers and Deputy Ministers to own up and do not try to gross over or minimize BTN’s racist, anti-national and seditious indoctrination courses as it makes a total mockery of 1Malaysia slogan and concept.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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