Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 6th December 2009:
Why is Muhyiddin backing Ahmad Maslan and not Nazri in the BTN controversy?
When asked about the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) controversy after the National Land Council meeting in Putrajaya on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Ahmad Maslan, who is directly responsible for Biro Tata Negara (BTN), had already given the necessary explanation.
Asked whether the BTN course would be revamped, Muhyiddin said this was not a new course, that it had been decided on by the Cabinet a long time back and that he did not need to explain further. (Sin Chew 5.12.09).
Muhyiddin was being most irresponsible for evading the issue, especially as the Deputy Prime Minister had led the UMNO hawks including the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, the Agriculture Minister Datuk Nor Omar, the Women Minister Datuk Shahrizat Jalil in Cabinet in defending the divisive, racist and seditious BTN indoctrination courses.
Muhyiddin cannot be unaware of the public spat between Ahmad Maslan and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, over the disagreement over the Minister’s statement that the Cabinet had decided to “revamp” the BTN course “to fall in line with the prime minister's 1Malaysia concept” so that its curriculum will be “inclusive rather than divisive” and that a directive to revamp the BTN courses has already been given to the chief secretary of the government.
This was disputed by Ahmad Mazlan, the supremo of BTN, who said it was an “upgrade” or “improvement” and not a revamp, declaring that there was “nothing wrong with the current course structure”.
In explaining the upgrade of the BTN course to incorporate the 1Malaysia module, he said:
He said the 1Malaysia module teaches unity and eight core values - culture of excellence, perseverance, humility, acceptance, loyalty, meritocracy, education and integrity. Ahmad Maslan was guilty of both irresponsibility and dishonesty.
No wonder Nazri responded with the riposte that there was no point in denying the true nature of BTN, as no matter how much the leaders tried to deny it, there were “other” former government leaders who are now in Pakatan Rakyat who had been involved with the BTN and know of its contents.
When Ahmad Maslan said that 1Malaysia module teaches unity and eight core values - culture of excellence, perseverance, humility, acceptance, loyalty, meritocracy, education and integrity, is he admitting that the previous Vision 2020 and Islam Hadhari modules of BTN did not inculcate unity and these eight core values?
If so, why were the core values of the Vision 2020 and Islam Hadhari modules of the BTN course which make them different form the 1Malaysia module?
The issue in contention is not about these core values but the underlying and persistent agenda of the BTN course to pump communal poison and incite racial hatred and animosity among civil servants, university students and future leaders, which had continued unabated even after the so-called “upgrading” of the BTN course in April.
Ahmad Maslan’s claim is debunked by three letters to the editor in The Star in May this year, denouncing the divisive, racist and seditious BTN indoctrination programme after April this year - especially the May 28, 2009 letter “BTN course is having the opposite effect” by “Disappointed Parent” from Shah Alam, viz:
If more proof is needed, there is the comment piece “BTN: Divisive, racist, politically-motivated” by Mariam Mohktar on her traumatic experience at having to undergo such divisive, racist and seditious indoctrination programme in the past.
Why is Muhyiddin backing Ahmad Maslan and not Nazri on the BTN controversy?
The refusal on the part of Muhyiddin to support Nazri and come clean and admit that the BTN course had been divisive, racist and seditious, and instead to support Ahmad Maslan’s denial, raises doubt that there would be any meaningful revamp of the BTN course.
When the UMNO information chief is the head of the BTN programme, Umno’s ideology of hegemony becomes the poison in the BTN courses.
The removal of Ahmad Maslan, who is Umno Information Chief, as the BTN supreme must be the first step to any meaningful “revam” of the BTN course.
The BTN as present constituted with its racist and anti-national agenda is not “revampable” and must be scrapped.
It should instead be replaced by an independent non-partisan national civics institution which is completely independent of the government-of-the-day and answerable to Parliament for its curriculum and management to foster national unity and Malaysian consciousness among all sectors of Malaysians.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor