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Media Conference Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Monday, 30th November 2009: 

BTN should not only be revamped – heads must roll for the poisoning of a whole generation of Malaysian leaders, civil servants, university students

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz told reporters in Parliament this morning that the Cabinet has agreed to revamp the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) following national furore against the BTN’s divisive, racist and seditious course which pump communal poison, incite racial hatred and ill will which are no different from Nazi indoctrination camps.

Nazri is reported to have:

  • agreed that the divisive, racist and seditious BTN course is not in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia concept;

  • that “the recent Cabinet meeting saw it necessary to do away with the BTN co-curriculum which government leaders, including the prime minister, saw was racially divisive and destructive”; and

  • the Chief Secretary to the Government has been instructed to oversee BTN’s revamp.

While I welcome Nazri’s announcement and any revamp of BTN, it would appear that many top Umno Ministers and leaders, including the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Ahmad Maslan, with direct charge of the BTN portfolio, seem to be unaware of this Cabinet decision.

Last Thursday, Muhyiddin had defended the BTN while Hishammuddin, Nor Omar, Shahrizat and Ahmad had defended the divisive, racist and seditious BTN course only over the weekend, condemning critical voices including my call for the closure of the racist and seditious BTN course as it makes a total mockery of Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and concept.

Why is this so. Who is right, Najib or Muhyiddin, Hishammuddin, Nor Omar, Shahrizat and Ahmad?

In September last year, I had raised in my blog the trauma suffered by JPA scholars, Malay and non-Malays, at the communal poison and racial hatred they had to undergo from the BTN brainwashing course.

This was what an outraged parent wrote:

“As part of the course, which is mandatory before they are sent overseas, all non-Malays are segregated and given lectures on the history of the country and how the immigration of the Chinese and Indians had taken place. And finally how the Chinese and Indians were given citizenship. The Malays too had their own similar sessions.

“The instructors blatantly told them that they should not question the rights and privileges of the Malays as the non-Malays should be thankful that they were given citizenship status and a place to stay on their soil. My daughter together with the other non-Malay students was shocked and went back to their dormitories depressed. And to the Malay students, the instructors told them to be aware of this fact and not to mix too freely with the non-Malays.

“A Malay friend of my daughter came back crying to the dormitory saying that she could not take the racist position taken by the government authority. My daughter then began questioning the bumiputra policy and was disgusted with such blatant indoctrination. This incident has also made the students harbour anger and resentment. Their fear for the authorities and losing their scholarships made them keep their cool. I am not exaggerating here – ask all the JPA students to write in anonymously and you will know the truth.

“These are young minds being polluted with racism. Tens of thousands of students have gone through this programme and more will be attending it in the future. So can you blame them when they exhibit their racist tendencies when in authority? How could the JPA allow such a syllabus for the cream of the nation, who will one day be entrusted to implement government policies fairly?”

A revamp of BTN is not enough. Heads must roll for the poisoning of a whole generation of Malaysian leaders, civil servants, university students as what BTN did was a great disservice to plural Malaysia, Malaysian nation-building, the Merdeka social contract, the Malaysia Agreement, Rukunegara, Vision 2020, Bangsa Malaysia and now 1Malaysia.

The ball is now in Najib’s court on his return from CHOGM in Port of Spain – to let Malaysians know whether he is serious about 1Malaysia slogan and concept and why top Umno Ministers led by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Home Minister could defend the divisive, racist and seditious BTN indoctrination course.

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



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