Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 5th September 2008: 

The Biro Tatanegara (BTN) should be disbanded as it is a Trojan Horse in the Prime Minister’s Department which undermines and subverts the Prime Minister’s National Day message of national unity and solidarity and Vision 2020 objective of Bangsa Malaysia

The Biro Tatanegara (BTN) should be disbanded as it is a Trojan Horse in the Prime Minister’s Department which undermines and subverts the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s National Day message of national unity and solidarity and Vision 2020 objective of Bangsa Malaysia.

In his 51st National Day message last Saturday, Abdullah said united citizens were a bulwark against any threat, either from within or outside the country.

He said solidarity was the cornerstone of the country’s political stability, social harmony and economic competitiveness.

However, in the bosom of the Prime Minister’s Department, the BTN had been assaulting the national “bulwark” and chipping away the Malaysian “cornerstone” in the past quarter of a century, with its unrelenting and unashamed purveying of racist poison among government servants, PTD scholars, university students and youths – using public funds running into RM76.3 million last year and RM 72 million next year to destroy the public policy of creating a Bangsa Malaysia out of the diverse peoples of Malaysia.

All Cabinet Ministers, whether Umno, MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties of Barisan Nasional who had served for the past quarter of a century should explain why they had closed their eyes and shut their ears to complaints that BTN had been conducting divisive and racist indoctrination courses for PTA scholars, government servants, university students and youths right under their noses?

Even more more important, what is the stand of the present batch of Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders from Umno, MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP and the BN component parties from Sarawak and Sabah?

Yesterday, I had blogged about a letter from an outraged parent at the trauma his daughter underwent in one such BTN indoctrination course for JPA scholars and the blog had evoked a firestorm of complaints and protests about the rank racism of the BTN.

One poster referred to a BTN indoctrination course for university students at UiTM in Shah Alam on 6th July 2008, where one BTN speaker, under the pretext of giving a talk on “Pendidikan”, launched into a racist harangue, criticising the Bar Council forum on social contract, accusing one of the forum speakers Farish A. Noor as a traitor of the Malay race and making disparaging remarks against Karpal Singh.

Among the “atrocious” things this speaker said were:

•“Kalau ular dengan India depan mata, ketuk India dulu.”

• That the Malays aren’t racist but ”others are racist towards us”.

• Bangsa Malaysia does not exist, neither does Malaysian Chinese and Indians, only in the strict sense Malay, Chinese and Indians.

• Bahasa Malaysia does not exist, it is Bahasa Melayu.

•Nothing wrong with waving the Keris.

•Bumiputra hanya 55% di Malaysia, give birth to more people!

•The University and University Colleges Act was partly made to ensure a Malay Vice-Chancellor in Universities which should be the way.

•Blogs are “berdosa” or sinful.

•That the Pakatan Rakyat-ruled states are all going down the drain - “this is what you get if you vote for the opposition!”

• Criticism of Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat.

As the BTN is under the direct jurisdiction of the Prime Minister, Abdullah should explain why BTN is allowed to conduct such divisive and racist indoctrination courses, which are compulsory for JPA scholars and government officials but which are also held for selected university students and youths – like the BTN course in UiTM Shah Alam on 6th July 2008.

The negative, divisive and destructive role of BTN as the Trojan Horse in the Prime Minister’s Department to undermine and subvert the Prime Minister’s repeated call for national unity and solidarity as well as the Vision 2020 objective of Bangsa Malaysia could be gleaned from some of the postings on my blog yesterday, viz:

1. StevePCH Says:
As the theme of this Merdeka is “Perpaduan Teras Kejayaan” BTN should be disbanded.
All these racist arms had created 2 types of extremes, one blindly agree to it and the other strongly in the opposing side.
BeEnd had lost ground by playing the race card for 50 years. ..
This post colonial “divide and rule” by religion and race had truly backfired.
Long live Malaysia !!!

2. mata kucing Says:
This indoctrination had been going on since the program was initiated. It’s nothing a Umno indoctrination machine similar to Hitler’s youth program. I hope that this will be the first thing to be dismantled when Anwar comes to power. No “if” or “but” but a “must”. It’s too dangerous. Those who drew up the program should be locked up permanently.

3. max2811 Says:
I am glad you have brought up this issue which I have commented on with regard to the UMNO racists. MCA knows about it but nothing was done. I have complained to party leaders many years back…
The leaders of these parties have so much at stake that they are not willing to give up this ATM machine. Luckily, I threw away my MCA membership card last year.

4. Jeffrey Says:
So is BTN’s racist indoctrination courses helping? BTN should be disbanded for doing the nation a disservice.

5. wanderer Says:
The letter from the parents of this child exposed the rot of racialism going to its core…only an amputation can remove this ‘dangerous disease’. Tainting young minds with hate, only UMNO is capable of doing. This proves racialism is the cornerstone of BN’s policies. What happened to the component parties, MCA, MIC and GERAKAN, this indoctrination course by JBA has gone on for awhile, why the silence?

6. big bird Says:
A similiar course was conducted recently for all government servants supposedly in the name of “perpaduan”. The said seminar happened in Selangor of which my wife’s colleague (a school teacher) was a participant. What you described is exactly what they went through as as well. Maybe what we know so far is just the tip of a even bigger “racist” iceberg.

7. dankers Says:
another thing to add on,
i think why speeches in BTN were agreed by most participants is because of fear of revoking their scholarship.
do you know that BTN is a pre-requirement for students to study overseas? you cant fly if you do not pass BTN camp.
BTN camp have assessments, objective and subjective. objective part is 60 questions. as for subjective marks, it is given by the facilitators and is on their will.
i HAD to agree to everything they say even you are not. not worth it to fight them with their fingers on my neck.

8. ahming Says:
I’m studying in one of the IPTA.Our Uni made it compulsory for us to attend the BTN camp by telling us that if we dont attend,we will not graduate from the Uni. On the other hand,My friend in UMS doesnt even know what the heck is BTN camp. It’s not like what my Uni told us, Compulsory. so it’s like we are being drag into a BN’s political plot.
The camp is a pro- BN campaign (everyone in the camp Malay,Chinese and Indian knows it )and also a racism camp . The speaker talk about the social contract, about the hak keistimewaan melayu, how May 13 happen, NEP, The 12th General election and so on. And also, quite a few times, mention ‘Cina boleh balik China tapi Negara China pun tidak mahu terima. Sama juga dengan orang India’ sort of statement.
One of the speaker even mention your name Mr Lim, saying you are Bodoh, and also mention about Anwar-Saiful case, how Anwar will do to the country if he gains power, and of course the still undergoing by election. Unfortunately all of our handphone were taken away by the facilitator, so no voice or video are recorded.

9. doc Says:
My daughter went through this so called induction course, as it was called, recently. She was so traumatised by the blatant racism spewed by the trainers that the first thing she wants to do is find some way to migrate! She is a professional and could not digest that such a thing was carried out as official government programme. I wish there is some way to expose this disgusting practice so that the general public can see it for what it is - perhaps a video recording a la Lingamgate.

As Abdullah has promised to be a Prime Minister for all Malaysians, he cannot keep quiet to a Trojan Horse in the bosom of the Prime Minister’s Department working to undermine and subvert his National Day message and the Vision 2020 objective of Bangsa Malaysia. He should tell Malaysians what action he is taking to end the rank racism of the BTN.

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