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Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 5th February 2010: 


No McCarthyism but disband BTN which had produced a generation of Nasir Safars with racist brain-washing making it the biggest enemy of Najib’s 1Malaysia campaign

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday tried to mitigate the Nasir Safar outrage claiming that it could have been “a slip of the tongue” (New Straits Times).

If so, it is a very big slip or Nasir has got a big tongue when he could in one gulp make so many offensive, insensitive and anti-1Malaysia utterances as:

  • Labelling Indians and Chinese in Malaysia as “pendatang”;

  • “Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese especially the women came to sell their bodies (jual tubuh)”;

  • Claimed that Umno was solely responsible in drafting the constitution sidelining the contribution of MCA and MIC;

  • Threat to revoke the citizenship of those vocal about the subject cap for SPM examination.

Clearly, it cannot be a madness of a moment, but madness for many moments!

Although the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had been very quick and prompt in damage-control, getting Nasir to resign within 12 hours of the outrage on Tuesday and declaring that the Nasir episode should be “a lesson to all” to be racially sensitive, Najib must admit that the greatest casualty is his 1Malaysia campaign.

As a result of the Nasir Safar outrage, and despite Nasir’s belated and qualified apology, there is a quantum jump in public skepticism whether Najib’s 1Malaysia campaign is no more than just a rebranding and public relations (P.R.) exercise without any meaningful change in nation-building policies – as in for instance, replacing the “ketuanan Melayu” concept with “ketuanan rakyat”.

It is clear that Nasir Safar is not an extinct species in Umno but represent a very powerful mainstream thinking in Umno, both in party and government, nurtured by a generation of racist brain-washing by the National Civics Centre (Biro Tata Negara) in the Prime Minister’s Department, which had a budget of RM600 million in the past decade to carry out such divisive indoctrination.

When the racist brain-washing BTN programme was exposed at the end of last year, Najib ended the public row when he met 30 high-ranking BTN officers in Parliament on Dec. 15 and asked them to ensure that the BTN Course is in line with the 1Malaysia concept.

That the BTN’s racist brain-washing courses have not changed is reflected by a letter to the editor in the News Straits Times of Dec. 29, 2009 complaining about a BTN session, viz:

MY nephew, who is a doctor, has just returned after attending an induction course held from Dec 19 to 24 at the Bayu Beach Resort in Port Dickson. He is very upset and extremely disappointed.

The first four days of the programme was conducted by officials from the Ministry of Health and they were very professional in their approach and methodology. However, the sessions during the next two days conducted by the National Civics Bureau (BTN) were so downright racist, sickening and was nothing more than an exercise to divide Malaysians, instil hatred and discord.

Although my son is a Muslim and a Malay, and was not the target of the BTN instructors, he and his other Muslim friends were upset that their non-Muslim brothers and sisters were constantly labelled as "pendatang" and the Malaysian Indians were hounded in regard to the actions of the now outlawed Hindraf movement.

One BTN instructor even had the temerity to say: "No need to attend BTN course if you think we are racists" and "We warn you not to report what happens here to the press or to anyone else."

I am not proposing any McCarthyism – defined by Wikipedia as “the politically motivated practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence” - but firm action must be taken to disband the racist and divisive brain-washing by the BTN which had produced a generation of Nasir Safars and is the biggest enemy to Najib’s 1Malaysia campaign.

Will the Cabinet next Wednesday have the political will to disband the BTN for becoming the racist indoctrination machine and replace it with a 1Malaysia Civics Centre which operates in an open, transparent, non-partisan and truly 1Malaysia manner to promote Malaysian national consciousness and not racist attitudes and stereotypes?

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



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