“The courses promote racism and my own children who have attended BTN have been given booklets that encourage hate towards the opposition.”
“The programmes are not positive to young minds, and are a waste of money which could have been used to foster real unity.”
SELANGOR executive council member Dr Halimah Ali, announcing the state government’s policy to bar staff of state government and government-linked companies, and students of Selangor-owned institutions from attending National Civics Bureau courses.
The course, also known as Biro Tata Negara (BTN) courses, is run by the Prime Minister’s Department for university students on government scholarships and civil servants. (Source: Selangor moves to stop BTN brainwashing, The Malaysian Insider, 25 Nov 2009)
“BTN courses are not for ‘converting’ participants to Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN). There are no ulterior motives; these courses are well-intended.”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, defending the allegation that there was brainwashing in BTN courses. (Source: BTN courses not political indoctrination, Bernama, 26 Nov 2009)
“The Selangor state government is just making a big issue. I have attended the course and it is all about positive thinking, patriotism and nothing to do with racialism.”
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, defending the BTN course. She said there was no racial content in the course when she attended it. (Source: Those who go for BTN courses love it, says Shahrizat, The Malaysian Insider, 28 Nov 2009)
“Just like a blind man who does not know of what he does not see, how can Kit Siang talk of the BTN course when he has never attended it?”
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar, ridiculing DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang‘s call for BTN to be stopped. Noh said the opposition was trying to deflect the public’s attention from its own weaknesses by making BTN courses an issue. (Source: BTN course inculcate sense of patriotism, says BN leaders, The Star, 29 Nov 2009)
“The BTN is not the agency some quarters made it out to be. The BTN is to instil patriotism and has received the ISO 9000 certification from Sirim. It is a well-structured course … It is impossible for the government to introduce racial elements in BTN programmes as participants are coming from other races as well.”
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan, who is in charge of the BTN course. He said the course would continue to run in Selangor despite the state government ban, as other federal employees and university students could still participate. (Source: Govt to continue BTN courses in Selangor – Ahmad, The Malaysian Insider, 29 Nov 2009)
“I am one of the privileged few to have attended a local public university and learned the meaning of hate, thanks to the ever popular Biro Tata Negara.
“[One speaker] stressed the point of how much the Malays had sacrificed and how the community should be united especially from outside threat — the Chinese community. He said the Chinese community were ‘the Jews of Asia’ and were just itching to take over when Malays were disunited and broken. The speaker also revealed a greater Chinese conspiracy where the Chinese Malaysians were working together with Singapore to topple the Malay government.”
Asril Hadi Abdullah Sani, a former participant of the BTN course, writing on his experience. (Source: BTN taught me Chinese are the Jews of Asia, The Malaysian Insider, 27 Nov 2009)
“I agree that it should be revamped so that the curriculum is in line with the 1Malaysia concept, because we have spent so much money.
“… I know that the curriculum now should be inclusive to be in line with what PM wants — 1Malaysia. If you only want the course(s) to be for one racial group, then it’s not 1Malaysia.
“What [Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin] meant was BTN as a department is good, but we have to change the curriculum because now we have a 1Malaysia concept.”
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, announcing the government’s intention to revamp the BTN course. When asked to clarify whether or not his announcement was contrary to Muhyiddin’s statement that the BTN programme should continue as it was, he said Muhyiddin was probably misunderstood. (Source: Govt to revamp controversial BTN courses, Malaysiakini, 30 Nov 2009)
“What had been directed [by the Prime Minister] is to upgrade the BTN modules.
“What [Nazri] meant [when he said the government would revamp the BTN course] was to make improvements to the 1Malaysia module.”
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan confusing matters further by clarifying Nazri’s statement that the BTN course would be “revamped”. (Source: BTN co-curriculum – ‘It’s an upgrade, not a revamp’,The Star, 1 Dec 2009)
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