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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cabinet is trying to sweep BTN's racism under the carpet


Malaysia Chronicle

Pakatan Rakyat leaders expressed concern that the federal Cabinet was trying to downplay the latest outbreak of racism displayed by the National Civics Bureau (BTN), whose deputy director had called the Chinese ‘slit eyes’ and Indians ‘drunkards’.

In particular, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang slammed the federal government’s “weak-kneed” decision in refusing to consider shutting down the BTN despite repeated calls through the years from civil society groups and opposition leaders.

The BTN incurred infamy for the indoctrination courses it conducts for top civil servants and university students, with many attendees complaining of the overt racism in its syllabus whereby the Malays are taught to distrust and even hate the non-Malays.

“In the first place, why was the announcement of the Cabinet decision to ask the Chief Secretary to investigate the latest racist remarks of a Biro Tata Negara official made by the MIC Minister for Human Resources Dr S Subramaniam and not by the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who had chaired the Cabinet meeting during Najib’s absence?” Lim said in a statement.

“Is it because the controversy over BTN’s latest offence against Najib’s 1Malaysia concept is regarded as a trivial matter not serious enough to warrant the personal attention and concern of the Deputy Prime Minister?”

Tepid response from MCA, MIC and Gerakan

Indeed, despite huge public outcry, non-Malay BN component parties such as MIC, Gerakan and MCA have tried to help Umno protect the BTN.

Kit Siang
MIC president S Samy Vellu and Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon have both told the press the incident was “blown out of proportion”, while MCA president Chua Soi Lek suggested the BTN deputy director Hamim Husain be sent for counseling.

Perkasa, an ultra-Malay rights group linked to Umno, has also defended the BTN.

“These actions are not enough. In fact, the blatant refusal to punish BTN is a slap in the face of the Chinese and Indian communities. The actions of the MCA, Gerakan and MIC in supporting Perkasa to help Umno sweep the case under the carpet is a disgrace to their constituents,” PKR vice president Lee Boon Chye told Malaysia Chronicle.

IMalaysia or 1Hypocrisy

Earlier this week, Hamim was caught telling a Puteri Umno function that only Malays had the right to rule Malaysia and he also described the Chinese as ‘mata sepet’ or slit-eyes and Indians as 'si botol’ or drunkards.

Lee Boon Chye
His remarks came even as Prime Minister Najib Razak was in New York preaching moderation over extremism to the United Nations General Assembly. In his maiden speech to the UN, Najib had also bragged about his multi-racial 1Malaysia plan.

Back home, Najib was heavily criticized for his hypocrisy.

“Tsu Koon seems to be speaking the same language as Perkasa which has claimed an overreaction with the issue ‘blown out of proportion’ over the racist and derogatory remarks of BTN deputy director Hamim Hussain. In failing to consider whether BTN should be dissolved, Cabinet has done a great disservice to 1Malaysia concept propounded by Najib,” said Kit Siang.

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