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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

'Racist' officer: BN leaders see red, DPM in the dark


Barisan Nasional leaders, minus Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, today condemned yet another racial slur from a high ranking officer on the government payroll.

They also agreed that it had rendered another devastating blow to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's 1Malaysia campaign.

Muhyiddin, however, claimed to be in the dark and reserved his comments about the latest controversy.

The leaders were responding to a news report which claimed that National Civics Bureau (BTN) deputy director Hamim Husin had allegedly used derogatory terms to refer to the Chinese and Indians.

During a closed-door meeting with Puteri Umno delegates, Hanim had purportedly described the Chinese as “si sepet mata” (slitty eyes) and Indians as “kaki botol” (alcoholics).

Seeing red, MCA central committee member Loh Seng Kok called for prompt action, including a possible investigation by the police.

“It is time to put a halt to these arrogant and intolerant bigots,” he said in a statement.

Loh said it was shameful that a public servant employed by BTN, which trains upcoming civil servants, had used such stereotypical derogatory terms from a bygone era.

He said Hamim should be instead advocating that all races work towards achieving the 1Malaysia concept mooted by Najib, which was founded on the idea of inclusivity.

“BTN, as a government body has a responsibility to cultivate trust, not racial prejudice and polarisation based on an 'us versus them' dogma,” he added.

Loh urged the Public Service Department (PSD) to take action against Hamim as his statement had hurt the feelings of the Chinese and the Indian communities in Malaysia.

MIC vice-president and Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam said since BTN was a government agency under the Prime Minister’s Department, the views could be interpreted as being the government's stand.

“If an officer from this agency is found to have passed such remarks, it can be construed as reflecting the views of the government. It will also reflect badly on the government, and have adverse effects on the 1Malaysia concept.

“Therefore, I urge the BTN director-general to immediately investigate the matter thoroughly, and take the appropriate action according to the report of the investigation,” he added.

'Running counter to 1Malaysia'


Gerakan Youth secretary-general Dominic Lau bayed for Hamim's dismissal, saying the degrading words were uncalled for, unwarranted and mischiveous.

“His open and blatantly demeaning descriptions of fellow Malaysians run counter to the prime minister's all-inclusive 1Malaysia concept which is supposed to be propagated to participants at BTN camps,” he said.

Both Loh and Lau urged the government to review BTN courses and if needed, overhaul it accordingly so that the course to train civil servants reflected a 1Malaysia outlook and did not become a breeding ground for racism.

“There were many complaints by participants that the courses were indoctrination programmes, outdated, racist, divisive and seditious in nature and should be changed. The recent ugly incident has once again reinforced the serious shortcomings of BTN,” said Lau.

When asked to comment on the issue at a function today, Muhyiddin said: "I am not aware of that speech."

The deputy premier added that he would check the matter first before commenting on it.

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