Monday, December 15, 2008

Biro Tatanegara - The Prime Minister's Reply

After all the questions and reports we've received on the Barisan Nasional propaganda organ in the form of Biro Tatanegara, blogged here, here and here, I had earlier submit a question to the Prime Minister's office for further clarification.
[Petaling Jaya Utara] minta Perdana Menteri menyatakan tindakan yang akan diambil ke atas pihak pensyarah Biro Tatanegara yang menggalakkan fikiran racist apabila mendesak bahaya "kalau ular dengan India depan mata, ketuk India India dulu" dan menayangkan video menuduh pemimpin Teresa Kok dan Ezam Mohd Noor sebagai penyokong "Zionist".
You can read for yourself the reply from the PM office here (well, which basically is "deny, deny, and deny further").
Biro Tatanegara (BTN) adalah sebuah agensi yang menjalankan kursus berkaitan kenegaraan dan juga semangat patriotisme di kalangan rakyat Malaysia keseluruhannya. Peserta-peserta yang menghadiri kursus berkenaan terdiri daripada pelbagai kaum dan peringkat umur.

BTN juga turut menggunakan maklumat-maklumat atau statistik yang diperolehi daripada agensi-agensi kerajaan yang lain seperti Unit Perancangan Ekonomi (EPU), Jabatan PErangkaan, Unit Penyelarasan dan Pelaksanaan (ICU), Kementerian Kewangan dan lain-lain Kementerian dalam menyampaikan fakta-fakta kepada peserta kursus dan telah menjadi dasar kepada jabatan ini tidak membenarkan penceramah BTN menyentuh apa-apa perkara yang boleh menyinggungkan perasaan mana-mana kaum, dan sekiranya ini berlaku pihak Jabatan akan menggugurkan mereka daripada menjadi penceramah BTN.

Berhubung dengan persoalan yang ditimbulkan, BTN sedar ianya di dalam blog-blog di internet, dan hasil dari siasatan kami, kata-kata seperti dinyatakan oleh YB PJ Utara tidak benar. Kemungkinan ada di antara penceramah menyatakan beberapa pepatah orang India yang berkaitan dengan hal-hal orang India yang telah disalah tafsirkan oleh pendengar. Siasatan jugak telah dijalankan dan didapati tiada sebarang bentuk rakaman ceramah yang boleh kami jadikan bukti samada tuduhan itu benar ataupun tidak.

Bentuk persoalan kedua, BTN tidak pernah menerima sebarang bentuk aduan berkenaan perkara yang disebutkan, dan sepengetahuan pihak kami tiada sebarang pebayangan video seperti yang dimaksudkan di dalam kursus-kursus yang dijalankan oleh pihak Jabatan ini.
There you go. Some take home points:

Firstly, will the earlier complainants be willing to file an official complaint? I'll be more than happy to assist, but at the same time understand the "rock and hard place" position you'll be putting yourself into.

Secondly, the next time a student goes for one of these brain-washing sessions, can we get a recording of the proceedings? I'm sure I don't have to elaborate further on this point. With such recordings, we'll have incontrovertible proof of the abuse that has been going on for too long in this organisation.


Andrew Loh said...

I heard from past participants that they aren't allowed to bring in any recording devices into the sessions -- the authorities take away cell phones, cameras, etc, and threaten to withdraw their scholarships if such orders are not followed.

Unknown said...

We all know our PM's track record. All his denials turn out to be true:

(i) I am not getting married
(ii) Oil Price is not going up
(iii) I am not calling for GE

And his latest denials:

(i) I am not holding on to power after March UMNO elections

(ii) Malaysian will not fall into a recession

I leave to all of you to make up your mind on the latest denials.

Anonymous said...


Do private universities in Malaysia allow the formation of students unions. I went to one very well known private university which is politically supported and it seems it does not have the student union.

Princess 1108 said...

mr. andrew..
it's true dat whoever goes to kursus by btn, they all dilarang untuk membawa sebarang alat telekomunikasi and other ict's stated under the AKTA RAHSIA RASMI check by urself..they have a very strong reason n not only just simply taking the participants' phones,laptops or video cameras..for me,there's no one in dis world would say anything or give any order witout any reasonable purposes and reasons.

Anonymous said...

To quote KM, "...Normally, we don't cover issues which are explicitly political in this blog."

Why this post?

Unknown said...

because this BTN through the education process is trying to brainwash our future generation.

Hence, its linked to the education system and what is inherently wrong with it.

Golf Afflicted said...

Anon 4:49,

In case you have not read the earlier posts, students who have received government scholarships go through compulsory "courses" at the BTN, which was the original source of the complaint.


Kian Ming said...

Anon 4:49,

I made that remark in reference Tony being arrested and beaten up. While both of us try not to bring in political issues which have nothing to do with education matters, we've had no qualms about bringing up the UUCA (esp the fact that students cannot join political parties) and the racist nature of BTN. We will continue to bring up these issues since the 'politics' of these issues affect education matters in our country.

vikraman said...

Dear Tony,

Many of my friends have attended BTN camps and have all related to me similar stories of attempts to brainwash the government scholars. As you may already know, nobody is allowed to bring ANY form of electronic/electrical devices into the camp as such it is inherently impossible to produce any evidence stronger than a signed statement by former participants. I hope you can force more light to be shined on this issue and hopefully BTN will be dissolved in the near future.

Thank you.

shinliang said...

I just attended one not long ago. Despite them saying that all contents are protected under the OSA and that they banned cellphones and all recording devices, I was determined to get some 'proof'.

But, i think they got smart. The first few days began with a series of very good lectures, i.e. i personally feel it wasn't racist or bias, in fact it was very interesting. But starting from the 3rd day it's different.

From that day, they started the Latihan Dalam Kumpulan (LDK) where we are splitted into groups. And it'd seem that all the more 'senior' participants (me included) and non-bumi will be put into the same group. They just chat with us. Casual chat! As in, "How's your work?".

But when we got back to the dorm, we realised that the rest of the group had an intensive 2-days politic talk. Topics include (the usual) social contract, ketuanan Melayu, UMNO, BN, suqiu, etc.

So I think they got smart and are now more cautious.

For my group, at least, I didn't hear any racist remarks (partly because I was in the 'special' group). But there were plenty of remarks to slander the opposition party.

What really appalled me is that although they teach us about what is democracy and separation of powers (which to my surprise many participants hear it for the first time), they do not emphasize what we, as govt. servant need to know in order to work more effectively.

Govt. servants work for the country. Not for the party (ruling or not). But it is clear that the course implicitly tell us to stay away from opposition party and that they are destroying our country.

And finally, come the exam on the final day. It's a multiple choice. So I think you can imagine how they would set the question, e.g.:

Which of the following is a bird?
a. whale
b. monkey
c. snake
d. human

you can't agree with any of the given choice, but you just have to choose the best answer in order to pass. and best answer means the answer you'd think BTN like. =)

Anonymous said...

And they sent the worst BTN person, Nordin Kardi, the ex Director General of BTN, to run a university. You can imagine the amount of racism and brainwashing that goes on there.

All BTN people should not be given high posts in the government.

Anonymous said...

I attended mine sometime ago. who wannna attempt to bring in electronic device to record. it's against the rules.You might be failed.And if i'm not mistaken BTN is protected by some secret act. Seriously, i think it's more of a brain wash camp. with attempts to slander the opposition parties and associate them with "bad guys" .

Anonymous said...

most likely, nobody will be making an open report for another 10 years. here's the math: you go for btn in 2008. you are on scholarship for a phd until 2011. then, you return and serve your ipta or jpa until 2018. until all of that is over, anything you do might land you in some serious debt, trying to repay 3 years' education overseas. if you could afford that money, you would have walked out of btn the first day and spat on the scholarship in the first place.