Nazri moves to distance BTN from rep’s remarks

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz defended the National Civics Bureau (BTN) today from charges of promoting racism, after a representative from the bureau was recently reported as having uttered racial slurs against the country’s Chinese and Indian communities.

Nazri said that the “racist” remarks reportedly made by BTN assistant director Hamim Husain did not reflect the courses conducted by the government agency. “There are no modules in BTN which promotes racism. We have to look at what’s the issue here. In this case, it’s not the module which is an issue, it’s the personnel,” said Nazri in response to whether the courses run by BTN should be revamped.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s department stressed that action should be targeted against any individuals found making “irresponsible” remarks.

“These were remarks made by an irresponsible individual, therefore action should be taken against him,” Nazri told reporters today.

The Padang Rengas MP maintained that the Najib administration does not endorse any racist remarks, even if they were made by civil servants.

“The Cabinet, in its meeting last week, had already issued stern reminders to civil servants that no racist remarks will be tolerated.

“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself said during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly that the moderates must come forward… this was not only meant on an international level, but also in the context of our country,” added Nazri.

Hamim has since lodged a police report against The Malaysian Insider, claiming that his words had been “misinterpreted” and that his reported remarks were made in the confines of a private function.

On this, Nazri said it was Hamim’s prerogative to lodge a police report.

“Anyone can make a police report. Maybe he feels injustice has been done towards him… maybe he wants to defend himself. Whatever it is, action will be taken once investigations are completed,” said the minister.