Come and see if it’s racist, deputy minister tells BTN critics


(MMO) – A deputy minister today invited all members of the federal opposition to enrol in National Civics Bureau (BTN) courses to see if the agency promotes racism as is frequently alleged.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim defended the long-running initiative and insisted that the modules are meant to instil patriotism and foster national development.

“It is best that MPs from PAS and DAP attend the BTN course… if you don’t experience it for yourself, you cannot criticise our efforts,” he contended during a heated debate with lawmakers from Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Sepang PAS MP Hanipa Maidin had accused the government agency of running publicly-funded courses, made compulsory for civil servants and students in public higher learning institutions, that inculcate racism.

“Can you verify reports that facilitators of the programmes are not being racist during the courses?” asked Hanipa during the committee stage debate on Budget 2015.

Amid jeers from the opposition bench, Razali challenged Hanipa to provide the details of the said individual and promised stern action against offenders.

Beruas DAP MP Ngeh Koo Ham countered, however, Razali’s invitation and instead proposed that Putrajaya open the modules used during the course to scrutiny by parliamentarians.

“We can give you the entire syllabus but there are many modules… but don’t go around telling tales and accusing the minister of not being responsive and don’t twist around with the comments in your public functions,” said Razali.

“But even if I don’t give you the modules it doesn’t mean I’m being racist, or condoning racism… I suggest you attend the course,” he insisted.

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