“We were taught a song with lyrics like ‘the land that you walk upon is owned by others. Lecturers told us the Malays were forced to depend on the Chinese for support after 1998 because some Malays had betrayed their own race,” Hafidz Baharom, a freelance writer, recalled.
These courses have been running for years, and are intended to instill nationalistic values and patriotism. Conducted by the National Civics Bureau — better known as BTN (Biro Tatanegara) — the courses are for university students on public scholarships and civil servants. BTN is under the Prime Minister’s Department.
Last week, seven young Pakatan Rakyat Selangor assemblymen handed over a letter to the Selangor government, urging it to stop allowing students of state- owned universities and colleges to attend these courses.
The Selangor government, which is now controlled by the opposition Pakatan Rakyat, owns three universities and colleges.
Kudos to Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi, Batu Caves assemblyman Amirudin Shari and others for standing up against decades of racist rhetoric and a programme paid by tax payers.
This is one of the many reasons why a segment of the society still think that the presence of others is the main reason for their deprivation. This is also a strong reason for to reject a race based coalition and end racism in the country.
Thanks for the gallantry!