BTN is a unit of the Prime Minister’s Department
28 July 2018
PETALING JAYA: Sessions court judges throughout Malaysia were ordered to attend a National Civics Bureau (Biro Tata Negara or BTN) course prior to the 14th general election, claimed Lawyers for Liberty.
The course was called “Latihan Transformasi Negara” (Training for National Transformation) and held on 16 to 18 March 2018 at the Akademi Kenegaraan Biro Tatanegara at Jalan Bellamy in Kuala Lumpur.
“Lawyers for Liberty has been given a copy of the written instructions to all sessions court judges to attend the course, which was issued by the office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court. Attendance was made compulsory.
“It is unacceptable and shocking that Judges had been compelled to attend the BTN course,” said its advisor N. Surendran.
He claimed that forcibly sending every sessions court judge in the country for the BTN course is a serious threat to judicial independence.
“What has BTN’s ‘Latihan Transformasi Negara’ have to do with the professional training or work of judges?
“What were the judges taught or exhorted or persuaded to do during these courses? What was the objective of making judges attend such courses, and who initiated and ordered it?,” he said
Surendran added that Chief Registrar Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar, whose office issued the instructions for the programme, must explain why she did so and what was the purpose of the BTN course.
Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/28/judges-were-told-to-attend-btn-courses-says-lawyers-for-liberty/#GTY70paIBkRbB27g.99
18 May 2018
No place for Biro Tata Negara in new Malaysia, says Suaram
Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong says the BTN has for years promoted ‘ketuanan Melayu’ and its actions do not foster national unity.
KUALA LUMPUR: Suaram has called on the new government to dissolve the Biro Tata Negara (National Civics Bureau or BTN) under the Prime Minister’s Department as it is a hindrance to national unity and critical thinking.
Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong said in a statement today that through the years, BTN’s programmes had been reported to have explicitly promoted ketuanan Melayu (Malay dominance) and were unabashedly partisan to the then governing Barisan Nasional.
“In 2009, the Selangor and Penang state governments even prohibited their state civil servants, employees of state subsidiaries, and students at state-owned institutions from attending BTN courses because they were seen as racist indoctrination.”
The BTN was set up purportedly “to nurture the spirit of patriotism and commitment to excellence among Malaysians, and train leaders and future leaders to support the nation’s development efforts”.
However, Kua said, for years under the New Economic Policy, “it has been an open secret that Malay students and civil servants had to go through ‘indoctrination’ sessions by the BTN”.
He said: “In late 2009, many allegations of racism and political propaganda surfaced in the online press. Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, assemblyman for Seri Setia in the State Legislative Assembly of Selangor, claimed that the BTN camp he attended was ‘racial and political in nature,’ with trainers telling attendees that Malays require affirmative action and criticising the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) as ‘deviationist’.
“Amirudin Shari, assemblyman for Batu Caves, claimed that ‘participants are indoctrinated with propaganda about ketuanan Melayu and external threats’. Another participant claimed he was taught that the Chinese were ‘the Jews of Asia,’ and part of a conspiracy to topple the government.”