Was the BN Govt using the BTN to politicise the Malaysian Court?

The BTN is the bastion of Ketuanan Melayu. Its aim is said to be the perpetuation of the BN government.

10 August 2018



9 August 2018


“The Chief Registrar of the Federal Court Datuk Latifah Mohd Tahar had directed judicial officers and court registrars to attend a ‘ceramah’ by Datuk Lokman Noor Adam on the ‘economic policy’ of the BN regime on 24th May 2017 with attendance being compulsory.

“Why did the Chief Registrar order compulsory attendance of our judicial officers for a ceramah by a prominent Umno political appointee and what was the actual content of this ‘economics’ ceramah?” 



KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 ― Lawyers of Liberty adviser N. Surendran today said his group has received new evidence that the previous administration under Barisan Nasional (BN) had carried out “concerted attempts to politicise the judiciary.”

He said in a press statement that officials of the judiciary were directed to attend a “ceramah” organised by BN last year

“The Chief Registrar of the Federal Court Datuk Latifah Mohd Tahar had directed judicial officers and court registrars to attend a ‘ceramah’ by Datuk Lokman Noor Adam on the ‘economic policy’ of the BN regime on 24th May 2017 with attendance being compulsory.

“Why did the Chief Registrar order compulsory attendance of our judicial officers for a ceramah by a prominent Umno political appointee and what was the actual content of this ‘economics’ ceramah?” he asked.

The Chief Registrar’s office has denied that National Civics Bureau (BTN) courses were political or intended to brainwash judges and registrars.

Surendran said today, the ceramah held at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya did not warrant any reasonable or acceptable ground as judges were concerned with the law, and not the economic policy of the ruling government.

According to Surendran, the ceramah’s speaker, Lokman, was then a political appointee under the Finance Ministry helmed by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and recently, he was BN’s candidate in the Sungai Kandis by-election, where he was defeated.

“This is in flagrant breach of the doctrine of separation of powers and the concept of an independent judiciary.

“Lokman has no economic qualifications and if for whatever reason it was truly intended to give judges a proper lecture on economics, why were university economics professors or qualified economists not invited as speakers?” Surendran said.

He added Lokman’s Umno background made it a political event under the guise of an “economics” talk.

Surendran demanded that the Chief Registrar be relieved of her position pending further investigations as, he claimed, she had also organised three of Najib’s National Transformation 2050 (TN50) programmes and BTN courses.

He said Najib and former deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must also explain who authorised the tampering of judges during their administration.

He also called upon Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to give assurances that the independence of the judiciary will be zealously guarded with no political interference by the executive.


3 August 2018

Surendran said LFL was now also able to reveal that on Feb 27, just weeks before the three BTN courses, the Chief Registrar’s office had ordered judges, deputy registrars and judicial officers to attend a compulsory “special discussion” on Najib Razak’s National Transformation 2050 (TN50) programme.

“TN50 has been widely criticised as a political gimmick of Najib and Barisan Nasional; it is thus an overtly political activity. It also has nothing whatsoever to do with enhancing judicial or professional skills.

“Why did the Judicial Capacity Training Division of the Chief Registrar’s office organise such a programme?”


3 August 2018

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) took the office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court to task today over its response to the group’s claims that judges and judicial officers had been targeted for indoctrination through courses held by Biro Tata Negara (BTN).

In a statement, it said the Chief Registrar’s defence that the courses were not for political indoctrination “merely created more disturbing questions and produced no satisfactory answers”.

LFL adviser N Surendran also challenged the Chief Registrar to release the full contents and audio recordings of the programmes to prove its claim.

In a statement yesterday, the Chief Registrar’s office said it had supervised the course modules which were not entirely under BTN.

It said the modules were on team-building and were meant to instil patriotism and a team spirit among its staff.

It also denied any ulterior motive in the timing of the courses which were held just before the May 9 general election.

It said the courses had been planned ahead of time and the fact that they were held on the eve of the election was a coincidence.

However, Surendran said this was far-fetched, considering that three separate BTN programmes were held in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Kedah just three weeks before the election.

“Is that just a coincidence?”

“Further, the BTN is a unit under the Prime Minister’s Department.

“It is a flagrant breach of the doctrine of separation of powers to force judges to attend courses organised by a unit of the executive such as the BTN.

“Is it logical to undermine the doctrine of separation of powers simply in order to ‘save costs’? The executive has no business to give any lectures to judges, who must be seen to be completely independent.”


31 July 2018


Sessions Court judges were made to attend a National Civics Bureau (BTN) course just months before the 14th general election, a lawyer’s group has claimed.

Lawyers for Liberty said it received a copy of a letter – sighted by Malaysiakini – which instructed judges to attend the ‘Latihan Transformasi Negara’ (National Transformation Training) programme from March 16 to 18.

The Feb 15 letter, which LFL confirmed was addressed to Sessions Court judges throughout the country, stated that the course was organised by the Chief Registrar’s Office of the Federal Court (PKPMP) with the cooperation of BTN.

“The objective of the programme is to lift the patriotic spirit, as well as to instil team working spirit and good values among the PKPMP community.

“Besides that, the purpose of the training is to inculcate synergy in strategic cooperation towards the development of the country.

“In light of that, you are welcomed to attend the course, and attendance is compulsory,” the letter read.

The training was to have taken place at the Akademi Kenegaraan in Kuala Lumpur.


KUALA LUMPUR: The entire court system appears to have been targeted for propaganda by the Biro Tata Negara (BTN), Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said after unearthing more evidence of brainwashing to favour Barisan Nasional (BN).

Those who were forced to attend the BTN course just before the 14th general election told LFL that, among other things, it was impressed upon them that “it was important to maintain BN in power as government”.

They were also repeatedly told that “if the opposition PH (Pakatan Harapan) wins, the people will suffer and the economy will be damaged”.

LFL adviser N Surendran said: “It is now imperative that the new government set up an independent panel of inquiry into this matter, with a mandate to get to the bottom of the matter and make public its findings and recommendations.”

Last week, LFL revealed that Sessions Court judges were made to attend a BTN course on the eve of the general election.

The NGO said it had now obtained new documents showing that registrars, officers and staff of the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya as well as the Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam courts were also forced to attend another BTN course one week after the sessions judges’ course.

Those made to attend included key deputy registrars and officers attached to individual Court of Appeal and Federal Court judges, Surendran said in a statement today.

This BTN course, he said, was held from March 23 to 25 at Kem Bina Negara, Tanjung Rhu, Selangor. He said instructions were given by the office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court Latifah Tahar that attendance was compulsory.

Kem Bina Negara are BTN-run camps located throughout the country.

Surendran said: “The rot thus runs deeper than we had previously suspected; it is not just Sessions Court judges, but the entire court system that appears to have been targeted for BTN’s propaganda.

“Judicial officers must be scrupulously independent; it is simply unthinkable that courses of this nature have been officially sanctioned.

“The courses are clearly intended to influence the thought processes of the judiciary, and consequently their decision-making. This is an unmistakable attempt at the indoctrination of the judicial arm of the state, carried out behind closed doors.”




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