BTN PROGRAM

Anwar Ibrahim, Jewish agent?

21 Dec 09 : 8.00AM

By Shanon Shah
shanonshah@thenutgraph.com


Illustration by Loh done during his BTN
course (pic courtesy of Loh Jia Liang)

LOH Jia Liang, 23, attended his Biro Tata Negara (BTN) course in April 2008. It was during the end of his second year at a Malaysian public university and after the historic March 2008 general election which reduced the Barisan Nasional's power.


Now in his fourth year, Loh is an avid graphic novel fan. After reading Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical series on growing up during the Iranian Islamic Revolution, Loh says he thought, "This feels like Malaysia!"

The Nut Graph sat down with Loh in Kuala Lumpur on 15 Dec 2009 to ask him what his BTN experience was like. Here is Part Two of our series on the BTN blues.

TNG: Where did you attend your BTN programme?

Loh Jia Liang: Pasir Mas, Kelantan. We were shuttled to the camp by our university's bus.

How long did the programme last?

Four days and three nights.

How many participants were there, in your estimate?

I think there were more than 100 participants. It was a bit strange. Usually in my campus, the first years have to go. But during my batch, only the Malay [Malaysian] first years went. The non-Malay [Malaysians] who went were from second year.

And it's also strange because with the Malay [Malaysians], there were both boys and girls in my programme. But there were only non-Malay [Malaysian] boys in my camp. The [non-Malay Malaysian] girls had to attend a separate camp, where there were also both male and female Malay [Malaysians].


Is BTN compulsory for graduation?
That really is strange. What would you estimate the racial composition at your particular camp to be?

I suppose it was around 80% Malay [Malaysian] and 20% non-Malay [Malaysian], which was mostly Chinese. We all believed we had to go otherwise we wouldn't be able to graduate.

Was this an official directive from your university authorities or from BTN?

No, it was just word of mouth, but word of mouth can be very powerful.

What about the BTN trainers, what was their racial composition?

There were 10 of them, and they were all Malay [Malaysian] men.

Did you know their background or qualifications?

Two of them were 30-something, and I think one of the two was a BTN staff. The rest were retired army personnel, I think.

What was a typical day like during the camp?

The non-Muslims would wake up at around 6.30am. The Muslims had to wake up earlier to go and pray. But we all assembled by 7am, like in a school assembly, to kawat kaki and sing the national anthem. After that, we all went for breakfast, and then we had to go for lectures and activities. The activities were mentally challenging, cooperative games.

Most of us were there against our will, so we decided to make the best of it. On the last day, we went trekking, and we went through a rubber estate and swamps. It was quite fun.

The lectures were boring. They were on topics such as the Rukunegara, ketuanan Melayu, and they brought in some external speakers for these lectures.

Did the lectures have any racist content?

During one of the night lectures, a lecturer showed a video which he said was floating on the internet. It showed a Muslim girl in a tudung hugging a dog. Of course, the Malay [Malaysian] girls among us gasped.


Anwar, agent of the Jews?
The video also went on about how (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim was an agent of the Jews. The lecturer said the purpose of the video was to show how Islam was being eroded.

How did you feel watching this video?

I was like, "Okay." But then it went on and I was just watching in disbelief. (Laughs.) The Chinese [Malaysians] just kept quiet but after the video was over we huddled and said, "What is all this!" (Laughs.)

What about the Malay Malaysian students?

They were all just watching. The atmosphere was such that it was difficult for them to show if they were disgusted anyway.

But there was nothing overtly racist against non-Malay Malaysians?

There was nothing that really criticised non-Malay Malaysians. The trainers did say that Chinese and Indian Malaysians should be grateful for sharing this land. They said we had to be thankful to the Barisan Nasional. I suppose they couldn't go overboard because there were a few non-Malay [Malaysians] there.


Trainers in BTN encourage gratitude
towards BN (pic of Penan man courtesy
of Sofiyah Israa / Flickr)
Did the programme change you? How do you feel now?

I was indifferent after the camp. It felt like a waste of time. They should have done something inclusive, like trying to get first and second years to mix better. Our gap was not just racial — there was a gap between first years and second years, too. Almost all my friends felt the same way.

Was there inter-year or inter-racial mixing at all during the programme?

During meal times, we did talk, but only within our own groups. Not many people mixed outside their own groups. After all, there were already 10 people per group. But then after every azan, the Malay [Malaysians] would go and pray, and the non-Malay [Malaysians] were just left to do whatever [we wanted].

After this camp, at least now I smile at my juniors on campus. But beyond that, we don't talk much, because we are in different years, doing different courses.

Was there anything good about it?

I thought the activities were interesting and engaging. They weren't racist. The lectures were boring — I doodled and drew most of the time. I mean, if I listened then I would only be bored and irritated so it was better to just let my mind wander.


"It's like history all over again," says the boy illustrated by Loh in his BTN notebook (pic courtesy of Loh Jia Liang)

Did you need to do anything by the end of the programme, such as a test or a pledge?

No, but we were given a certificate at the end of the camp. This certificate was very important, because if we didn't get it or lost it then we might have to attend the programme again. Then how? favicon


SIASAT MAHA INI

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Mahathir: Saya sedia disiasat, tak perlu lindungan kerajaan

Oleh G Manimaran

PETALING JAYA, Dis 22 — Bekas perdana menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad menyambut baik syor agar ditubuhkan suruhanjaya diraja untuk menyiasat sama ada beliau telah menyebabkan kehilangan lebih RM100 bilion dengan projek-projek raksasa dan rasuah sepanjang 22 tahun kepimpinannya.

Malah beliau juga mahu kerajaan membenarkan buku, ‘Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times’, yang mendedahkan kehilangan sejumlah wang itu, dibenarkan untuk jualan di Malaysia.

“Jika kerajaan menahan buku ‘Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times’, saya mahu meminta kerajaan melepaskannya (untuk jualan). Saya tidak memerlukan perlindungan kerajaan,” kata beliau dalam blognya hari ini.

JANGAN TERLALU YAKIN-TAMBAH AHLI PERLU LEBIH GIAT

Pertandingan satu lawan satu untuk tawan Sabah - Dr Jeffrey

Tuesday, 22 December 2009 6:02 PM Oleh Masdar Wahid

KUALA LUMPUR 22 Dis: Pimpinan PR Sabah yakin akan berjaya menawan negeri tersebut sekiranya strategi satu lawan satu dapat dilaksanakan dalam pilihanraya Umum akan datang.

"Kita kini menuju kehadapan dan sebarang perkara yang berlaku sebelum ini merupakan perkara biasa yang perlu dihadapi sebagai ahli politik."kata Naib Presiden PKR, Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan.

Menurut Jeffrey, PKR Sabah tidak lagi mahu menolah kebelakang kerana fokus utama pada masa ini ialah bagaimana memperkasakan keahlian parti dipelbagai peringkat bagi memastikan kemenangan PKR dan rakan lain dalam Pakatan Rakyat (PR) di seterusnya menawan Sabah pada pilihanraya umum (PRU) akan datang.

Menurutnya, perkembangan terkini di Sabah sejurus setelah tamatnya Konvensyen PR pada 19 Disember lalumenunjukkan rakyat pelbagi kaum semakin menunjukkan sokongan berterusan terhadap parti khususnya melalui gerak kerja yang dilakukan dari segi keahlian dan sokongan di peringkat Pantai Timur dan pedalaman Sabah.

“Bagi PKR negeri misalnya, kita memberi jaminan bahawa perbincangan aktif sesama parti komponen PR dan parti pembangkang lain di Sabah yang berminat bahawa pertandingan satu lawan satu akan dilaksanakan pada PRU akan datang bagi memastikan BN tumbang di Sabah,” katanya ketika dihubungi.

Beliau memberitahu, perkara berkaitan pembahagian kerusi pembangkang di Sabah akan diselesaikan dengan segera dan langkah awal yang aktif akan diatur bermula Januari ini.

Beliau turut menyambut baik berhubung semangat perjanjian Malaysia yang diumumkan oleh PR di Shah Alam 19 Disember lalu yang menjamin hak tanah adat Orang Asal di Sabah dan Sarawak selain royalty 20 peratus diberikan kepada Sabah dan Sarawak jika PR berjaya menawan kedua-dua negeri itu pada PRU akan datang.

Berhubung laporan media yang dimilki keluarga Ketua Menteri Sabah yang melaporkan beliau tidak gembira selepas Konvensyen PKR Sabah Ahad lalu, beliau menyifatkan itu adalah mainan media berkenaan yang tidak senang dengan perpaduan PKR negeri sejak dulu lagi.

Beliau yang kesal dengan laporan itu menegaskan beliau bukan sahaja masih kekal sebagai orang penting PKR malah menyatakan komitmennya untuk bekerjasama dengan lebih erat dengan Pengerusi PKR Sabah, Ahmad Thamrin Jaini selain komited membantu PKR Sarawak pada pilihanraya negeri Sarawak yang dijangka berlaku tahun hadapan.

Dalam pilihanraya umum ke-12 lalu, BN memenangi 59 kerusi DUN dan satu oleh DAP. Manakala kerusi Parlimen pula BN mengusai 24 kerusi Parlimen dan satu DAP. Kekalahan teruk PR lalu disebabkan berlaku beberapa pertarungan beberapa penjuru antara sesama pembangkang dan bebas.

DATIN SRI ROSMAH TAK TIPU PUNYA.......

DAP DAHULUI

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DAP dominasi pendaftaran pengundi muda

Oleh G. Manimaran

KUALA LUMPUR, Dis 22 — Walaupun lebih dua dozen parti politik berdaftar dengan Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR), DAP dilihat dominant dalam menggerakkan pendaftaran pengundi-pengundi baru khususnya generasi muda sejak selepas pilihan raya umum Mac 2008.

Parti yang popular di pantai barat Semenanjung ini mengambil kesempatan perubahan landskap politik untuk menawan hati pengundi golongan muda.

Perkara ini diakui oleh Timbalan Pengerusi SPR Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar kepada The Malaysian Insider.

Kira-kira empat juta rakyat negara ini, majoritinya bawah umur 30 tahun, masih belum mendaftar sebagai pengundi.

"Saya rasa DAP parti yang mengambil kesempatan terhadap peluang yang diberikan ini (pelantikan penolong pendaftar pemilih) dan 'mood' rakyat sekarang terutama generasi muda di kalangan kaum Cina," kata beliau.

"Amat ketara daripada peningkatan (jumlah pengundi baru) ialah usaha DAP dalam mendaftar pengundi-pengundi baru, yang mana berbanding Gerakan, MCA yang sepatutnya mengambil kesempatan ini, DAP mengeksploitasi peluang yang diberikan ini," kata Wan Ahmad lagi.

DAP berada di depan berbanding parti komponen Barisan Nasional yang lain MCA, MIC dan Gerakan yang masih berhadapan dengan masalah dalaman masing-masing.

"MCA bermasalah, jadi MCA tidak ada masa untuk membuat kerja ini (pendaftaran pengundi baru)," kata beliau sambil mengakui pendaftaran yang digerakkan oleh parti-parti politik sendiri boleh menyumbang sokongan kepada mereka semasa pilihan raya kelak.

"Lazimnya mereka akan mendaftar pengundi baru dengan menyatakan pendirian politik masing-masing.

"Jika mereka berjaya mendaftar pengundi muda ini bermakna parti-parti ini juga menarik penyokong untuk mereka semasa pilihan raya nanti... ini kelebihannya," kata Wan Ahmad lagi.

DAP memfokus negeri Melaka, Perak, Selangor dan Pulau Pinang.

Berada di belakang DAP ialah Umno yang mendaftar pemilih baru membabitkan semua negeri di seluruh negara.

PAS pula berada di tempat ketiga dengan fokusnya di negeri-negeri pantai timur dan utara Semenanjung iaitu Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu dan Kedah.

"Parti Keadilan Rakyat kurang, dia sederhana sahaja," katanya lagi.

Walaupun tidak menyatakan perangkaan khusus mengenai penonjolan DAP ini, Wan Ahmad memberitahu: "Daripada 10 pengundi baru yang didaftarkan di Melaka, sebagai contoh, lima pemilih merupakan mereka yang didaftarkan oleh DAP."

Sejak tahun 2006 parti-parti politik dibolehkan melantik penolong pendaftar yang diberi kuasa mendaftar pengundi baru dengan setiap pendaftaran diberikan komisen.

Penolong pendaftar ini menyumbang kepada lebih 30 peratus pengundi baru yang didaftarkan setiap tahun.

Baru-baru ini SPR memperakui Daftar Pemilih Tambahan (DPT) bagi suku tahun ketiga 2009 iaitu dari Julai hingga September, menjadikan jumlah pemilih pendaftar terkini seramai 11,085,863.

DPT suku tahun ketiga mengandungi 81,625 pemilih yang terdiri daripada 67,502 permohonan pemilih baru dan 14,123 permohonan pertukaran alamat pusat mengundi.

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