The things they’re telling students these daysPosted: July 12, 2008
I read the letter below from Lim Kit Siang’s blog, who has verified that it first appeared in Malaysian Waves here. I’m sure by now a good many people would have read about this letter already. I post it here in full for posterity. Highlights are my own.
Biro Tatanegara. Does it ring a bell? Government propaganda or honest student development programme? For those who aren’t aware of it, Biro Tatanegara or BTN for short is under the Jabatan Perdana Menteri and it has several modules which all public university students have to attend in the name of “Student Development”. On the 6th of July 2008 in UiTM Shah Alam, there were three separate talks being held under BTN with the first one being titled “Pendidikan”, second one titled “Ancaman Keselamatan Negara” and the third one titled, “Patriotisma”. Smell anything funny yet? No? Read on. You won’t even have to smell it after you are done reading this. It’ll be stuffed down your throat.
I would like to only focus on the first speaker, Dr. Idris bin Md. Noor. He was supposed to talk about education as that was the title of his speech, but the content was far different. He first went on with the usual introductions but in less than a few minutes, he suddenly touched on the forum on the discussion of social contract in Malaysia that the BAR council organized. He criticized it with all his heart, saying no one should discuss about it as it is unquestionable. Fair enough, I thought at first. Freedom of speech right? But what if he suddenly accuses the “Malay” speaker in the forum, which I’m guessing is Farish A. Noor, as a traitor to the Malay race as a whole?
And while he was browsing through his files on the laptop which was projected on the big screen, it was no surprise for me that I saw files entitled “Ketuanan Melayu”. He also then went on about the Malay’s obsession with magic and ghosts, he said that it is all wrong beliefs through the perspective of Islam because if they really could use magic and other dark arts for fighting, then they should kill Karpal Singh with it.
There are so many quotable sentences, if only I could remember it all. He even said, “Kalau ular dengan India depan mata, ketuk India dulu.” He then started to become more impassioned in his speech towards the end, like someone campaigning for a political seat yet failed, and resorted to a multi-purpose hall with bumiputra students. He said so many atrocious things that I will list them down in point form.
-Explained how the Malays aren’t racist but others are racist towards us.
–Bangsa Malaysia does not exist, neither does Malaysian Chinese and Indians, only in the strict Malay, Chinese and Indians. (Interestingly, behind a booklet provided to us, one of the objectives of the programme is to produce a -“Bangsa Malaysia”. Obviously, he was ignorant).
–Bahasa Malaysia does not exist, it is Bahasa Melayu.
–Nothing wrong with waving the Keris. (My note: I personally also have nothing against waving the keris. It is only what is being said WHILE waving the keris.)
-Bumiputra hanya 55% di Malaysia, give birth [to] more people!
-The University and Colleges Act was partly made to ensure a Malay Vice-Chancellor in Universities which should be the way.
–Blogs are “berdosa” or sinful.
–Christians will not like Muslims.
But that isn’t even the best part. The best part is, he showed a short film on the dangers of Zionism and the illegal occupation of Palestine which was probably the only part of the speech I agreed with and I thought to myself this could be the only fact of the speech but surprise, surprise, at the end of the film, there was a montage of so-called Zionist supporters with the pictures of Anwar Ibrahim, Tian Chua, Teresa Kok, Hishamuddin Rais and Ezam Md. Nor.
Then a question popped up in my head. Is Ezam still a Zionist supporter since he is in UMNO now? Does that mean the government has a Zionist supporter as well as the opposition? And expectedly, the speaker was being more anti-semitic than anti-zionist. He even explained how the Pakatan Rakyat ruled states are all going down the drain and he says, “this is what you get if you vote for the opposition!” He criticized Anwar Ibrahim and his colleagues so much along with Pakatan Rakyat while being completely oblivious towards Barisan Nasional’s mistakes. As if they have perfect policies.
This was supposed to be a speech touching on education and look how it ended up. It did not even smell anything of education. It was a speech that was not meant for national unity at all. How could it be when you spread hate? I could only sit and ponder quietly while all this was happening. But the speech was not the saddest part. The saddest part was that the majority of students in the hall were cheering him on. I will type out part of the lyrics that were supplied to us, entitled, “Warisan”.
Anak Kecil main api
Terbakar hatinya yang sepi
Air mata darah bercampur keringat
Bumi dipijak milik orang
Nenek moyang kaya raya
Tergadai seluruh harta benda
Akibat engketa sesamalah kita
Cinta lenyap di arus zaman ini
Indahnya bumi kita ini
Warisan berkurun lamanya
Hasil mengalir ke tangan yang lain
Pribumi merintih sendiri
Melayukan gagah di nusantara.
Who were those words referring to? Foreign powers or non-malays?
Perfect welcome to the new intake of University Students. Please spread this to others. People need to know.
I know you should.
written by A Worried Student,
I think the letter pretty much speaks for itself. The contents of the speech are simply unacceptable, even more so because the targetted audience consists of students, future graduates of Malaysia.
And they say they want a harmonious, united Malaysia. Right.
I previously included on one of my posts, a part of the UUCA that states what students cannot be involved in. And one of it reads like this:
(3) No person, while he is a student of the University, shall express or do anything which may be construed as expressing support, sympathy or opposition to any political party or trade union or as expressing support or sympathy with any unlawful organization, body or group of persons.
It states, in no uncertain wordings, that students are not to have anything to do with any political party. Even the mere expression of support is not allowed. Meaning that students are basically barred from having anything to do with politics.
This would translate, of course, that any speech, talk or lecture should refrain from doing the same. Because when the students are exposed, within the campus, to any speech that has a slant either way, it would cause the students to either show their support for what is being said, or otherwise. Making the students “go against the law”, so to speak.
This speech clearly is pro-BN, anti-PR. It explicitly expresses opposition against Pakatan Rakyat. And the students there cheered this man on. Does this not equate to the students “expressing support” to a political party? So what would they do to the students who so obviously “expressed their support”? And what would they do to this Dr Idris, who so obviously made a speech along those lines which are, according to the law, not supposed to be tread on?
That is to be expected. After all, this is NOT THE FIRST TIME.
The political side of the speech is not the worst of it, in my opinion. It is when it touched about race and about religion. Who is he to say that “Christians don’t like Muslims”?
And “no such thing as Bangsa Malaysia”? But I thought that was what we were all fighting for, irrelevant of political affiliation. I don’t care if you’re a BN man, or a PKR woman, or an ulama, or a priest, or whatever. I thought we all wanted to be a part of Bangsa Malaysia. I thought PR was fighting for it. I thought BN championed it.
But if I am to go by what is being said by Dr Idris, I guess I thought wrong.