Sunday, September 07, 2008


The Star reported “ BN leaders slam Ahmad for arrogance “

Dear Leaders of BN component parties,

Why hit out at Ahmad Ismail?

What he said was merely a very mild repetition of what tens of thousands of civil servants, especialy school teachers, were being indoctrinated during sessions organized by Biro Tatanegara.

You need evidence? Please interview those trainees who were victimized by all sorts of abusive racial remarks inflicted by non other than our Biro Tatanegara. Most of them left the typical 5 days training session with broken hearts and eyes full of tears.

By the way, when I went to UM in 1979, the first thing I was told during orientation was that I am from Kaum Pendatang, a term I heard for the first time then. During the first lecture in Political Science, we were being lectured on the term Kaum Pendatang. To my horror, the lecturer was later to be conferred decorative titles and even became the head of Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka.

I struggled and worked hard both in Malaysia and abroad, pay my taxes to our government, and our government uses our taxes to fund a destructive institution called Biro Tatanegara to train our teachers, among others, to remind my children that they are from Kaum Pendatang.

Dear Leaders of BN component parties, no point attacking Ahmad Ismail, instead, do look at Biro Tatanegara established by the support from you yourselves.

Many years ago, in the mid 70s, there was this very bright boy from my community around Brickfields who scored full distinctions in his MCE (Cambridge O level) in La Salle Brickfields. He went on to score full distinctions in his HSC (Cambridge A level) in Victoria Institution.

During his interview for a government scholarship, he was asked by the interviewer to sing the national anthem to prove his loyalty to the country. With tears in his eyes he took offence to such doubt over his loyalty and walked out on the spot.

Later on he was offered a scholarship by the Singapore Government under the Colombo Plan to study in New Zealand from where he then graduated as an engineer. He went on to serve the Singapore Government and became a distinguished faculty member of NUS, till today.

The sad part of this story is that from the day he left Malaysia, he vowed never to return to this land where his loyalty could be unfairly questioned just because of his race. True to his word, he has never returned and his poor elderly parents had to travel to Singapore to see their grandchildren.

That’s the story about the bitter experience of a mild mannered top scholar in the mid seventies who would not tolerate racial slurs. Today, we are talking about the denial of citizenry rights according to race EN MASSE be it during political ceramah or, more damagingly, during Biro Tatanegara sessions organized for civil servants, such as teachers, researchers or even returning doctors who wish to serve our Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam.

Now, is Ahmad Ismail guilty of racial slur or the whole BN government is guilty of such slur? More importantly, can such racial slur be remedied by apology or by sincere repentance, leading to a courageous change for a better Malaysia?


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