(September 30): The Kem Biro Tatanegara (BTN) or National Civics Bureau camps are nothing more than brainwashing sessions to turn Malays into racists and bigots, Datuk S. Ambiga Sreenevasan said today.
The Negara-Ku patron said parents, whose children had attended the camps, were baffled by the objectives contained within the modules and things that were being taught.
"I have met several Malays who have attended these camps and they come out feeling disgusted and angry."
She was speaking during the “4th National Conference on Non-Discrimination: Unity and Social Cohesion in Malaysia – Making It Possible” in Kuala Lumpur.
"What does that tell you? Malays are being brainwashed into becoming racists and bigots while attending these national camps," Ambiga said.
The National Civics Bureau is under the purview of the Prime Minister's Office and camps are held regularly, especially for civil servants.
"I am disgusted with our leaders, they are not interested in tackling these issues. They are only interested in the politics of the issue.
"I have heard people say that this particular minister issues racist statements simply because he HAS to do it.
"What kind of an explanation is that? The blame lies entirely with our leaders, there are no excuses," Ambiga said.
"Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak appears to specialise in making fancy speeches when addressing the international community in the United Nations.
"But when it comes to walking the talk, Putrajaya fails miserably," she said to a loud round of applause from the audience.
"We are interested in national harmony, the rakyat are trying to achieve national harmony, but I am not sure that our leaders are."
She also criticised the police reports lodged against constitutional expert Professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, saying Malaysia was the land of police reports.
"Malaysia must be in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest number of useless police reports being lodged," Ambiga said.
"For giving his legal opinion, more than 100 reports are lodged against Aziz. Are you mad? Is this where you want to take the country?"
Ambiga said even the English would be embarrassed at the direction their colonial-era law was being taken to.
She expressed her incredulity when she read about reports that a group of influential Malays approached the Malay rulers to urge them not to repeal the Sedition Act.
"Words could not begin to express my feelings when I read about this meeting," Ambiga said, wondering what was the point of retaining the Act.
"Is it because we cannot detain people without trial any more? If the police force cannot function without these type of legislations, what does that tell you about the police?"