Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin denied claims that courses run by the Biro Tatanegara (BTN) or National Civics Bureau were a form of political indoctrination, saying they were to inculcate nationalism and unity among the people in line with the 1Malaysia concept.
“BTN courses are not for ‘converting’ participants to Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN). There are no ulterior motives; these courses are well-intended,” the Deputy Prime Minister told reporters after presenting cows for the Aidiladha in Pagoh, here on Thursday.
He said that members of the public and employees of private companies should not be stopped from attending courses organised by the government’s agency.
He added that the Selangor state government and Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim were given a wrong impression on the courses run by the BTN.
Muyhiddin, who is Umno deputy president, was commenting on the decision by the Selangor government yesterday, barring state civil servants, students in state-run higher learning institutions and employees of state government-linked companies from attending courses organised by the BTN, effective immediately.
State Education, Higher Education and Human Capital Development Committee chairman Halimah Ali was reported to have said that courses run by the BTN were an indoctrination process by the BN and that they created racist phenomenon.
Muhyiddin said the Selangor menteri besar had no right to stop federal civil servants, members of the public and staff of private companies from attending BTN courses.
He said that federal civil servants were not subject to the directive issued by the state government.
“Show me under what law the Selangor menteri besar can do that,” he said, adding that the BTN would continue holding such courses.
“If Selangor does not want to participate, it’s okay; but we cannot stop the people from learning about 1Malaysia, about nationalism and unity,” he said.
On the Aidiladha, which will be celebrated tomorrow, Muhyiddin said the spirit of sacrifice should be appreciated and internalised.
At the event, Muhyiddin presented 31 cows for tomorrow’s celebration.
He also wished all Muslims in the country, including those who are still performing the haj in Mecca, a happy Aidiladha.