Dr Mahathir Mohamad

Dr Mahathir Mohamad

There is no need to revamp the current National Civics Bureau (BTN) training modules as this is suitable for instilling the patriotic spirit among Malaysians, said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir said the BTN curriculum had helped to foster unity as the courses conducted by the agency were attended by Malaysians of all races.

“No need to revamp. I think it is better to retain the modules,” he told reporters after opening the World Aids Day 2009 here on Sunday.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz had said the BTN training modules would be revamped to better reflect the 1Malaysia concept introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The matter came into the spotlight when the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government recently prohibited its civil servants and students from its higher educational institutions from attending BTN courses, claiming that these were an indoctrination process by the Barisan Nasional government aimed at brainwashing Malaysians to hate Opposition parties.

Dr Mahathir said he too had given talks at courses organised by the BTN and among the subjects touched on was Malaysian history.

“Sometimes, people cannot understand the underlying value of BTN courses. I do not see anything bad about it. It explains the nation’s history,” he said.

Asked on Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s call for independent observers from Australia to monitor the next general election in the country, Dr Mahathir said: “If it is the white man, he will trust. If its Malays, it is otherwise.”

On the government’s plan to introduce the general services tax (GST), he said a comprehensive study must be made on it so as not to burden the people.

However, he said introduction of GST was necessary in the long term as the country had to find alternative sources of revenue and not be overly dependent of the petroleum sector. – Bernama