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Pendatang is a correct word, but UMNO manipulates it to….

“Pendatang” is not a racist remark, but when it is used to label certain races for political purpose and forget that many Malays themselves are also “pendatang” too. This is the crux of problem when BTN is in selecting usage of “pendatang” against Chinese and Indian.

Many Chinese in Terengganu and Kelantan are settlers for five hundred years old while there are many Javanese immigrated to Malaysia for less than 50 years. In this case calling those Chinese “pendatang” while Javanese is not “pendatang” is an outraging racist remark.


BTN does not do it, especially now that its courses are under scrutiny, says deputy minister
Azreen Hani

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 09:40:00

PETALING JAYA: The furore over alleged “racist remarks” made at a recent Biro Tata Negara (BTN) programme in Port Dickson has been blown out of proportion, says Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Mazlan (pic).

He said his checks with the director and the officers responsible for handling the course from Dec 19 to 24 showed that the “pendatang” or immigrant reference used in the programme was in a speech titled Tanah Air, and it did not refer to any of the non-Malay participants of the course.

“I do not understand the furore as the instructor was talking about the history of our nation,” Ahmad said.

“I have contacted the director and the officers and they reported that the word ‘immigrant’ was referred to the Indians and Chinese when they first came to Malaya.

“Of course, we were talking strictly in a historical way with no hidden agenda whatsoever.”

Ahmad said this in reference to a complaint published in a local English daily yesterday that BTN was allegedly being racist, as non-Malays were referred to as pendatang in one of the talks during the Port Dickson course.

The complaint in the Letters page also claimed the instructor had told participants not to attend the course if they deemed it racist.

Ahmad said he was not convinced BTN officers would make such comments to participants, especially now when BTN courses had become controversial and a sensitive issue.

He added the bureau had been tactful in handling such matters and was puzzled about the latest complaint.

Suggesting that the participant’s complaint was based on his own interpretation of history, Ahmad said, “Does this mean we have to stop these history talks so as not to be labelled racist?”

He said while the module might not be accepted by all, the complainant’s view did not represent those of all participants.

“The module is open to people’s views. Of course, a person can have different views from others, but it is not fair to label BTN as racist simply because a person does not agree with it.”

He said he was disappointed with this latest furore over BTN courses but believed it happened because BTN was being politicised by the Opposition.

“Would DAP include the history of our nation if it were to conduct talks on nationalism?

Let’s say this was included, then would the DAP also be labelled as racist?” Ahmad asked. He insisted that the bureau did nothing but served its purpose in instilling nationalism among the participants.

National history is one of the components in the module but Ahmad said the bureau has included a “1Malaysia” talk to celebrate Malaysian unity.

Following this latest complaint, he added, he would have to revise and discuss the module again.

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