DAP tells BTN not to intimidate voters


PETALING JAYA: Seputeh MP Teresa Kok has criticised the National Civics Bureau (BTN) for issuing a warning to Chinese voters not to support the opposition in the next general election.

The DAP deputy secretary-general said people have the right to choose whichever political party they want regardless of their racial background.

“No community should be politically ‘targeted’ for their choices.

“Democracy means that voters have a choice to opt for the party and leaders that they want without any intimidation,” she said, adding that BTN should be politically-neutral being a government agency paid for by all taxpayers.

Kok also claimed the caution by BTN that was reportedly directed at Chinese and other voters who did not support Barisan Nasional (BN), could be seen as a threat.

“All this while, BTN has used race and religion when addressing the Malay community. It is therefore natural for them to make this kind of statement with which to criticise Chinese voters,” she told FMT today.

BTN director-general Ibrahim Saad was reported by the Sin Chew Daily yesterday as saying that if the Chinese continued to support the opposition, it would create “disharmony” in the country.

He said the ratio of Chinese in Malaysia had been reduced to 23.4% of Malaysia’s overall population this year, compared with 26.8% in 2014.

“The Bumiputera population number is increasing while that of the Chinese is declining. So, if they (Chinese) keep on supporting the opposition, Malaysia will have to deal with ‘disharmony’,” Ibrahim was reported to have said.

Kok asked Ibrahim whether Malays who supported the opposition parties would also contribute to “disharmony” in society.

“Will BTN put them in the same category (as Chinese who back the opposition)?” she asked.

Meanwhile, Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub said Ibrahim’s remark was expected as the 14th general election (GE14) was fast approaching.

“It is their way to push hard to retain Malay votes for BN,” he said.

He added that voters were wise enough to decide which party to cast their ballots for.

In June, Salahuddin had criticised the BTN’s modules for civil servants and students as being racist and focussed on bad-mouthing opposition leaders.

The DAP had previously called for the government to disband BTN for alleged racism against non-Malays.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang had reportedly claimed that over RM1 billion in taxpayer funds had been wasted to fund the agency, which comes under the prime minister’s department, over the last 30 years.