By MAZWIN NIK ANIS and JOSHUA FOONG
KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has called Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad a racist for defending the National Civics Bureau (NCB) training modules.
Nazri said that while he agreed with the former prime minister’s sentiments about patriotism, he felt it was not the sole rights of the Malays.
“There are many of those who came out from the course very angry as many have felt that terms like Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) is ridiculous.
“When he was prime minister he asked everyone to think as Malay-sians. Now that he is not, he’s asking everyone to think otherwise.
“If you want to talk about patriotism, it is for all,” he said when asked about the issue at Parliament lobby yesterday.
Stressing that he disagreed with any syllabus that concentrated only on one community, Nazri wanted the Opposition to point out which part of the proposed revamp of the training modules they were unhappy with.
Nazri also reminded the Oppo-sition that some of them had been directly involved with the bureau.
“Selangor PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Hassan Ali was a former bureau director. Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul was also once a bureau officer.
“Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s father-in-law was formerly involved with the bureau as well,” added Nazri.
Meanwhile in Cyberjaya, Dr Maha-thir described the criticism levelled against the bureau’s modules, which had been around for more than 20 years, as mere exaggeration as nobody who had attended the programme had complained about it.
“The participants had always found the courses useful because they taught about new cultures and new values like discipline, honesty and to reject corruption. I don’t see what is wrong with that,” he said after witnessing the signing of an agreement between RHB Islamic Bank Berhad and Joyful Gateway Sdn Bhd on the construction of a green building.
Dr Mahathir said that when Malaysia’s history was discussed, it would be mentioned that this country was once called Tanah Melayu.
“Now it is Malaysia because we have people who have come to settle down here. That is a fact of history. You can’t deny facts and history. But if we can’t even mention that, then we are denying history,” he said.