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Abolish BTN

As the new Pakatan Harapan administration pursues an agenda for reform and streamlines government, I believe Biro Tatanegara should be closed down.

As I mentioned a few years back, I attended one of the BTN’s camps as a student sponsored by a a government linked investment corporation. I found that the whole affair was racial and political in nature.

The entire purpose of the camp seemed to me to be to incite the Malay attendees against their fellow Malaysians of other races and faiths, attack opposition parties and glorify the ruling party at the time.

There have been too many reports of such rhetoric being used in BTN events to dismiss them as isolated incidents.

Indeed, to make matters worse, in 2015 it was revealed that the BTN had prepared slides which claimed, among other things, that indie music is a threat to the nation.

I have little confidence that the tone or content of BTN’s programs have improved since then.

The entire purpose and ethos of the BTN appears to be highly partisan and toxic to genuine national unity. BTN still operates in a Cold War framework whereas the world has moved on.

It is simply time for the BTN to go.

There are far better and more effective ways to nurture patriotism, including among the young.

Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the recent General Elections has done more to make young Malaysians hopeful and optimistic about the future, as well as eager to serve the country than anything the BTN has ever done.

Permanent civil servants working for the agency, who wish to continue to serve the democratic, multiracial and diverse people of the New Malaysia, can be reassigned to other government bodies as per the usual regulations of the public services.

Those who are not, are free to pursue whatever opportunities their talents and energy affords them—with whatever rights or consideration owed to them by the Government fully intact.

As such, I hope that the Federal Government will take immediate steps to shut down this organisation.