This article first appeared in the Star ONLINE on July 9, 2018
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman has claimed that the National Civics Bureau (Biro Tata Negara or BTN) will soon be abolished, pending discussions on the matter.
The Malay Mail reported that Syed Saddiq will make an announcement “soon” on the matter.
Let me tell you this, BTN will be abolished. Just wait for an announcement that will be made soon,” he was quoted as saying.
Syed Saddiq reportedly said this during a forum titled “The changed political landscape and the aspirations of the youth” at Sunway University on Monday (July 9).
Nik Nazmi had reportedly described the bureau as “very toxic in nature towards true national unity”.
The Star ran a several articles about BTN in late May.
One article entitled ‘BTN course was a nightmare’ recounted the harsh experience of Sahana (not her real name) of how a lecturers had picked on her physical appearance.
He would call her, “Awak lah, yang hitam, besar tu’ (you, the dark and big sized one).
The lecturer’s comments embarrassed Sahana, who cried in class but others including the lecturer just laughed at her.
She wondered why physical appearance and skin colour were highlighted at the camp that was actually meant to teach participants values and instil patriotism.
The G25 group of eminent Malays has also recommended sweeping reforms to key public institutions, including abolishing BTN.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said the problem with BTN was not about rebranding or the “perception” that it was racist, but about its role of inciting racism, disunity, bigotry and intolerance.
On May 28, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government was looking into abolishing BTN because it, and several other organisations, were found to have been formed as political tools for the benefit of Barisan Nasional.
Source: The Star ONLINE