‘Move to shut down BTN unreasonable’

PETALING JAYA: While the National Civics Bureau or Biro Tatanegara (BTN) has drawn flak over the years, there was an effort to improve the body.

Umno member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam, who was involved in BTN, said complaints against the bureau had prompted the Government to set up a panel about three years ago to seek improvements.

Lokman, who was on the panel, said new modules were then drawn up for BTN.

He hit out at the current Government, which he claimed was out to shut down all agencies perceived to have strengthened the position of Barisan Nasional.

“I am sure that their next target will include Jakim (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia), Mara, Tekun (Entrepreneur Development Centre), Mara Junior Science Colleges, Universiti Teknologi Mara and others,” said Lokman.

Former Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw, who was also on the panel to rebrand BTN, said the bureau needed to represent the country’s plural society.

“This is 2018 and yet there are Malays, Chinese and Indians who say racial things. So I told the panel – let’s try to reduce this.

“Let’s emphasise tatanegara, which means the discipline of a nation. Let’s make this whole thing non-racial.”

He said he was not sure whether his suggestions were subsequently taken up, adding that other panellists also gave some good ideas.

Dr Tan said BTN should only be closed if efforts to change it failed.

“If we are to shut down everything we don’t like, then why not close ministries and everything else?

“If it is impossible to revive the BTN, then it is reasonable to shut it down. But this is not a question that it cannot be revived but of getting the policy right,” said Dr Tan.

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Government , Biro Tatanegara