Scrap ‘racial, politically-motivated’ BTN, PKR MP urges

Nik Nazmi said in a statement today that it was time for BTN to go. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Nik Nazmi said in a statement today that it was time for BTN to go. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — In a move to streamline and reform the government, Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said today the National Civics Bureau (BTN) must also be shut down.

The PKR Youth chief recalled a BTN camp for students several years ago, which he said seemed as if the programme was solely organised to incite Malay attendees against different races and faiths.

“I found that the whole affair was racial and political in nature,” he said in a statement.

Nik Nazmi said the camp, which was sponsored by a government-linked company, also attacked Opposition parties and “glorified the ruling party at that time”.

“The entire purpose and ethos of 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 BTN to go,” he added.

He said BTN staff who are truly patriotic and willing to uphold the purpose of a diverse Malaysia can be reassigned to other government agencies.

“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,” Nik Nazmi said.

BTN was established in the 1980s during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time when he was the fourth prime minister. He is now back as prime minister after Pakatan Harapan won the recent polls.

The movement was aimed at nurturing patriotism and training leaders to support the country’s development programmes.

However, due to its controversial programmes, which includes promoting Malay supremacy, many have accused BTN of being a racist and political propaganda movement.