Syed Saddiq: BTN, National Service abolished

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman at a press conference at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 13, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman at a press conference at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 13, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — The Cabinet has agreed to abolish the National Civics Bureau (BTN) and discontinue the National Service programme with immediate effect, said Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

The youth and sports minister said all the manpower and resources for both will be absorbed into the relevant ministries.

“They will undergo a consolidation effort, where we will decide how best to manage all the existing assets,” he said.

Syed Saddiq told a press conference at the Parliament media room that the decision to abolish both the agency and the programme was made following last week’s Cabinet meeting.

The Pakatan Harapan government has been under pressure to terminate the BTN due to prevailing suspicions that the agency was effectively a propaganda arm set up by the previous Barisan Nasional administration.

Syed Saddiq added the ministry is mulling a new youth development initiative to replace the abolished programmes.

“An overhaul of the involved departments will take place, where the ministry will meet with relevant stakeholders and other ministries to discuss a new programme that will empower the youth to be leaders of tomorrow,” he said, adding that state sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad has also been roped in.

“Seeing as the effort involves many agencies across ministries, we will have engagement sessions to achieve the goals set by the Pakatan Harapan government, to make sure a more inclusive and transparent program is formed, free from political or racial indoctrination,” he said, referring to the reformulation.

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