DAP veteran questions RM1.2bn spent on 'ultra Malay-racist' civics bureau over 30 years
KUALA LUMPUR: The federal government has been urged to abolish the controversial Biro Tata Negara, which has been condemned for indoctrinating civil servants, instead of giving it more funds in the revised 2016 Budget to be tabled on Thursday.
The DAP’s Lim Kit Siang questioned the worth of RM1.2 billion that has been spent on the civics bureau over the past 30 years and accused it of having fostered racism, bigotry and disunity.
He pointed out that former top Malay civil servants in the G25 grouping had condemned BTN of being “ultra Malay-racist” and that G25’s spokesperson, former diplomat Noor Farida Ariffin, had called for it to be dissolved.
Lim said BTN had failed over the past three decades, as shown by increasing racial and religious polarisation.
“The budgets for BTN multiplied ten-fold in the 80s compared to the 90s, multiplying from some RM20 million to RM200 million and had more than doubled to over RM550 million in the first decade of the 21st century.
He said BTN had cost the taxpayers some RM1.2 billion so far, money which could have been better used to promote national unity and harmony or to help the poor, needy and disadvantaged, regardless of race and religion.
Lim questioned the need for a “rebranding exercise” as announced by the new BTN director-general, Ibrahim Saad.
“The problem with BTN is not rebranding or perceptions that it is racist,” Lim said, “but whether the BTN had could be redeemed and totally revamped” from being negative, divisive and anti-national in indoctrinating and inciting racism, disunity, bigotry and intolerance.
He said Parliament had allocated money for the BTN, allowing it to operate without close monitoring and supervision.
Describing it as “a Bureau Tentang Nasional”, Lim said BTN had failed to use the Rukunegara as a basic text, resulting with Malaysians being ignorant about the basic principles.