Initiating social reforms equally important

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ON The Beat’s timely plea for a long overdue review of the National Civics Bureau or Biro Tatanegara (BTN), “Petty hate machine” (Sunday Star, May 27), should be seriously looked at by our new government. Reducing our huge national debt calls for the culling of arguably redundant government agencies including BTN and the Special Affairs Department (Jasa).

BTN has no place in our multiracial country. It has long been viewed with suspicion and criticised for promoting a negative mindset and using race issues to divert the rakyat’s attention from the urgent problems affecting their welfare and daily life. It has also negatively impacted on our nation’s progress in an increasingly competitive world.

The historic election of a new government is the voters’ clear message that the old way of doing things is not acceptable. Put simply, race-based politics erodes public trust and threatens our national wellbeing.

Our new leaders must not only focus on urgent economic matters but also on social reforms to enhance harmony and peace, which is paramount to building a strong nation.

They must also remember that our founding fathers acted as one to launch our nation as a united, proud and independent entity. Sustaining this unity and harmony requires that the key principles of acceptance and mutual respect must be observed at all times in all situations.

SZE LOONG STEVE NGEOW

Kajang