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Indoctri-Nation for the Nation (Part 1)


B.T.N...
These three letters are synonymous with indoctrination, politics, mental and physical 'torture', and the like.

Biro Tata Negara - responsible for handling the infamous Kursus Tata Negara and recently the Kursus Kenegaraan.

'Not again...' I mentally sighed as I held the calling letter in my hand. I was to report at the Balik Pulau BTN camp on the 22nd of October. This would be the third BTN camp I attended, and being an old hand at the game, it wasn't so much the 'torture' (that's just urban myth to scare
people from attending BTN) as it was the boring lectures about Malaysia this, and Malaysia that... All the things we learned at school regurgitated back to in a space of 5 days.

And it wasn't that it was that bad of a course (based on the previous ones that I had attended). but it was just that there was so much work to be done at the office, and also it meant time away from my son and my newly-pregnant wife.

But there was nothing I could do as it was a prerequisite for all prospective students, whether for Masters, PhD or Sub-specialization, who were going overseas for their studies.

So I grit my teeth, packed my bags, and took a connecting flight to Penang.

Upon arrival, I hailed a taxi, and we hunted for the camp. Believe it or not even the taxi driver had never been there before because it was so remote. The only mobile network which covered the area was Celcom (no doubt installed after a Celcom bigwig was put through the course there!).

But find it we eventually did, and a beautiful place it was indeed... fresh ocean breeze blowing through the dormitories... the waved creating a lullaby with each kiss to the shore... If it had not been for the impending activities and lectures I would have broken out a picnic basket.

Instead this was the sight that greeted me.


And these were my fellow 'detainees'. All with the same unhappy look, filled with gloom at the prospect of spending 5 whole days there.


I could see that this was going to be a loooooooong week ahead...


Comments

Cat-in-Sydney said…
Father of Biscuit,
When my Mama was in uni, anyone who's been called to attend such courses would be branded "Brainwashed". Somehow she always manage to escape from going...hehehe...meow!
Ozzie said…
i don't fancy you bro... went twice myself (the first time with you!!!) and heard the same speech and did the same activities..... sigh.... not that i don't love my country, but being treated like kids again after having the privileges of doing that ourselves somehow toned the whole thing down. I mean, what the hell is wrong with menyandar on the wall during kuliah subuh right??

in the end, though we look forward to going home, some part of us (maybe a teeny, tiny part, deep, deep, deep, DEEP inside)were glad we went. At least the whole hoopla is over and done with right????
Percicilan said…
Congrats on the new pregnancy :)
Sibuk bikin anak rupenye ...
ehhehe

May she be blessed with a safe pregnancy insya Allah
hubbsnmoi said…
congrats to your wife!!

The pregnancy news eclipse everything else you posted. sampai rasa simpati you kena BTN utk kali ketiga pun hilang. hehehe
Congrats.. I guess you guys want a girl, no?
Greg Wee said…
Hi Abdullah, care to share if they're still spooning out the same stuff like:
1) Singapore is a national threat
2) The Chinese & Tamil language & their Schools are a threat to National Security
3) The statistics on poor Indian nationals are dismissible because they are a minority

I attended one a few years ago, and came out feeling like a national threat to the country.

The session on National Security was conducted by a ranking officer who trains the Malay Regimen forces. He was using the same slides. Imagine what they're teaching the army. Scary isn't it?
arsaili said…
salam bro..how r u? Which country nak sambung study?
Abdullah said…
Mother of Cat - you escaped?lucky you!

Sue - We were definitely treated better than that...all the trainers called us 'tuan'.

CC & Syana - Hehehehe... someone's been a busy little bee... Thanks!

Ed - you guessed it bro..but whichever one the Lord blesses us with will still be a welcome addition to the family

Greg - actually, they didn't go into that..it all depends on what the purpose of the course is.. ours was focussed on intellectuals going overseas for Masters, PhD and Sub-specialisation... so the modules were tailored to our needs I guess.
So answer to
1: Nothing there (for us anyway)
2: Chinese and Tamil schools are a privilege to both communinities, and that it would be better for national integration if we had a single school system (1 Malaysia)
3: All economic gaps within Malaysian society have to addressed and overcome to achieve and stable and harmonious state (1 Malaysia)

All this is said without any tongue in cheek humour...

I think it all depends on the approach they use, and who our trainers are.

As for us, they taught us the meaning of the constitution, what the rights of each race are, rights of Malays and Sabah & Sarawak Bumis, rights of other bumis - peranakan & potuguese, etc... among other things.

But I'm jumping ahead with this aren't I? :)
Abdullah said…
Bro Arsaili - InsyaAllah hopeing to go to NZ either January of February next year... Feel free to visit!
Maz Al Eidrus said…
Dolloh, would be nice if that single school system allows us to learn Mandarin or Tamil in school too... I'd love Irdina to be able to speak these languages apart from communicating in BM, BI, Sarawak local dialects, and also Bhs Terengganu... wowww... baru pukul rata 1Malaysia :p
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
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arsaili said…
salam bro..whoaaa NZ..beautiful place eyy..yea will be looking for u if ada peluang ke sana

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Riang... Nikmat... Penantian yang menyiksakan, tetapi penantian yang lazat...

Dengan pergerakan yang perlahan seperti 'slow-motion' dalam sinetron Indonesia kegemaran surirumah-surirumah di Malaysia, muncung botol Ginger Beer kegemaranku mampir bibirku yang terketar-ketar sedikit, sehinggalah aku dapat rasa cecair yang sejuk membasahi tekakku...

Nikmat...

Sedap tidak terperi...

Aku menghulurkan kepada biniku, dan dia juga meneguk kenikmatan...

Aku menadah tangan meminta kembali Ginger Beer kesayanganku yang berjenama Bundaberg buatan New Zealand.

Saat itu tidak tiba-tiba...

Aku tertanya-tanya... Mata terkebil-kebil...

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