We present the maiden piece of writing by Azhar Ridhwan. Whilst the writing is raw and perhaps a tad unpolished, the sentiments he presents and the events he recounts are raw and unnerving as well, and must give Malaysians pause for thought. Do engage with him constructively on the questions he poses at the end of this piece.

Honestly, I hate the Biro Tatanegara (BTN) just because I have been influenced by the Opposition. Especially since the Selangor and Penang government banned the BTN. But, thanks to the administration that uses the express threat of reducing my scholar allowance if I didn’t go there, with a heart full with anger, I HAD to go.

In truth, the camp is actually a leadership camp, almost similar with the ones that I have join during my secondary school year. The main difference? It’s political. One can see messages and propaganda from our beloved government, Barisan Nasional, with their 1 Malaysia message, and also a picture of Najib Razak in a retro look. (Sorry, I didn’t have any picture of it, as their officers prohibited the usage of smartphone and such. Heh.)

Well, the camp has two sessions, the day session and the night. The day is for outdoor activities and religion-based ones, like ceramah, “kawad-ing” (I don’t know the English word for “kawad”. Help!) [Ed: We think it’s called drilling], and activities that can strengthen bonding within your group. Besides the ceramah, and the bond thingy activity, the “kawad” session is probably the most political one, as we had to sing small children in flames aka “Anak Kecil Main Api”, and the message that Chinese have now undermined the Malays as the Kings of the Land. Oh brother, I really hope this message of hate is over. But it wasn’t.

At night, we were treated with ceramah (not political ones) and another ceramah and group discussion (political one), led by a man who is a secretary to a minister. Thanks for the bio, sir secretary. His ceramah and group discussion always have the same script: Teresa Kok as a Christian missionary cum politican, DAP a racist party, Anwar Ibrahim is a chameleon, and of course, Hudud. Except the Hudud part, I have a fight with the secretary guy until I have been marked by him, thanks to my opposition oriented brain. So much for freedom of speech.

My questions from the BTN session | Picture by Azhar Ridhwan

After the night session, I wrote almost everything he said, and try to search the answer by my own effort. I hope that the answer can be helpful to me, and to others. As for now, I think my journey to find the answer is a long one, and I hope I have the energy, guts, and the brain capacity to find the truth.

PS: Is it bad for a Malay to be a Liberal? Because my friends from ISMA said it is wrong for Muslims to be a Liberal. Any opinions?

A Johorean-born, Perak-resident engineering (manufacturing major, minor robotics and automation) Malay lad. Love reading, watching English drama, and barking on Arsenal and their disdain to buy the best...

5 replies on “On The BTN And Such”

  1. For foreign readers, it would be good to provide some background on BTN such as who it's organised by and who is 'forced' to go.

    1. I dunno who the people behind these BTN, and students from Mara’s college must join the camp.

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