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Friday, November 07, 2008

"The one with understanding your past (II).."

Most BTN-alums associate the substance of the 5-day course as the BN government's propaganda for passive support. I admit that I was an avid follower prior. What I fail to realise is that the human brain only processes information by the way it wants to perceive it.

It quickly occured to me, that throughout the terms of the course we are actually educated (or re-educated) on Malaysia as a nation. A single entity, although built by politics but is not upheld by it. Like I mentioned before, politics change like winds do in seasons; but a nation remains as ambitiously drawn by the sentimentally by its subjects. It is the manner of which we sustain ourselves to be ruthlessly content with what we have, that should alone fuel us of instilling nationality.

A series of talks and forums filled the itinery on Days 1-2; none too shabby but some were coherently dry. Nonetheless, really reminded me of how we came to be. The journey from a realisation to be independant both physically and mentally, how we coped with racial integrity over the years. Leading up to the historic 1957 proclamation of independance, and the coming of the May 1969 tragedy; summed up by a cascade of other hallmarks that have quintessentially moulded Malaysia today. I enjoyed the lectures, suprisingly more than I've thought. I guess it helps to keep an open mind, to bring yourself to terms with things we've known less about.

The other half of the course involved the usual LDKs - a summation to change the persona of how we perceive goverments, politics and nations. Don't get me wrong; it doesn't function to bark up the wrong tree. The LDKs we had this time around in BTN circled around the notion that how can we contribute, or have contributed towards the development of Malaysia as a nation. Have we, or are we doing what is required of us in order to maintain racial integrity and harmony? Are we taking into consideration the spirit of our forefathers who worked hard uphelding what's now heralded as a developing nation. And, are we ready to compete globally as a unilateral power? These were questions raised, and questions that were addressed well indeed by my two distinguished facilitators.

(Pic courtesy of Nik)

But of course, what's an LDK without a little drama? It was a bit horrid the first few sessions; with the vibrance of ideologies being thrown against another. It was tough to come to terms with other thoughts at first but I'd like to believe in the end we were able to come together as a group. We had fun, nevertheless.

The last few days were filled with joy and excitement - we were tested physically for the fitness test, dangled onto our lives on the flying fox grounds, forced to run 2km in under 15 minutes, etc. We also had a lot of fun during jungle trekking; about an hour plus going through thick jungle terrain. Lucky we had Azu which was quite a chatter - really helped getting rid of the many awkward silences that could've been. No sign of any boars, like Pak Hamdan graciously scared us before.

Oh, and did I mention we danced to the rythms of the poco-poco and the chicken dance? Very interesting, I must say. I think it's great to lose it once in a while, getting immersed in the atmosphere of merry-ness. Made a complete fool out of myself, but hey everyone was a good sport so we had bucketfuls of fun. It's a different persona entirely - M.Ds and lecturers dancing around like lunatics trying to keep in tune with the melody. I still remember how Siti Sofo, an anethesiologist going for her sub-specialty in Bristol, mimicking a conductor so 'passionately' over a Mawi song. Great times, that's for sure. It was the jumbled-up personalities and backgrounds which led to the wonderful concoction that is our BTN batch.

The only time where I saw total humbleness over reverance, mannerisms upon ambiguity. It almost felt that we were a family, apart only by our second names.

Which brings me to my final point. Kinship.

I've come to known many good acquaintances during this BTN course. Kudos to, well, Dr. Kudos for being my right hand from Day one. We quickly striked friendships with most of the pack - special mention to the members of our very own Dewan Negara 5A; Penghulu, Tabib mata, Dr. Ketamine, Dr. Kudos, Malik, Tevan, Saaidan, Imam and Bilaal. For those in anonymity - you guys know who you are. Thanks for a wonderful and memorable time people.

Yes, I must be frank that BTN is not everyone's cup of tea. Some would relinquish the idea of sitting down and being hypocritical for 5 days. Some would even disgust the political agenda speculated behind the course. And yes, there will always be those few who'll take the chance to spark and ignite racial and BN-BA political flames. But, I believe that if you come with an open mind; say with knowledge and appreciate with respect - BTN shall reward you in ways you'll never thought of. I knew it definitely left me with a lot to think about.

It left me with the desire to put Malaysia on the map. To be more patriotic as a Malaysian. To indulge in the delicacies of being a rakyat - not delinquent of the past, not blinded by the present, and not weary of the future.
- JeP

p/s : I'm currently looking for 1957 : Hati Malaya. Very good adaptation to our history with bold representation. Been scouring video stores around town but apparently all have mentioned that it's not sold in retail. Looks like I'll have to ask Tuan Yunus for a copy.


Mokrish said...

Nak jugak hati malaya...i xtengok lagi huhuhu...hantar kat i ek...mmmuaahhhhs thanx...

wa said...

Jep...i wanna it too!!!i thot of giving my sister in oz a copy and i really wanna bring it along with me nanti but couldn't find it anywhere.i asked a cd shop owner and he said it seems that 1957:hati malaya's production stopped at the cinema.. sad huh? :(

pengirankudos said...

herm.... tu hak negara la jef...pakai grant filem kerajaan untuk buat filem tu.. anyway... i am in group 2... and siti sofo is not an anaesthesiologist.... she is biochemist

JeP said...

hmm...looks like i confused sofo with thohiroh.

thanks kudos.

p/s : aku nk jgk tanya tuan yunus sbb haritu dia kata bleh beli kat die.