So i just came back from Kem Bina Negara Kundasang, Sabah for the Kursus Kenegaraan or commonly known as BTN course.
first off i have to say that i think most people (at least those whom i've talked to) have misconceptions about the course as a whole. The common comment made is somewhere along the lines of it all simply being a 'brainwashing' session.
Well, i found it to be a rather inaccurate assessment.
To be honest, i thought that the course overall did well to develop and inculcate a sense of appreciation if not love for the country and the history of it's formation... it helped to cultivate a greater sense of camaraderie and cross-cultural understanding amongst the various ethnic groups simply by emphasising the need to put the 'bigger' picture in far greater priority than the little aspects of furthering one's own personal or ethnicity's agenda.
Sure, there perhaps were some views pertaining to certain aspects of the government and the political system in our country that were 'unbalanced' and perhaps even 'exaggerated'... but that should only stir us towards learning more and acquiring an even better understanding so as to get for ourselves a more 'balanced' and holistic point of view.
It should only drive us towards improving ourselves and maturing both as an individual and as a citizen of this beautiful country.
i think most people who call it brainwashing are throwing the baby out with the bath water.
This, like most things, demand of us our own ability to interpret and discern that which is true and necessary with that which may be exaggerations of the truth or that which is false entirely.
Perhaps the lack of basics and the lack of any foundation of understanding on our own part... the lack of our own personal knowledge... makes us therefore inept in our ability to respond to what may seem entirely 'foreign' to us especially in the manner in which it is presented. What with the 'passionate' talks and rather 'heated' discussion sessions and not to mention emotionally-tugging and thought-provoking imagery used every now and then.
So to those who are none-the-wiser... they respond by just shutting it off.
Which i think is immature... simply because there is amidst all that is said, in whatever manner it is said, elements of truth and fact that need to be accepted, weighed and maybe even investigated further... for our sakes and more so for the sake of serving and protecting this country that we call home.
To find fault when we know nothing is immature but to find fault when we refuse to do anything about our own ignorance is plain irresponsible.
So yes... to those who have yet to go... i say go for it! Enjoy it! And gather whatever knowledge and appreciation that you can from it.... but more so return from it with a greater motivation and fervour to find out more and improve and mature.
Our country needs us to do so.