BTN’s “Patriotism” For Malaysian Teachers

June 13, 2016

COMMENT:  I quote President Theodore Roosevelt  (below) to remind all of us that patriotism is simply love for one’s country. It does not mean to stand by our Prime Minister who has shown us that he cannot be trusted, or any other Malaysian political leader or political party. It is love of Malaysia.

Unfortunately, in our country, Malaysians in general have been taught to think that it is unpatriotic to be critical of the Prime Minister and UMNO. Biro Tata Negara (BTN) has been responsible for  developing this mind set.  We must  also  thank Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad since it was he as Prime Minister for 22+years who ensured that country, government and party are the one and the same.

So,  in my view, BTN does not teach patriotism. It is a propaganda machine  for UMNO to propagate  extreme Malay nationalism with racial overtones and promote exclusivist Islam. It is too late in the day for Azalina Othman Said, of all people, to repair BTN’s image and credibility.

But I hope the teachers who are now going trained by BTN are mature, sensible and intelligent people who are not be easily taken in by BTN lecturers. Otherwise, may God save our country and our children.–Din Merican

 BTN’s “Patriotism”for Malaysian Teachers

 by Scott Ng

“Patriotism” is a tricky word. Used one way, it unites people under a flag. Used another way, it divides them.

Dictionaries often define the word too broadly. For example, the Cambridge online dictionary defines it as “the feeling of loving your country more than any others and being proud of it”. You can see that it can be interpreted to suit almost anyone’s political ideology or emotional bent.

Even fascistic nationalists can package their ideology as patriotism. A good example of this can be found in the rhetoric of ultra conservatives in the Republican Party of the United States. Disagreement with their values is often branded as “unAmerican” or any of its variants.

If patriotism is defined as loving your country more than others, then our outrage at a food site’s mislabelling of Malaysian food as Singaporean is also patriotism.

It is because patriotism can apply to both serious and frivolous aspects of life that it can be so easily manipulated to tailor a certain kind of message to a certain kind of person.

This brings us to the National Civics Bureau, or BTN, and its recent announcement of a programme to train 20,000 teachers in patriotism and nation building. It is well and good to instil a love for the country and its history. After all, every good government would want citizens to remain loyal to their country and help it prosper. But what is worrying is that we’re not sure how BTN defines patriotism.

In recent times, he has been rather aggressive

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman (above) has claimed this programme is also aimed at clearing BTNs’ name, which has been marred by allegations that the bureau spreads racism instead of national unity.

BTN’s track record certainly leaves much to be desired, and now that it is tasked to train teachers in patriotism, a lot of eyes will be watching it. Many of those eyes belong to people who are aware that “patriotism” is a word that has been used to justify a lot of racism by a lot of people in a lot of countries.

That being said, BTN does have a chance to begin rehabilitating its image, and much like a crisp Hugo Boss suit, image trumps history in our era of short attention spans. If it defines patriotism as love for the country, and not necessarily the government or the ruling party, then perhaps we can have a civil conversation on what that love entails.


13 thoughts on “BTN’s “Patriotism” For Malaysian Teachers

  1. BTN is brain washing unit of UMNO Baru. The idea they can change is ridiculous. The issue is, even exposed, even when everyone knows what they are, how is it possible they can continue? More importantly why UMNO insist keeping it even when it’s all ugly? It shows, deep within UMNO, it’s raw ugly HATE and racist that rivals the Taliban and ISIS. That is the real purpose of BTN. Should UMNO loses, then they will unleash these forces and everyone loses. It’s social self-destruct atomic bomb.

  2. BTN to train love of r country and Azalina to be the cheer leader for this??? Like letting the Brownshirts to run the country in Nazi Germany. Just read Kallimullah’s afterword on his “Malaysia that could be” and you will know that Azlina is not the best person to spearhead this.

  3. Honestly, I am at lost why a dedicated body be established for the sole purpose of instilling patriotism in people?

    The original objective of BTN might have been a honest one – to do what it was designed to do but it got highjacked along the way by people with personal agendas. Had reviews been made periodically, I don’t think BTN would have been what it is today.

    Notwithstanding that, there shouldn’t be a body designed to instil hatred and ill-feelings by one race towards others who are citizens of the same country. Why the need to emphasise on one’s superiority when the whole worldwide knows the limitations and weaknesses of that particular race?

    BTN, in all honesty, is a disgrace to all hard-working Malaysians. It should be disbanded and not revamped by all person, Azalina Othmana, another dubious character. Patriotism is too serious a subject to be taught by people of a lesser intelligence.

    Perhaps it’s time to bury my head in the sands and be oblivious of my surroundings.

  4. If the training programme is aimed at clearing BTN’s name, then BTN should make the training manuals readily available for anyone to examine.

    Scott Ng can then determine if BTN’s new training manuals ascribe to his definition of patriotism.

  5. ‘.. revamped by all person, Azalina Othmana,’ Tok Cik

    Heheh.., nothing more to add. This butch belongs to a NRM (New Religious Movement) Cult, ya?

    BTN is the epitome of a FUBAR – they can turn zombies into mushrooms (kulat-cendawan), even though the CIA says there’s no such thing.. JAKIM is another.

    The PTD is already heavily infested with such mycelial mushrooms. Too late to save them. My expert horticultural friend says that the only way to get rid of that is to use napalm – and not nuclear devices as that will only cause more mutations.

    And they wanna extend it to 20k semi-comatose teachers? Actually, this has been on-going la. Good Lord! Be prepared for more racist-religious diatribes against our young and vulnerable. Coercive persuasive ‘education’ ala Hang Kulat-ism!

  6. Patriotism is the love of one’s country. No problem there.

    If you love your country then you must fight against, if need be, eliminate those enemies who seek to disrupt, destroy, denigrate, disgrace, etc, your country. No problem here too.

    The problem question is who are the ones identified by BTN as the “enemies”

  7. Well according to Deputy Education Minister P Kamalnathan, any lies , bigotry or racism coming from the minions of Putrajaya – in this particular case the UTM course module about Islam teaching those dirty Hindus and Sikhs personal hygiene- are merely errors that would cause hurt and confusion and oh yeah not factual .

    Not factual is the agenda of the BTN courses. Indeed transmitting to teachers – already prone to mental illness, criminal behaviour, bigotry, religious zealotry – the love for country, is akin to a paedophile discussing Lolita with a group of sex offenders.

  8. Part of the brain-washing and propaganda apparatus of the
    UMNO Baru-dominated, race supremacist, semi-apartheid,
    (pseudo) “1Malaysia” regime.

  9. Errrr …. perhaps the last refuge of 1Malaysian scoundrels is
    “Newspeak” e.g. “donation”, “no problem” (with open vote-buying in by-elections)

  10. /// Phua Kai Lit June 14, 2016 at 6:47 pm
    Errrr …. perhaps the last refuge of 1Malaysian scoundrels is
    “Newspeak” e.g. “donation”, “no problem” (with open vote-buying in by-elections) ///

    Ermmmm, you mean buy-elections?

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