Anak Malaysia

Note: Cause I’m weird, random pictures shall find its way between serious paragraphs. :P

If there’s a word to sum up how I feel about BTN. I think it would be just this: enlightening. To be honest, before I went to camp, I was full of trepidation. I’ve heard of so many stories about BTN, and classmates had even presented about it in Ethics Class. During that session itself, there were so many negative comments and hurtful remarks thrown out that I was a little scared of what laid ahead.

I told myself (and others) time and time again that I would go there with an open mind and open heart. To be honest with myself, after we’ve reached the camp, I was seized with a strong fear. I think I was merely pretending to be apathetic to the camp but upon reaching, all those doubts came rising to the top, and I nearly suffocated with it.

Thankfully, all those doubts were killed off efficiently by the wonderful jurulatihs there, and the kind-hearted Head Facilitator. Why so, you may ask. I say it’s because of their passion for the country, their desire to see us children to rise above and really take hold of our nation by the hands, and not just be filled with arrogance that we’re better than the rest.


The picture taken before BTN as we look like office clerks!


This people are genuine, they really care for a country that they’ve fought for. These pelatihs, these ‘Pak ciks’, they were born even before the independence of our country. They’re seasoned men, with so much salt, and wisdom. It was through these wonderful people that I learnt not to assume so much, not to be so selfish, to really have that integrity in myself.

They were the ones who made us do the marching in the morning, and disciplined us. I really enjoyed being with these wonderful Paks’. They were endearing as well, with their various characters. What with the, “Aku baru umur 35 tahun, percaya tak?” and the “Cencaluk!” And never think that just because they’re old, they’re forgetful. They’re really sharp! No matter what I say, they can repeat it word by word five days later. This shows how good they really are. Not only that, because I’ve a busted knee, they really took care and asked about my well-being everytime they saw me. They would give me advice on how to take care of my knee, and what they did during the time they were in the army to take care of their health as well.

Not only that, the main head, was a really kind lady who cared for all of our needs. She would ask day in and day out whether we needed anything, or if anything were the matter. It was through all this, genuine concern for us students that I really begun to ease in into the camp.

Then it was the talks. I will honestly say that they told interesting stories. All the speakers seem to head to personal stories once they reached a sub-topic, or so. All this people are seasoned too, and it seemed to be story-telling sessions to me. Haha. Yet all had the same theme, 1Malaysia. Still, there was those few talks that seemed to encourage apathy to politics. To keep peace by keeping silent.

The LDKs, well. The icebreaking was immensely fun. It was meaningful as well. I especially like the illustration of the thin barrier of ice hiding a thousand secrets that could hurt. When we finally broke into groups I was glad that my group had many of those that I knew. Four from my own class. My group had this facilitator that looked like a cartoon character I still can’t quite place. He kinda looks like Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants. (But it still isn’t an appropriate cartoon. When I finally place him, I shall edit this. :P)

My facilitator adores nature. That’s the conclusion I came up with because he asked us all to gather under the trees for our LDK when the other groups went into classrooms.

It was rather nice actually, especially when there was that rare occasional breeze. He was another really experienced person with lots to share as well. He encouraged us doctors to be especially kind to patients, and asked us Manipal students to open a hospital where all of us specialize in something, and it would be a good hospital where all will flock to especially if we practice good values. He would tell stories of other cultures in different nations and how our nation is unique and wonderful in itself. He taught us appreciation in his little stories. I’m not sure if all of us got it, but I can see that he really loves our country even through his little snippets of his life traveling around. One thing about my facilitator is that he’s always on time or early. :D

My group often ended the earliest. :D One thing though, my facilitator didn’t seem to do much of the activities that other groups did. However, that’s fine with us. ;)

Then we did abseiling, and boy oh boy. I nearly cried when I first thought that I couldn’t do it. I really, really wanted to despite my knee hurting because it’s always been my dream to do abseiling, or bungee jumping. And when I was faced with that, I couldn’t take it that due to my own stupidity I wouldn’t be able to fulfill one of my dreams.

However, in the end, I just couldn’t take it anymore, and went forward and did it anyway. Climbed up the five flights of stairs, got dizzy and light-headed because I am afraid of heights, and then trembled when I looked down from the high up.

The scariest part was bending backwards and allowing my back to seemingly fall back with nothing to support me. But abseiling down was simple then, and being unsure of what to do, I accidentally pushed from the wall, causing me to seemingly jump down the wall. I could hear J-Cyn screaming and the rest, telling me not to kick, haha! But I landed safely anyway, and it was such an exhilarating experience, with my heart going so fast. Of course my knee hurt after that but it was worth it. ;D

Meeting Tuk Wan was an experience in itself as well. He talks a lot! Haha! But he says is interesting, and he’s really funny as well. He blows kisses to girls and does macho handshakes with the boys. Allows us to sleep in as well because Joanne misses her pillow. He can even do this really amazing acrobatic movement (maybe its because he’s really skinny) but he says if we keep an open mind, and keep it flexible, so will our body and bones become flexible.

The best group of them all: Kumpulan Satu!

The second LDK day was even more meaningful. We had this thing called a Kembara Maklumat, where groups already formed the days before would go around the camp site searching for facilitators and then sitting around them and listening to the information that they would give. They spoke of the laws in the Perlembagaan, such as Perkara 14, Perkara 152, etc. We even had to sing the Jalur Gemilang and Keranamu Malaysia to please a particular facilitator, and haha, I forgot the lyrics. >< But it was a truly interesting experience because the facilitators would take their time to explain what each law states, and they even questioned us if we knew of how things were really done in Malaysia. It was during this time that I found myself lacking vital knowledge of how my own country was run.

It was a truly humbling experience because I can say that I have condemned how things were done before. And it was as the faci had said, people only listen to one part of the law and start assuming so much. Time and time again, I’ve heard of people telling me, “Leave while you still can.” But then, even before BTN I resolved to remain in Malaysia. I wanted a change. I wanted salvation upon the people here. I knew it was my place here.

It was only during BTN that it reinforced my decision and made me even more appreciative of my own country. It also made me realize, “If I want to save my country, even if I keep praying for a change; if I don’t even know how it is run, if I don’t even know what makes it the way it is: How am I suppose to make a change in my country?” Faith without action is dead, and I know that I have to start to do good works if I really want a change. To do these good works, I must first know my country. And I don’t, not really.

I know the scandals, I know the political uproars, and I know the many tiny insignificant details. But I don’t know the whole of it. And through this Kembara Maklumat where they tell you the important details in the Perlembagaan, patiently going through with us the law book, was when I realize that I, this arrogant scholar, should definitely be thrown to the floor, and learn that I am the future generation to make a change. It was through speaking with the experienced facilitators, old, and wise, that I am determined to build that passionate fire for my country.

How can I call myself a Malaysian, if I know nothing of Malaysia? It isn’t a matter of being Chinese, Indian, or Malay, but to be a Malaysian.

I think that it takes a whole new different experience to immerse yourself that you’ll finally open eyes once blinded by ignorance, arrogance and self-righteousness.

That night, for our Moral, we met with Tuk Wan again, what a wonderful, and unique leader. It was also during this time that we heard beautiful takes of the different races in Sarawak from Esther (the other one :P) and how different races did the traditional dances. Isn’t it beautiful when people come together and appreciate the differences that make us whole? Hasvaany also spoke, and she is such a good speaker!

It was truly an inspiring time, further enhanced by the activities of that night. I particularly remember this game when we were not allowed to speak, not allowed to stand, and were only allowed to “Memberi tetapi tidak boleh meminta.”


Each group were given a few pieces of cloth, and it didn’t take long to register that we were to come together to make a flag. There were a few troubles, and there were those punished for breaking the rules. But it was a monumental moment for me when I saw how the different groups just slid together to the middle of the hall. It was like this colourful array of people coming together for a purpose, and man. I just love the memory of watching all of us come together to build something so important in our lives as Malaysians.

In fact, when we were building the flag in silence, the facilitators turn the lights off for a while, then there the throwing of water. Kinda like threats from the outside, trying to break through our barrier.

Afterwards the rules changed and the men stood up forming a barrier among the girls. I can’t say for sure how the game is, because it’s a complicated thing. However, I can say this: It was an amazing experience being part of that game.

Our dearest leader, our Penghulu, the hero Hafiy were to negotiate the release of prisoners (people who broke the rule in the first part of the game) and the process of it was just impactful. Even writing it down would be terribly confusing because there were shouts of disagreement, and yet, for a purpose, we were united, and we tried to do our best to listen to our leader.

It is terribly difficult to be a leader especially in a time of such chaos. When all of us came together, all smart kids, and all opinionated, with everyone speaking out of turn and giving their own varied opinions: it was pandemonium. Hafiy was terribly stressed due to the pressures of the people, and yet he continued to do his best.

Many people assumed different times during that game: wondering if it was the reenactment of the time when Tunku Abdul Rahman fought for our independence or a different time altogether. But all in all, it was a great game because it truly showed us how hard the people had fought for Malaysia’s independence, how hard the leaders roles in building up a nation truly are, and how the people play such an important role in our nation as well.

I love the part when Hafiy held up our very fragile yet wonderfully done Flag with cloth held together with tape. Everyone stood and touched the flag like it was gold. And he waved it round and round as we sang the Jalur Gemilang, and deep inside my heart, was the burning passion to strive to work hard to see this unity truly happening in Malaysia.

It was an emotional night as well as one by one people of different perspectives and opinions came forward to speak of how they felt that night. How they felt betrayed when the leaders did not work hard enough to release the prisoners when all they wanted was to help the country. How they cried and wanted so badly to help. How it was filled with tension when the leader got yelled at in the face by the opposition and was on the verge of breaking down. Tears were shed in front as emotions ran high. And I truly admire Adiq who stood by Hafiy’s side no matter what. That’s a friendship to be admired when you cry for your friend’s behalf.

Can you see the beauty of standing strong for your country? it’s a beautiful place we live in.

It bled further into a night of poignancy when a video came on about this mother whose successful children left her alone and she died loving them so much. People started crying, reminded of their own mother and resolving never to do such a thing. Papers were handed out then, and we were told to write our own letter to our mums. Halfway writing it with disastrous writing, they said, “Kita akan hantar kepada ibu kamu bila kamu fly nanti.” Most people had the WHAAAT? expression on their faces. Personally, my mum and I have often had this discussion and each and every day I tell her time and time again that I would not leave her. I don’t know if it truly gets into her heart, but that letter would hopefully enforce it in her mind.

Everything ended late into the night, and the next day, it was already the exams. I enjoyed the ending ceremony where each representative came forward to speak. Hasvaany really blew the crowd away with her speech of unity, and of abandoning the exterior, when inside, we’re all really just the same. Creations of God. Boon Tung also came forward to speak when they wanted a Chinese representative and it was a hilarious speech that got everyone laughing. His tale of Char Kueh really touched the facilitators too. Pantuns were thrown here and there, and it was really an enjoyable time despite us all being so sleepy.

I think that most of us who went for the BTN camp would say that we’ve enjoyed it immensely. There was nothing said that dampened the whole experience. We didn’t encounter prejudice that was heard from the previous camps from others, but this whole new experience is truly something to remember.

The picture after BTN. Don’t we both look exhausted! Haha. :D

What an amazing, wonderful, awesome, fun experience I shall never forget. :) And one thing I shall never forget during BTN was what God kept reminding me to do.

Walk as children of light! We are no longer shrouded in darkness and so, we shall shine! :) Truly, never forget that.

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