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Is a revived BTN the panacea for Malaysia?

With politics and an education system so deeply rooted in racial divisiveness, how can we expect it this bureau to be the miracle cure?

Be fair to everyone - ARNOLDUS/PIXABAY

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The parliamentary committee on security intends to revive the National Civics Bureau (BTN). 

BTN was scrapped in 2018. But now it appears it has to be brought back to instil patriotism in the young and to groom leaders in politics and in society. 

Really? Is BTN the panacea for the nation’s lagging patriotism and unity, as well as the hollowed mindsets of the people? Can only BTN help rebuild this former ‘Asian tiger’? 

If it is and it can, then why was it scrapped in 2018?

The real problem is swirling in the murky pool of politics and education. When will we ever have the courage and honesty to own up to the truth, without fear or favour? 

In politics, two parasites are unlikely to go away anytime soon. 

One is that corruption has become an indispensable means for individuals and political parties to hoard wealth and gain power and control.

The other is racial and religious divisiveness.

Meanwhile, young people have lost opportunities to become model adults due to poor education policies and declining capabilities.

Children spend 11-13 years of their early lives going to school to get educated. After all those years, if we have to depend on several more months of BTN to transform them into exemplary leaders, then we must be naive or plain foolish! 

Despite several leadership changes, despite decades of experimentation with the education policies and systems with a hotchpotch of remedies and strategies, we are back to square one, trying to figure out if maths and science should be taught in English or the national language, Malay.

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Despite inheriting a model world class education pathway from the British and from mission schools at independence, we have been unable to achieve excellence today. Why? Why are we unable to prove that the people of Malaysia are still as capable as ever?

Even in educating the country’s future workers, racism and religious indoctrination have been allowed to creep in, thus sowing divisiveness.

With these two failures – that of politics and an education system so deeply rooted in racial divisiveness – how can we expect a revived BTN to be the miracle cure for what ails Malaysia? 

Let’s not kid ourselves!

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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