Assessing a BTN presentation material

Given the recent hoo-ha over the BTN thingy, I stumbled across this BTN course materialErti Kebijaksanaan” by Dato’ Dr. Nordin bin Kardi, Ketua Pengarah. Biro Tatanegara, Jabatan Perdana Menteri.

The subject is intriguing. The title of the presenter, a PhD, a Dato’, a senior officer of the nation’s top bureau, sounds impressive and I have high expectation of getting enlightened

According to Wikipedia,

"Wisdom is knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight….the application of knowledge needed to live a good life…. emphasized various combinations of the following: knowledge, understanding, experience, discipline, discretion, and intuitive understanding, along with a capacity to apply these qualities well towards finding solutions to problems."

Ok, does our good Dato’ Dr’s presentation imparts knowledge, insight and lead the participants to appropriate action plans for the benefit of the nation?

Page 1 to 4 gave a historical background to the nation’s path to independence. I suppose his message was our forefathers exercised their wisdom in rejecting the other existing approaches in gaining independence.

“Ada pula pejuang-pejuang kemerdekaan yang ingin merdeka bersama dengan Indonesia….”

“Ada pula segolongan yang mahu mengiytiharkan negara ini merdeka seperti negara Islam seperti Pakistan…”

“Ada pula yang ingin merdeka dengan cara meniru cara India dimerdekakan, iaitu dengan melakukan pengorbanan”

“Ada pula yang mahu meniru bagaimana yang berlaku di Palestine…

Tetapi, pemimpin kita akhirnya memilih untuk sanggup memenuhi apa yang disyaratkan oleh British iaitu dengan cara berkongsi negara ini dengan kaum-kaum yang telah dibawa oleh British sebagai subjek untuk kepentingan ekonomi mereka."

I have no trouble with the Dr. having his own interpretation of historical facts but when there are too many “ada pula” this, “ada pula” that without giving complete factual references to historical figures and events, it dilutes his credibility.

Is it so hard to mention names of those involved? Was the Dr referring to Ibrahim Yaakob, Dr Ahamd Burhanuddin or who ever? Without supporting facts, I wonder is he expressing his personal opinion or commenting on historical facts?

In page 3, the Dr. wrote that “Pemimpin kita mengambil keputusan untuk berkongsi dengan kaum lain yang dibawa British ke sini dan berjanji akan menjaga kebajikan mereka”.

The presentation lacks a clear explanation on what is “menjaga kebajikan mereka”. Yes the Dr. elaborated that UMNO gave MCA and MIC seats to contest in the 1955 elections. However, to make a presentation more complete and objective, material facts must not be omitted.

In the course of “menjaga kebajikan mereka”, economic contributions of the “kaum lain” have to be considered as without these wealth so generated, there is no resource to be talked about let alone utilized.

On page 4 – 5, I think his historical commentary is insufficient.

“…British baru lepas menang dalam Perang Dunia ke-2!...kita tewaskan ini bukan calang-calang kuatnya...mereka mempunyai kekuatan senjata yang tidak boleh ditandingi oleh mana-mana negara di dunia ketika itu.”

Actually, in the 1950’s the United Kingdom was war weary after 2 shattering conflicts and started to grant independence to its colonies.

Fighting against the Communist Party of Malaya was also a drain of their resource they could not afford. To call the Brits unmatched by any nation then would be pure ignorance of the position of power occupied by the United States, Soviet Union and even the newly formed People’s Republic of China (who placed 1.3 million troops in North Korea and fought the United States and United Nations to a stalemate then.)

Remember the ruckus when Dr. Lim Teik Gee produced his research that Bumiputra shareholding has exceeded 30% and various BN government officials were adamant that it was still well below 30%? Well, on page 8, Dr Nordin mentioned that,

“Pada tahun 2000 misalnya di papan pertama terdapat 55.79 billion saham Bumiputra, 52.60 billion adalah milik bukan Bumuputra … jumlahnya 132.22 billion”….that makes it Bumiputra at 42.2% and the non-Bumiputra 39.8%....

If both the Main and the Second Board are combined, the Dr wrote that

“…konteks bursa saham. 59.68 billion ialah Bumiputra, 59.03 billion bukan Bumiputra…” that makes is Bumi 41.6% and non Bumi 41.1%...."

Well done, NEP….now who are we to believe now?

At this stage I wonder what “Kebijaksanaan” the Dr is talking about, apart from Tunku Abdul Rahman (the only name he mentioned, or capable of mentioning) sharing the country with the British’s imported labourers.

Then from page 9 till 16 onwards, I believe the Dr’s true feelings were honesty advocated in his presentation.

“Kepada kaum Bumiputera yang begitu berminat dan bercita-cita untuk bekerja di sektor kerajaan, mestilah berusaha dan menanamkan dalam diri “Aku mesti mengubah” …”Aku mesti berlatih deripada sekarang untuk memasuki bidang perniagaan supaya keadaan ini berubah”

- the Dr has every right to advocate whatever in his mind in a civilised manner but the above statement belongs more to a Malay Chamber of Commerce Workshop rather than a Biro Tata Negara financed by all Malaysian taxpayers.

“….mahasiswa lepasan universiti tidak mempunyai pekerjaan….kalau tidak ada syarikat-syarikat milik Bumiputra yang memiliki sazi seperti yang dinyatakan tadi, kita tidak boleh mengharapjan orang lain untuk menyerap kaum Bumiputra bekerja di syarikat mereka”.

- dear Dr. first of all, are all our graduates supposed to be graduates in the first place?

- Ok, leave that aside, are they employable with the kind of education process that they went through?

- Finally why oh why Bumiputra graduates have to be employed by Bumi companies ONLY? *

- Isn’t it better to produce graduates that are employable human capital that can be hired by local companies as well as MNCs whether they are in Malaysia or outside Malaysia?

- How does this reconcile to Najib’s call for going “Glokal” and "1Malaysia" when Bumi graduates only congregates in Bumi companies?

- How does this reconcile with our calls for foreign direct investments when we are interested in producing local graduates only fit for working in companies set up by their own race?

- How can this kind of human capital qualify for “high value jobs” the PM recently advocated in his budget speech?

* if vernacular schools are being mentioned as a block against national unity process then what about the Dr.'s call that Bumiputras only work in Bumiputra companies????

On page 11, the Dr talked about the average monthly income of the various races, RM2,038, RM3,737 and RM2,038 for Indians respectively.

The distribution of income is more relevant. If the Malays are really poor, how come there are Istana Zakaria, Khir Toyol’s “RM2 million++” mansion, AP Kings, Datuk K's wonderfully arranged and televised wedding ceremony with Siti Nurhalizah, Bumi entrepreneurs & professionals owning and working in Petronas, Maybanks, MNCs etc?

If the Dr talk about the Malays are having the lowest average income hence I wonder why with many rich Malays around, the overall average is the lowest? Does this suggest among all the races, the distribution hence fairness among the Malays have the most issues? I suppose contributions to zakat, fitrah, ASB could have address the issues to some extend, right?

I would say the Dr. ignored the Gini co-efficient consideration.
According to the link, the equality income of the selected countries are as follows:

USA 15.9, UK 13.8, Singapore 17.7, Thailand 12.6 and New Zealand 12.5….and Malaysia, officially, is at 22.1, which bear resemblance to Swaziland 25.1 and Zimbabwe 22.

On page 12 the Dr talked about the room for improvement for Bumiputera’s education achievement, notably in STPM results in 2002 and close his paragraph with “Dengan keadaan yang sebegini semestinya Bumiputera akan terus ketinggalan

- at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have to repeat, is this the right platform? When we tax payers paid for a nation building seminar for civil servants, just what are we getting? The above belongs to a Bumiputera self-help camp and please by all means establish that and address it there.

On page 14 and 15, the Dr. talked about Purchasing Power Parity. While admitting Malaysia (at USD8,340) is about 4 times lower than the natural resource poor little red dot which Mahathir despised (USD24,910), the Dr. consoled us that we are better off than Thailand, Philipines, Myanmar, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan, Indian, etc

It is easy to look good when you just pick people worse off than us to compare. When one needs to improve, try to benchmark against the better ones so that it would make us strive better. Try asking successful world class companies whether they benchmark against poorer competitors to shiok sendiri or not.

Going back to the definition of Wisdom, one of the expectant result of wisdom is “solutions to problems”.

After a good load of moaning, the Dr ended with page 18 “Marilah kita pertahankan apa yang ada, dan pada masa yang sama kita perbaiki. Jangan kita buangkan yang sudah elok.”

Just what are the participants are suppose to take from the above to develop into action plan I have no idea whatsoever. You can’t be more vague than that, can you? If the above comes from a Form 3 student, I can accommodate that but coming from ….sigh.

The above are just the few points I put down here to share. Of course I have much more to say but worry this would turn into too long an article.

My final thoughts is that the material presented failed to address its topic – “Wisdom” at a national level spirit building camps for civil servants working under the slogan of 1 Malaysia. This material, thought would be good for presenting at a Bumiputera self-help gathering or Chamber of Commerce.


unclear message and strayed from topic

tax payers' money wasted

I have not been enlightened, inspired and should have spent my time time watching S Factor on Youtube


  1. Aiyah, this btn material by the so called phd (permanent head damage) guy is good enough for all the participants who are equal to form three student mind.

  2. It continues to astonish me how UMNO leaders managed to project their inferiority complex to the people. Well of course no one would say Mahathir felt inferior to any Malaysian, be he was always had this animosity with a certain leader from the little red dot down south. Always felt LKY was a step ahead of him.

    Most of these BTN stuff is borne from this inferiority complex of leaders. Their personal jealousy and hatred really.

  3. Thesi, unfortunately, it is easier to teach people to hate than to love, to blame than to strive...

    I blame Malaysians generally who subcribe to much insult to commonsense

  4. PhD??? Many PhD holders in our local universities, but many were from low-class overseas universities. How many were from Camrbrige, Oxford, or Harvard? Oh, by the way, there are many PhD holders in our local universities who could not write well, let alone publish in international journals. I wonder how they could produce their theses. I heard some paid a few thousand dollars to have their theses written, & edited. Oh, some failed and came home empty handed despite wasting tax-payers' money amounting to millions of Ringgit. We should ask them to pay back!!