A friend of mine has a survey up in UBD’s blog on Friendster (YES, UBD has a blog and a Friendster no less), concerning the implementation and reinforcement of the MIB concept in the campus and the fact that it is taught (rather unsuccessfully) as a subject in the University.
Please take a few minutes to respond to the following questions. Thank you!
From your point of view:
1. Is AB1503: MIB useful to you?
2. Does AB1503 : MIB help you in understanding the concept of MIB as the nation’s philosophy?
3. Is MIB still appreciated and practiced in UBD?
4. From your point of view, how can we enrich/strengthen the appreciation of MIB in UBD?
(Questionnaire has been paraphrased and Anglicized for the purpose of discussion)
This questionnaire opens up a lot of important issues to do with the subject of MIB in the UBD. More importantly the way that it is imposed on everyone in the form of a compulsory subject.
From personal experience, I have found AB1503 to be a thorn in my sides. The lectures were done in a hall filled will 800 first year students, done by lecturers, with the help of an overhead projector that projects something. I say something because for the whole time I was doing that course I have never been able to see not even ONE presentation slide because it was either too far, too small, or that there are just too many text in one slide to comprehend.
Tutorial classes on the other hand, are filled with 30 students per session, instead of the recommended 10. My non-Malay friends will identify these tutorial classes as THE-CLASS-WHERE-THE-LECTURER-IS-EXTREMELY-RACIST. It is the only class ever, in my whole life, EVER, a matured, knowledgeable, middle aged individual, who is a LECTURER calls someone “OI ANAK KINA” instead of by HER name, which is CLEARLY written down in the register. It is during these one hour sessions that I feel condemned and terribly embarassed of the fact that I am a Bruneian Malay.
I have not learnt anything new from the course aside from the cold realisation that some people are just bastards who are blatantly racist, openly sexist and damn proud of it, hiding under the guise of Melayu Islam Beraja. Defend them all you want, but this is the impression I got from the course. I came into the classroom with an open mind and ended up being disappointed.
MIB is a philosophy unique to Brunei and I understand that. It is a beautiful idea. Melayu with its beautiful graces, tolerant of others, accomodating, warm, exotic, and alluring, Islam with all its spiritual attributes, to have faith, to believe in that faith, to act in faith, and Beraja, having a ruler who we all can count on, someone we look up to, someone goodlooking who we trust and love. But these attributes of MIB which is what made it special in the first place wasn’t illustrated in the course.
In contrast, what I felt was that, the course was imposing and pretentious, done in an extremely non-conducive approach, where in the end, I felt very much provoked and angry because it didn’t tackle sensitivities very well, and the course felt annoyingly irrelevant.
How can MIB be appreciated then? BY NOT BEING DISCRIMINATORY TOWARDS ANYONE DIFFERENT WOULD BE A GOOD START. By planning and organising the tutorial lessons so that it will actually have a STRUCTURE would also be nice. But the most perfect answer to this is in Phoenix Naoki’s words,
To enrich the appreciation towards MIB or to even begin appreciating its existence is to firstly not impose itself forcefully upon ‘practitioners’ despite its status as a philosophy. People should be shown how exactly it is beneficial and how it plays a part in everybody’s lives so as there is solid evidence as to the consequences of alternative actions. One cannot preach and simply expect others to accept such indoctrination as law without prior balancing out the pros and cons as applied to their own personal views.