Thursday, May 30

Prefect Leadership Camp 2013 @ Mukah

    Ever since I was a green horn back in 2009, I have been involved in my schools' Prefect Leadership Camps. Someone must think that I'm a good leader... either that or I'm easy to order around...
    Anyway, I'm always very glad to be part of something that moulds the students outside the classroom & enables them to develop lifelong skills, friendships & lasting memories. This year, the camp was held in Mukah.
    Kudos to the counsellor who made it happen: Mdm Lau. She is a wonder woman. Any school which has her will be wholly blessed. Have a vacancy for a counsellor? You should fight for her. She is a true asset.

Learning Visit To Politeknik Mukah

    Before heading to the camp site, Mdm Lau arranged for the prefects to have a learning visit to Politeknik Mukah where the prefects were exposed to the application process for the polytechnic's courses & PTPTN loans. We were also given a tour of the various specialised rooms. The lecturers of the polytechnic shared a bit about what they taught.
    It was a very enlightening experience for both teachers & prefects. Politeknik Mukah does make a very suitable place for my students to further themselves.

The Camp Site: Kem Belia Mukah

    I have a lot of respect for the facilitators at Kem Belia Mukah compared to those at Kem Belia Kemuyang (we had a camp there last year & they came off as snobbish & reluctant to help us). Even though they were really busy with Pesta Kaul which was happening on the same weekend, they arranged at the last minute for a team to come back & conduct some activities for our prefects at their obstacle course. Thanks, Kem Belia Mukah!

One of the first things we did after the prefects have settled their accommodations was to give them their 'trust item' or 'amanat' which were their name-tags, an egg & a match.
They had to be responsible for these items & surrender them for inspection at the end of the camp.
I was invited to give the prefects a talk entitled "Strong & Faithful".
They played various ice-breakers & competitive games.
Sometimes, the games required cooperation.
During this camp, they were rarely allowed to sleep.
One night, they played a game called Humans vs Zombies.
OKU Obstacle Course.
Teachers had fun disturbing the teams & preventing them from finishing the obstacle course.
Water-Balloon Volleyball.
The teachers won this one. Lol.
These activities were facilitated by Kem Belia Mukah: Spider-Web & Wall.
Another activity facilitated by KBM: Leap of Faith.
We took the prefects to the beach. It was a first for many of them.
We took pictures, collected souvenirs & played games.
On the final night, the students took over & presented entertaining dances, songs & skits.

Final Stop: Pesta Kaul Mukah

    There was a BIG festival going on in Mukah during that weekend so we decided to take advantage before heading back. It was worth it. It was a wonderful exposure to the culture & crafts of the Melanau people. This place is worth a visit for anybody in Mukah or nearby.

    I had a lot of fun during this camp & I bet the prefects did too. This was a great bonding time for the teachers as well as the prefects. Hopefully, the prefects shall return to school with renewed vigour to serve & be shining examples of excellence.
    You may view all the pictures here.

Thursday, May 23

Hari Kadet Polis 2013

I realised earlier this year that I have not blogged about my involvement with the Police Cadets even though I have been an advisor at my school since 2009!
So allow me to share with you what it is like to advise the Police Cadets.

One of the most important events of the year is the Hari Kadet Polis or the Hari Jadi for the cadets. It is officially on 31 March but, this year, it was postponed to April.

Sometimes, the police will make the long & sunny journey on a boat to my school to help train my students. Most of the time, however, it's the teachers who have to do what they can with the limited knowledge they possess.
In preparation for the event, I spent my afternoons, training the students to march &, the evenings, training them to sing national songs, police songs & cadet songs. I had to go intensive because my students were totally unprepared. I didn't want them to be an embarrassment during the event. There will be other schools involved &, like it or not, people will compare & people will talk. I want them to feel privileged, exclusive & proud to be part of this event. I want the other schools to learn respect & never to look down on rural schools.

Everybody looked really impressive & well-groomed. I'm so proud.
It rained after the event so we waited for the rain to subside before making our way to our boat ride back to school.
As expected, my students did very well during the event & left very good impressions on the police personnel. They sang the songs louder than the other schools because they were more familiar with them. They were also better at marching as a whole because of the training they received. I am very proud of them.

You might notice the lack of uniforms. My students are all too poor to afford uniforms with can cost around RM200. A month's wages for some of their parents.
In 2010, I wrote a letter to the MP asking for aid. I got it in 2011 & I purchased the uniforms you see in this picture. More are added to the collection every year.
I used to have a problem with inventory but now a very responsible teacher is taking charge so I'm pretty sure the uniforms will last for the long run.
There are a few more big activities planned for the cadets this year, including jungle trekking, a camp & a visit to the Song PD. Hopefully, all of these plans will materialise & you get to read about them right here!
Go, cadets!

All the pictures from this event can be found here.

Friday, May 3

Go & Vote!!

I love my country.
Although I have travelled around a little bit, the more places I see, the more I appreciate my home.
I may be descended from pendatangs who came from China in dingy boats 3 generations ago. But, I still consider my home to be Malaysia. NOT China.
I believe in God. I respect the King. I accept the rule of law.
I speak Bahasa Melayu. Anuar Zain is my idol. I love sambal. I use -lah excessively. I have many brothers of different ethnicities.
I want to call myself a Malaysian. NOT a Chinese.

I want to see my country grow.
Although I have studied in a faraway land, I decided to come back, stay & develop my country.
Although I am very ambitious, I decided to serve my country deep in the jungle as a humble secondary school teacher.
I am doing my little bit for my country every day.
That's just the thing. We are only able to do a little bit.
There are people who can make a BIG difference with a mere stroke of a pen.

On Sunday, you will be given a chance to CHOOSE those people. This is when our little bits make a BIG difference.
Whatever or whoever you choose, that's your privilege. I will defend your right to make that choice.
Make sure you go EARLY.
Make sure you bring your IC.
Make sure you do not have any political symbols on you.
Make sure you GO & VOTE!!!

Tomorrow morning, I will be going into the jungle to stay overnight at a longhouse.
On Sunday morning, I will set up a polling station with my team so that even the people deep in the jungle can exercise their right to vote.
Some of them have to trek through a jungle. Some of them have to ride on a boat. They usually come in full attendance. What excuses have you got not to vote?

I am sick & tired of people who brag about how they did not register or how they will not go to vote. They will have 101 of the best reasons why they shouldn't do it.
Honestly, I am ashamed of knowing you & you have just lost my respect. For you do not love my country. You are taking for granted something very precious & valuable.

It doesn't really matter who wins or who loses, what matters is the LEGITIMATE citizens of Malaysia chose them.
Your choice matters.
It'll only take a few minutes of your precious Sunday. Monday is probably going to be a holiday anyway so don't complain about not getting enough rest.

Our nation is at a crossroads. The next elections could go either way.
There is no better time to vote than this Sunday. Every ballot paper dropped in a ballot box will be a ripple in history. You'll have taken part in the most tightly contested elections ever in the history of our country!
Every vote makes a real difference. YOUR vote makes a difference.
GO & VOTE!!!

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