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Proud day for scouts as they receive awards from Regent


SCOUTING is more than an extra-curricular activity to some.

For those like 19-year-old Ooi Ken Lin, it has taught him some of life’s most useful lessons.

“Scouting has changed my way of life.

King scout: (From left) Mohamad Arif Abdul Razak, T.Dineesh and Ooi admiring their king scout merit badge at the award ceremony.

“It was by being a scout that I learnt how to cook,” said the former SMK St George, Taiping student who joined the movement when he was in Form One.

Ooi was among 275 scouts from all over Perak who received their King Scout badges, which is the highest award for Senior Scouts, from the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.

There are 27 badges to collect before one can qualify as a King Scout. Each badge is earned by passing particular tests.

State Education director Datuk Mohd Rauhi Mohd Isa was perhaps the proudest during the recent ceremony in Ipoh as he was bestowed the “Bintang Semangat Rimba Kelas Kedua — Perak” by the Regent for his contribution to the scouting movement.

The award is the fourth highest award by the Scout Association of Malaysia.

Earlier in his welcoming speech, Perak Scout Council chairman Datuk Ishak Mohamed said the King Scout recipients must continue to be active despite having received the highest achievement in the movement.

“Remember, once a scout, always a scout,” he said, adding that there were currently 332 scout groups with 13,912 members throughout the state.

Penang government to scout for a campsite

From TheStar

BUKIT MERTAJAM: The state government will help the Penang Scouts Association find a campsite to replace its Coronation Camp in Waterfall Road that was closed in 2006.

State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the camp, which used to be the main venue for scouting activities, including annual jamborees, was acquired to make way for the Penang Botanical Gardens’ expansion project.

“The state is fully aware of the need for a proper campsite for the scouts to conduct their activities.

“We want our youths to obtain the necessary exposure through the scouts movement, which provides vital survival skills in training, first-aid as well as good values and discipline,” he said after opening the Penang Scouts Environ-ment Protection programme at the MPSP branch office in Jalan Betek here yesterday.

Phee said a suitable site was needed for the campsite so that the scouts could have the natural surroundings to conduct outdoor activities.

Penang state scouts commissioner Zulkafli Kamaruddin said Penang was the only state that did not have a scouts’ campsite.

“We have not organised a jamboree in more than 10 years because we do not have a proper venue. We hope the state government will seriously help us find an alternative campsite,” he said.

Apart from a blood donation campaign and an environment talk, the programme also included mudball-making and enzyme-making activities.

Terrain to ride

By Sam Cheong (From The Star)

TANGKAK is a little town in Johor with an excellent view of Mount Ophir or Gunung Ledang in its backdrop.

I was told that back in the good old days – it was a norm for the Boy Scouts from Muar to cycle there and summit its 1,276-metre peak as part of their King Scout assessment programme.

To get a bigger picture, I took a trip to Muar recently with Michelle, my wife and cycled from the town to Tangkak.

Arrival at destination: The writer and his wife in Tangkak, Johor.

We rode our Dahon folding bicycles for a distance of 36.5km along a scenic route that took us to Sungai Mati, Parit Ponorogo and Batu 10 before arriving at the town centre.

Before we set off from Muar, we had breakfast at a coffeeshop and cycled across the bridge that links this town to the outside world.

Moving on an average speed of 18km/h, there’s plenty to see and if you love kupang (mussels) and lokan (giant freshwater clams), there are stalls that are dotted along both sides of the road.

A bag of kupang costs RM5 (roughly about 1kg) and these are as fresh as they can get.

And if you are a durian enthusiasts, there are plenty to go around. We found at least 10 stalls all along the way from Muar to Tangkak.

Maritime activity: A tugboat makes its way along the Muar river.

As for the level of difficulty in cycling along this route, you have to be physically fit to tackle 15km of undulating terrain from Sg Mati to Tangkak.

To the untrained rider, this is the worst part of the journey.

Upon arrival in the outskirts of Tangkak, the ride is smooth.

The best time to get on your bicycle is at 7am and the journey to Tangkak from Muar takes about 1 hour 20 minutes.

What to do in Tangkak? Well, if you love satay, there’s a makan stall located near Public Bank that opens in the evening. This place is pretty decent with Soto Ayam and other Johor-styled Malay dishes.

Light traffic: A scene from Muar town on an early Saturday morning.

One of the highlights of my visit, was a trip to Kuang Fei beef noodles shop.

This is a ‘must-go’ makan place which is highly-rated for their excellent and affordable food.

From Tangkak, the Ledang Park is located about 13.5km away.

This is the staging point for adventurers as well as nature lovers who wants a dib at scaling Gunung Ledang.

You can hangout for the entire day in Tangkak and the return ride to Muar is 73.2km.

Since its a long-haul on two wheels, its advisable to pack some spare tire tubes, puncture repair kit and carry plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Muar is accessible via the PLUS highway from the Klang Valley and the travel time is about 2 hours 30 minutes.

If you plan to ride this route, be prepared for an overnight stay so that you can get ample rest.

Queen and PM get highest Scouting awards

From TheStar

PUTRAJAYA: Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak have been awarded the Bintang Semangat Padi Kelas Pertama (Emas), the highest Scouting award from the Scouts Association of Malaysia.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin presented the awards at the association’s national-level presentation ceremony at Istana Melawati here yesterday.

The Bintang Semangat Padi is bestowed upon outstanding figures and state and national leaders.

Scout’s honour: Tuanku Mizan (third from left) and Tuanku Nur Zahirah greeting the recipients of the Scouting awards at the national-level presentation at Istana Melawati in Putrajaya yesterday. Joining them is Najib. — Bernama

At the ceremony, the Tuanku Nur Zahirah was also proclaimed National Scouts Honorary Commissioner and the Prime Minister as the Malaysian Scouts President-General.

Also present was National Chief Scout of Malaysia Datuk Seri Dr Shafie Salleh.

A total of 130 people were presented with scouting awards and medals, namely the Bintang Pahlawan, Bintang Semangat Padi Perak, Bintang Semangat Rimba Emas, Bintang Semangat Rimba Perak, Bintang Semangat Rimba Perak (Honorary), and the Pingat Perkhidmatan Gemilang and Pingat Perkhidmatan Cemerlang.

The special award of Bintang Pahlawan, the highest award given to a Scout leader or member for bravery in saving lives and property, went to Sekolah Menengah Kapar Indah Boy Scout, Muhammad Syazwan Zakaria.

Among the recipients of the Bintang Semangat Padi Perak, the association’s second highest award, were Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang and Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia. — Bernama

Condolences to Goh Swee Khim

My condolences goes out to Goh Swee Kim’s family for his tragic death.

Below is the news article from TheStar Malaysia
TAIPING: A Form Two student who was putting up a tent died after his head was hit by a pulley.

Goh Swee Khim (pic), 14, of SMK Hua Lian here, who was taking part in a camping trip organised by the school’s scouts troop, died on the spot in the 6am incident yesterday.

Taiping OCPD Asst Comm Yusof Mohd Diah said Swee Khim was setting up the tent for the club’s flying fox activity.

“The pulley fell while he was carrying out his task. He suffered severe head injuries,” he said, adding that police had ruled out foul play.

ACP Yusof said Swee Khim’s teacher Chan Din Cow was present during the incident.

His remains have been sent to the Taiping Hospital.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, who expressed his condolences to the family at a wake at a temple here, said ministry director-general Datuk Abdul Ghafar Mahmud would head a committee to investigate the incident.

He said the school has also been directed to hold back co-curricular activities in the next two weeks as a show of respect for Swee Khim.

The suspension of the co-curricular activities would also allow the students involved to undergo counselling as they have been traumatised, he added.

Dr Wee also gave RM2,000 to the family.

State exco member Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, who visited the bereaved family yesterday, presented RM5,000 to the family on behalf of the state government.

“Swee Khim was a good boy who would save his pocket money for his parents so that they could go for a holiday. It is sad his life has been cut short so tragically,” he said.

Sambas in Kalimantan to host regional scout jamboree

By Kerni Puah (From The Star)

SOME 1,500 scouts from Malaysia will be among 5,000 scouts, including those from Brunei and the Pramuka scout movement in Indonesia, at the 1st Borneo Cultural Jamboree in Sambas, Kalimantan, from Dec 14 to 18.

Sarawak Deputy Scout Commissioner Captain Zainuddin Tan Sri Hamdan Sirat said the Malaysian contingent would comprise scouts from Sarawak, Sabah, Johor, Selangor, Malacca and the Federal Territory of Labuan.

Social Development and Urbanisation Minister Datuk Seri William Mawan, who is also the Sarawak scout movement president, would lead the Malaysian contingent to Indonesia, he added.

It will travel to Sambas through the Biawak Immigration Post in Serian, some 64km from Kuching.

Friendly chat: Captain Zainuddin talking to scouts of SK Sitang Petag in Padawan during a recent visit.
Several Sarawak scout leaders including Sarawak Scout Chief Commissioner Dunstan Melling Undau and deputy chief commissioner Mohd Said Bolhassan will join the Malaysian contingent.

Zainuddin said the scouts from Malaysia and Brunei would have the opportunity to stay with families in Sambas to experience their lifestyle and local culture.

“The scouts and the Permuka members are ambassadors of goodwill and harmony. As such the jamboree in Sambas will enhance cultural understanding between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei,” he said.

Zainuddin, who is also Sarawak Air Scouts commissioner, urged youths to participate in scouting activities to inculcate discipline.

Memorable camping trip for special scouts



Fun time: (Front row from left) Coordinator Veronica Pau, Nur Hasliza, Assistant Commissioner of the Scouts Association of Malaysia Neoh Dian Bin, Goh Kai Li, Khoo and Pulau Tikus assemblyman Koay Teng Hai sharing a light moment during the 4th Penang Cheshire Agoonoree camping weekend at the Penang Water Sports Recreation Centre.

IT was indeed a change of scenery for 30 “special scouts” from their daily routine when they had a thrilling time camping over the weekend.

The scouts, aged between eight and 40, from the Penang Cheshire Home and The Cerebral Palsy (Spastic) Children’s Association of Penang happily breathed in the sea air as they eagerly looked forward to the various activities awaiting them during their gathering at the Penang Water Sports Recreation Centre in Tanjung Bungah on Saturday.

They were joined by 40 regular scouts from SMK Jalan Damai, Bukit Mertajam for the camp held in conjunction with the 4th Penang Cheshire Agoonoree.

The “special scouts” were delighted when they flew kites with help from the regular scouts and they beamed with pride when photographs were taken.

Elated feeling: A regular scout launching a kite for his fellow scout at the camp.

Cheshire Home president Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew said the Agoonoree aimed to bring regular and special scouts together to forge a common bond and to integrate the disabled into the mainstream society.

“Such events gives the special scouts the opportunity to participate in practical outdoor activities such as camping, campfires, woodcraft, aquatics and sports,” he said in his speech.

The Penang Cheshire Agoonoree co-ordinator Veronica Pau said that camping was a way for the disabled to be exposed to outdoor life and to interact with regular scouts.

“All of them worked together in putting up the tents. Half was done by the regular scouts and the other half by the special scouts. It was a beautiful sight,” she said.

Pulau Tikus assemblyman Koay Teng Hai opened the event.

The other activities that were lined up for the scouts included cooking, trip to the National Horse Show at the Penang Turf Club, trishaw rides along the heritage trails, paintball games as well as arts and crafts activities.

Camaraderie of scouting pack


SOME 3,000 scouts from around the country and their fellow members from Bangladesh and Indonesia gathered at Tan Chay Yan Scout Camp in Bukit Katil for the 7th Malacca World Heritage City Jamboree recently.

The five-day event was packed with 17 scouting activities, including a tour of the Malacca historic city.

se_04know An assistant scout leader briefing jamboree participants on building a bridge without glue, duct tape and srings.

Jamboree chairman Tan Beng Siang said the gathering forged closer ties between the scouts and honed their outdoor skills.

“The participants were required to complete five activities of six activities and one of two tests to receive activity badges as a token of participation,” said Tan.

He said the six categories were scouting skills, science and handicraft, customs and cultures, adventure, Malacca day tour and amateur radio operating skills.

“They also had to choose between visiting an exhibition at the campsite and answering a series of questions or performing community services for the tests,” he added.

Contingents from Bangladesh and parts of Indonesia like Palembang, Riau, Jambi, Dumai, Bukit TInggi and Jakarta took part.

The scouts were required to apply their scientific knowledge and handicraft skills to create flying rockets by using bottles, a blade, glue, cardboards and cellophane tape.

In the spirit of brotherhood, the scouts cheered loudly when a rocket was launched into the sky and even applauded as encouragement when the rockets failed.

se_04bamboo Make-your-own: Muhamad Farid Amri Mohd Asri from Kelantan tying two pieces of bamboo to form the gateway for his contingent’s building.

Indonesian scout Hayati Puasa, 15, said the jamboree was the first she had attended overseas.

“I enjoyed the historic city the most as I visited landmarks such as A Famosa Fort, The Stadthuys and St Paul Hill,” said Hayati.

For 14-year-old Mohd Firdaus Hisha from Negri Sembilan, scouting was not only about learning survival skills.

se_04rocket Creative work: Malacca High School scouts creating a pressure-powered flying rocket with bottles, glue, cardboard and tape.

“Scouts today have to learn science and technology to keep up with the fast-changing world,” he said.

City lad Muhammad Farid Hamid, 14, said the bicycle expedition in a rubber estate and secondary forest next to the camp was the most exciting.

“I come from Kuala Lumpur and my parents always get worried when I take my bicycle for a ride as there are simply too many cars out there.

“Here, I can pedal my heart out without worrying about incoming cars and reaching the end of the road. The fresh air is a plus too,” he said.

For 16-year-old Chong Wai Seng from Pahang, the jamboree was a good opportunity to share experiences and make friends.

“It is a time for bonding with scouts from other states and contingents. New friendships are forged when we get together to do the same things,” he said.

Penang contingent leader Rozhan Yahaya, 38, brought along 66 scouts from five different troops.

“Most of them have attended jamborees while the newcomers have sufficient camping experience to go through the five-day event,” said Rozhan, who has been active in scouting since 1997 and has 10 jamborees behind him.

He said his boys enjoyed themselves and look forward to future activities.

25 scouts honoured with medals


KOTA BARU: The Kelantan scout movement awarded 25 medals of appreciation to its members to commemorate 100 years of the Malaysian Federation of Scouts.

The ceremony was held at Kem Kijang here in front of 500 scouts from all over the state.

Federation treasurer Datuk Jamaludin Mohd Tahir, in his speech, said measures were being taken to bring back the glory days of scouting.

“The council is aware that the scout movement is not as popular among school students as it once was,” he added.

Jamaluddin urged scouts to stay abreast with knowledge, which was easier now with advances in information technology.