1. Following the earlier uneventful Chinese Youth Recruitment (CYR) Project in Sg Petani on 29 Aug 2018, Maj ST Leong took it upon himself to meet up with the Headmistress of SMJK Sin Min, Puan Li Lee Ching on 23 Oct 2018. That four eyed meeting had led to the follow up CYR event of 10 Nov 2018, a very successful episode in terms of students’ turnout and also catching the interests of the very young through early initial exposures.
2. It had also been decided that the CYR program be renamed the Malaysian Youth Recruitment (MYR) program instead, this name change allows for early exposure towards the young and also helps establish the fact that MACVA will help all Malaysians who wish to join the Armed Forces as a career, with stronger emphasis for increased Chinese participation within.
3. 9 Nov 2018, the MACVA MYR Team led by Lt Col Carol Loo left for Sg Petani, Kedah by train at 7.00am from Kuala Lumpur. Carol’s team members were made up with the participation of Maj Godfrey Chang (VP Army), Maj David Chow (MYR member) and Maj Wong KY (MYR member) from Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh respectively. The Sungei Petani team was made up with Maj ST Leong (Appointed leader) assisted by Maj Lee Man Tat. On arrival, we were met by Maj Lee; Maj ST Leong came later in the evening. A short discussion amongst all team members were held in the hotel at 7.30pm, to sort out the necessary administrative arrangements for the next day’s Military Career Talk.
4. 10 Nov 2018, the entire team was assembled at the SMJK Sin Min Hall at 7.00am making the necessary preparations. The team was received by the Cikgu Goh and Cikgu Choo. The Ministry of Defence team consisted of Cawangan Tenaga Kerja (CTK), Army, Navy, Air Force, UPNM and RMC representatives. The talk proper kicked off at 7.30am while the remaining members set up their booths.
5. Meanwhile, a total of 742 students - boys and girls (Form 3 - 368 students and Form 4 - 374 students) were assembled at the basketball arena. Some were already dressed in extra co-curriculum uniform of blue while others were still in their white school uniform. All were seated on the floor in accordance to their designated classes; one can notice in a military like orderly manner. From observations, the students were much disciplined; none of them had walked out or evaded the presentations. Looking confused initially, curiosity got the better of them eventually – they were keen to learn and had visited the exhibition booths. The display of weaponry drew interest for most of the students, whether they were boys or girls.
6. The Headmistress, Puan Li Lee Ching was not available due to an earlier prior engagement; Cikgu Goh was tasked the MC and coordinator of the day. In her welcoming speech, she gave a short outline on the purpose of the combined efforts; to expose students to what the Armed Forces has to offer to those from the PT3 and SPM categories that wish to join the Armed Forces as a career option. She had emphasized that the days of “the good son not joining the Armed Forces” no longer carries any truth. The National Defense of the country is therefore the duty of every citizen.
7. MACVA is sincerely appreciative of all parties involved. This is in fact the first time that military equipment was displayed and these drew much excitement among the students. The presence of two lady cadets from UPNM also widened the horizon to pave new openings and encouragement for girls to seek a career in the Armed Forces.
8. There was a further exchange of gifts between the school and MACVA; and Mindef’s Team.
9. Finally , our appreciation and tribute to both Maj ST Leong and Maj Lee Man Tat (MACV Sg Petani) who have put in a lot of effort to make this meeting a success. Maj ST Leong’s bold action of charging into the Headmistress office to convince the school to support our MYR program is highly commendable. A very good example of commitment, dedication and successful execution of a MACVA mission - with no vested interest! Not forgetting the hard work from all the team members from Mindef (CTK, Army, Navy and Air Force), UPNM and RMC as well as the school coordinator Cikgu Goh and Cikgu Choo. The have all put in a lot of effort for this event to be a success. Many thanks also to those involved directly and indirectly. In an analogy pointed out by one MACVA member – “the seeds had been planted in a land which had been neglected for the last 30 or 40 years or so. We have cleared the jungle and planted the seeds. Now the farmers have to ensure to toil the land with proper watering and correct fertilizer.”
10. The job at hand had been started, and let us all work together to see it grow into big trees bearing fruits. Any new set of estate managers will just need to continue from here on – the seeds have been sown to reap the rewards down the line. What is needed now, in continuation, is to toil, water and fertilize (the whole works). We, those who participated in this event, may never be the ones to reap the rewards down the line.
11. Our next plan is to propose to the Headmistress that MACVA would like to adopt the school under our MYR pioneer project. MACVA would like to do the follow up with the school as and when required to counsel/guide those students who are keen. The job does not end here the 10 Nov 2018 event, the team would need to tackle the current form 5 and form 6 students to continue; but after 15 Dec 2018 when they have all finished their last day of their exams.
12. We should plan for the next talk for Forms 4, 5 and 6 of the same school before Jun 2019. This plan should be extended to other Chinese schools in Kedah as well.
Report compiled by:
Lt Col Loo Lee Fum (Rtd)
MYR Project Leader
12 Nov 2018