Disability not a deterrent for gutsy girl

NOREEDA REDHWAN, a disabled person, loves the scouts movement because it has helped her be independent.

Her determination was evident when the 16-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy, made the long bus trip from Penang to Negri Sembilan to take part in the 11th Malaysian Scout Jamboree.

“This is the first time I am taking part in something like this. Of course I want to be here because I want to gain experience,” said the excited Noreeda, who is with the Penang Cheshire Home.

“I like scouting because it teaches me to be independent and it is challenging. I am okay. The illness is not painful. It is just that I cannot walk.”


Mohamad Hasan (right) meeting Noreeda as the others look on.

Noreeda became a scout three years ago and recently took part in an “agoonoree”, which is a jamboree for special scouts in Penang.

“I went canoeing … I do what I can. Besides, there are always friends around who are willing to help me,” she added.

Noreeda also met with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, who visited the site for a final inspection.

She is one of the 6,084 scouts who gathered at the Ulu Bendul Forest Reserve for the jamboree, which is held every four years.

This is the first time that the event is being held in Negri Sembilan. A total of 454 foreign scouts participated in the jamboree, which started on Dec 13.

Among the activities planned for the scouts were canoeing, a trek up Gunung Angsi, rafting and flying fox.

Assisting Noreeda during the jamboree was Penang Cheshire Home therapy assistant Salinder Vathi Mohandas, 27, who said those with special needs were able to participate in activities like the tele-match, flying fox and canoeing.

“They can do a lot. All they need is the chance to try,” she said.

Source : TheStar.com.my

Carnival-like jungle jamboree

THERE has been a carnival-like atmosphere at the foot of Gunung Angsi in Negri Sembilan ever since boy scouts from around Malaysia and several foreign countries set up camp there on Dec 12.

The forest reserve area, known as the Ulu Bendul Recreational Park in Kuala Pilah, is crawling with about 7,000 scouts of all ages who are attending the 11th Malaysian Scout Jamboree that ends tomorrow.

The jamboree is markedly different from such events held in yesteryear. Among the tents pitched in the jungle are makeshift cybercafes for scouts to keep in touch with their families and friends back home via e-mail or for those who just cannot do without the trappings of information technology even when they are camping in the great outdoors.

The scouts also get a chance to do some shopping and “dining out” as there are also tents or stalls selling souvenirs, and food and drinks.


(From left) Malaysian Girl Guides Sri Izzati and Alifah Abdullah exchanging souvenirs with their counterparts from Maldives Mariyam Ramsha Mohd, Aishath Shamra and Aminath Sharumeela during the jamboree.


Howard Lai, 42, a scout for more than 30 years, is making brisk business selling souvenirs at the jamboree. “My souvenir items are mostly related to the scouts movement.”

“I set up stalls during occasions like jamboree as my scouting passion is too strong to lose touch with the movement,” said the special projects manager for Zonicerovers, a company based in Taman Ehsan, Kepong.

Hafiz Mansor, Hermawan Waren and Adam Riyadi from Pengakap Selangor were busy surfing the Internet at one of the many booths set up by private companies.

“This is our first jamboree and we are enjoying every moment of our time here. Eight days is just not enough,” said the boys.Surfing the net is just another hobby for the lads who also love the age-old scouting tradition of swapping badges and other scouting accessories with their “brothers” from other states or countries.



Burger seller Shafizan Mohd Shafie doing brisk business as hungry Scouts search for snacks at the carnival-like jamboree.


Scouts from Sri Lanka, Britain, Indonesia, the Maldives, Singapore and Brunei added international flavour to the jamboree.

International Commissioner for the Sri Lanka Scouts Association, Shanta Madurawe, 35, said the Scouts movement was growing in strength worldwide and introducing information technology into jamborees was one effective way to get connected with counterparts from other countries.

“I have been a scout for 24 years and I think we have to move with the times to make scouting more appealing and challenging to the younger set,” he added.

Even though cybercafes add a touch of the 21st century to the jamboree, members of the movement founded by Robert Baden-Powell 96 years ago still enjoy the sense of camaraderie in holding campfires, singing, cooking, trekking and working together at their jungle gathering.

Strive to develop, MB tells scouts

WITH the introduction of more uniformed units in schools, the scout movement needs to work harder to ensure that it continues to develop, said Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

“There are too many uniformed units in schools. And lately, it seems that students are losing interest in becoming scouts,” he said when opening the state level Scouts Association of Malaysia’s bi-annual general meeting.

“Now, the scouts have to compete.” he said.

Mohamad also said that the movement needed to look at its own organisation and suggested that district education offices be included in the scouts association in order to increase the effectiveness of the movement.

He added that membership of the scouts should be increased to 23,000 compared to the current 15,000.“Out of this figure, only 10% of them are active,” he said.

He also said a site, located in the Rembau district of Miku, had been set aside to become an International Scouts Camp for courses and camps to be held for scouts from other countries.

Re-empower Scout movement

SCOUTING should be made more attractive to youths as one way to counter the Mat Rempit social problem.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said scouting was a good movement for instilling discipline in youths.

Dr Koh, who is also State Scouts president, said young people were ‘interested’ in speeding, if not on their scooters and motorbikes, then it would be in their cars.

“Scouting instils discipline so it is a good way to counter this social problem of Mat Rempits,” he told newsmen after launching the Scouts Association of Malaysia, Penang’s 49th Jamboree on the Air (Jota) and 10th Jamboree On the Internet (Joti) recently.

Also present were the Scouts International Com-missioner Jauhar Mohd Yassim, acting State Scouts Commissioner Zulkafli Kama-ruddin and State Scouts Council working committee chairman Teng Chang Yeow.

Dr Koh said participation in the scouting movement had suffered a decline in the past decade nationwide due to competition from other uniformed associations in schools.

“Scouting was the only uniformed movement sanctioned by parliament 30 to 40 years ago.

“Now, with stiff competition from many other uniformed societies in schools, the scouting movement must rise to the challenge to attract more youths,” he said.

Dr Koh called for the scout movement to be ‘re-empowered’ in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Jota, 100th anniversary of the scout movement, Visit Malaysia Year 2007 and the 50th national day celebrations next year.

He called on the council working committee and the commissioners to meet and get the views of veteran scouts on how to re-empower the movement and organise more activities to attract youths.

Later when asked by reporters on his anticipated meeting with Penang Umno Youth to hear out the latter’s grouses, Dr Koh declined to reveal when the meeting would be held.

“We have met during buka puasa events and had chatted. Let bygones be by-gones and let’s move on to the future.

“What is more important is that this is now the time to celebrate Deepavali and Hari Raya together,” he added.

Source : TheStar.com.my

Men to boys

Interviewing four of the eight actors of Goodbye Boys was a riot. Anyone walking past the editing suite at Red Communications, where we met, would think some raucous party was going on.

When told they look older on camera, Razif Hashim jokingly cried: “Oh no, I’ve failed!”

Playing at being 17 again was not easy.

“The most difficult thing was to have that immaturity going on,” said Razif, who can be seen in the new Rexona ads on TV, which are a sort of prequel to the film. “It was very different for me when I was 17. Experiences were what I held on to, not the psyche. To be rigid and follow rules was not what I was when I was a kid. For me, that was a good challenge.”


 Jin (Jay Eng) fighting over a girl with Ivan (Razif Hashim).

The four – Razif, Farid Ramlee, Jay Eng and Nas-T (that’s his DJ moniker, his real name is “very long”) – said they bonded on the second day of production, doing lots of “boy stuff”.

“We were separated into two dorms, with four in each,” said Razif, a college student. “We ended up six or seven in one dorm, all sleeping on the floor or playing cards! It was a brotherly experience and it was good.”

The boys, said director Bernard Chauly, even drove their van driver crazy, who kept asking them “Why don’t you guys sleep or something?”

Said Farid, also a student: “When we were in our rooms and resting, we would talk about girlfriends and stuff. I was surprised that they were so sensitive! He (points to Nas, who plays the strong, silent leader Glenn) doesn’t look like a sensitive guy, but he is!”

Someone asked: “Who cried?”

To which someone else replied: “Er … no one!”

To which the whole room exploded into laughter.


Leonard (David Eng, left) looks on as silent leader Glenn (Nas-T) watches the boys swim in a disused mining pool.

Said Nas: “When I got to know them, I thought, hey, I’m actually meeting myself.”

Added Eng, the youngest of the group, and who is doing his A Levels: “We all have so many similarities.”

“And some of us are really vain … no, all of us are vain!” Farid said with a laugh.

Not all of them have Scouts experience though. Nas’s grandfather was a scoutmaster and Nas learned a lot from him.

“So when I got the role, the silent leader, I based my character a lot on Arnold Schwarzenegger, all this macho leader stuff,” said Nas. To which everyone broke into laughter again.

But the experience on location was so real, it gave them more than they expected in terms of acting.

“It was like ‘I’m going to pretend to be in the jungle, and I’m going to get lost. No, wait, I am in the jungle!’” said Razif.

And all the stress and sweat you see on screen were real.

“The sweat especially!” said Razif. “At first, we started by spraying the actors with water. But after a while, we didn’t need that anymore! When people went like this (sniffs armpits), it is real!”

Some of them found similarities with the characters they played, while some did not.

Said Farid: “Aris and I have a lot in common. I used to have this best friend, who is like Jin (played by Eng). I used to follow him around until Form Five, when I ‘found my spine’. It is so spot-on that it was kind of scary at first.”

Said Eng: “My character is the only one who smokes, but in real life, it’s the exact opposite.”

But is he a “player” like his character Jin?

“No!” he laughed. “Not intentionally. A few years back, I was like Jin. I thought I had everything under control but actually, I did not. I did go through that stage in my life.”

For Nas, he had a best friend who was like Glenn, someone he always looked up to, and it was easy for him to find the nuances of the character.

So, is he a man of few words in real life?

Someone shouted: “It gets worse at night!”

Nas recounted a funny incident in Penang: “A guy who had read about the movie in a magazine walked up to me and said, ‘You know, I was a scout too.’ I told him, ‘And I was only acting.’”

Said Razif: “I think a lot of us forgot about school. Once you step out of school, you want to forget school. But later you realise, hey, I miss school.”