Perak Sultan bestows awards on top Scouting leaders

PROUD MOMENT: (from left) Dr Somboon Bunyasiri (Thailand) and Chief Commissioner Mohammed Ali Khalid (India) with the Perak Sultan

by Dato’ Syed Ahmad Idid

KUALA LUMPUR, June 13: Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-Lah, the Sultan of Perak, recently bestowed awards to several foreign and local Scouting leaders in Ipoh.

Additionally, 56 others also received the Royal Scout Certificates from the sultan at the ceremony filled with pomp and splendour.

There were three foreign recipients of the Persekutuan Pengakap Malaysia(PPM) awards.

Two received the Semangat Rimba Emas (3rd Highest PPM award) — Mohammed Ali Khalid, Chief Commissioner, Barat Scouts India, and consultant for the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and Dale Bokingo Corvera, Chairman Asia Pacific Regional (APR) Scout Committee and National President of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.

The third received the Bintang Semangat Rimba Perak (4th Highest PPM award) and he was Dr Somboon Bunyasiri, 2nd Vice Chairman of the APR Scout Committee and International Commissioner of the National Scout Organisation, Thailand.

Guests at the ceremony included Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad, Major-General (Rtd) Datuk Dr Haji Zin Bidin, Malaysia’s Chief Scout, and Haji Nasaruddin Shamsuddin, the National Chief Commissioner.

ACTIVE SCOUTERS: Chief Commissioner Mohammed Ali Khalid (right) with Dato’ Haji Ahmad Shazilly Ismail Bakti, Dr Mohammed Mukhyuddin Sarwani, Major-General (Rtd) Dato’ Dr Haji Zin Bidin,

Scouting is active in Malaysia with more than 300,000 members. It is a worldwide movement and also prevalent in many Islamic countries.

Scouting is a global youth movement that builds friendships, experiences, and skills for life, shaping young people’s futures as active citizens.

More than 500 million young people and adults have joined and experienced the power of Scouting’s non-formal education since it was founded in 1907.

Since then, the Scout Movement has continued to grow and is now active in 174 National Scout Organisations with more than 57 million young people, supported by millions of dedicated volunteers, take part in Scouting activities and events worldwide.

Observers said the Sultan of Perak’s presence at the ceremony had shown the way for Malaysian Scouts to take a more active role on the world stage.

One of the pathways is to take the various Scouting tests and progress towards becoming Royal Scouts, they said.

The current practice is to have each Pengakap Raja (King Scout) Certificate signed by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong) and all the Sultans. This is indeed appropriate and proof of the importance of Scouting for the country, including national unity.

During my days in the 1950s, my King Scout (Pengakap Raja) Certificate was signed by Queen Elizabeth II herself. I received the certificate from the then High Commissioner to Malaya, General Sir (later Tun) Gerald Templer.

The ceremony also recognised the chairmen of the country’s Persaudaraan Pengakap Raja Malaysia (PPM). They included the Founding Chairman, Dato’ Syed Ahmad Idid, and followed by Haji Ahmad Hariri Abu Bakar, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Dato’ Tak, Dr Mohammed Mukhyuddin Sarwani, Gordon Koh and Paramasivam Palani.

After the ceremony in Ipoh, the Consultant for the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, Dr Mohammed Mukhyuddin, who is also Malaysia’s Deputy National Chief Commissioner, hosted a Scout-happy luncheon for the foreign Scout leaders at the Royal Lake Club in Kuala Lumpur.

HAPPY SCOUTS REUNION: (from left) Dato’ Syed Ahmad Idid with Chief Commissioner Mohammed Ali Khalid & National Chief Scout Maj-Gen (Rtd) Dato’ Dr Mohd Zin Bidin