July 3, 2010

The end of a beginning

How many of you remember this moment in history?

Tun Mahathir Mohamad announcing his retirement from UMNO, Barisan Nasional and role as the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia. As you can see, he's more than sad to announce his stepping down; and who could blame him? For one, he was Malaysia's longest serving Prime Minister from 16 July 1981 to 31 October 2003, and had contributed immensely to Malaysia's economic and technological growth; thus earning him the title of Bapa Pemodenan (Father of Modernization). His blood, sweat and tears for the country had paid dividends, and any leader who may have left such a mark on Malaysia's development would be just as sad to resign from all his positions.

And today, after a full 5 year membership with PBSM/BSMM ACS Sitiawan, it was my turn to step down from my year's service as president. The journey to the top was nothing short of fulfilling. I remember the very first time I attended PBSM's meeting in Form 1, I had no idea what on earth to wear. I came wearing a casual shirt, short pants and slippers, instead of, say, PJ shirt, track suit and school shoes. Genius, wasn't I? So from then, I met a bunch of friends, learnt all sorts of vital first aid techniques, learnt to work with new people during first aid services, and working with fellow board members in running the show. Of course, this is all normal. We all go through it. But you know, after 5 years of loyally attending meetings, 2 years on the board, 3 years of camping, and numerous first aid services, helping those in need, I came to love BSMM. Sure, overall quality has declined compared to several years ago, but nonetheless I took in everything that BSMM had to offer, even some rough times. And I learnt to appreciate how important, and how noble BSMM is. It was just within this past week it dawned on me that, to have been chosen to lead this important and noble uniform body, was such an honour and privilege. And that I've put in so much effort along with my AJKs to keep BSMM running, if not improving it. But that was what mattered the most - our effort.

I had much inspiration from the past board members, and even my own brother who was the vice president when he was in Form 5. So from them, I took the motivation to be as strict as I could possibly be; no joking around, always with a loud, authoritative voice, sending out the clear message that I was not going to be some push over. And yet, at the same time, carefully managing the society and making sure nothing went awry. Okay, maybe I'm not the best president to have stepped in and take charge, but what is assured is that I've done everything I could and carried out my duty to the best of my abilities, even bringing in new changes. Last year was the first time we had McDonald's food for any occasion. Our annual camp had a complete overhaul (even though it didnt quite receive the response we had hoped). I actually dared to change. Not just monotonously follow obligations and not trying something different. We had put in A LOT to make those changes work. And all that made me realise how much I actually cared for BSMM. I just cant help but feel that way, after joining for 5 years and ending on this note. 

BSMM meant a lot to me. Part of my life has been shaped around BSMM. That's how special it has been. I've truly appreciated every experience I've gained, even if there were some bad ones. But nothing can be perfect right? I might not be having a Mahathir Moment like in the video, but nonetheless bidding farewell to BSMM really saddens me. But the show must go on. This is only the beginning of many more things to come.

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