Friday, August 8, 2008

Kem Eksplorasi Minda 2008 in Borneo: A Reminiscence

Alhamdulillah, it has been a week since Kem Borneo 2008 has ended and yet its heat can still be felt even today with all the loving memories of fellow facilitators, orators, and participants - all contributed to the success of the event.

The Kem is a 10-days program for SPM candidates aimed specifically for students in Sabah and Sarawak with an emphasis on brushing up study skills for SPM, awakening the 'sleeping conscience', and sharing studying abroad opportunities as well as personal life experience overseas from the facilitators. I wish to thank and congratulate the Program Director, Azri Bohari, for his unrelenting efforts that has made this noble endeavor possible.

Kolej DPHA facilitators line-up, Kuching

The Core Business

Syafeeq (, a fellow facilitator of the program, deftly summarized our program activities as noted below in red:

Ust. Hasrizal with us in Kolej DPHA dormitory
  1. Ceramah daripada Ustaz Hazrizal: This prominent blogger and motivator was with us in Kuching, Sarawak for the whole duration when we were there. You can read his thoughts about the camp here:
  2. Ceramah Akhi Mukhtar Suhaili: Also not foreign in the blogosphere, meet Brother Mukhtar Suhaili. He joined us in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah for the whole term there. Feel free to read his writings about the program here:
  3. IRP- Intensive Revision Programme (study group) cara berkesan: As can be drawn from the name, this session is about how to study effectively within the constrain of time and pressure faced by students at the corner of major examination (for this case, SPM). Also, there is an LDK (In-Group Activity) that followed for this session.
  4. Mind Mapping: Inspired by Tony Buzan, the session is aimed to utilize the usage of mind maps instead of conventional line-to-line sentences in order to write notes. It is believed that the use of mind maps are much more effective for recalling facts and organizing information and so an LDK session tailed the main session to further cement the participants' understanding of the fundamentals of mind mapping.
  5. Sharing Moments (gelintar faci-faci di oversea): To me, this is the most interesting session of all when facilitators were given time to share their experience first-hand with the participants regarding the facilitators' living and studying style overseas. Each country were given 15 minutes to share everything they could. Videos and Powerpoint Presentations were used to entice eager ears. Yea, for all schools that I presented, the acceptance level was at least egalitarian. Among the pearls shared were living and studying culture presentations in the UK, Ireland, USA, Indonesia, France, Czech Republic, Egypt, and Russia.
  6. Bee Movie: A movie-watching session and then with elaboration of lessons that can be drawn from the movie. Some never thought that watching a cartoon movie can be full of lessons in tandem with full of fun!
  7. Ini Sejarah Kita: This was a 'heavy' session intended to expound the history of the Muslim Civilization.
  8. Amal Islami: A session for Muslims. This is the only session I missed to attend.
  9. Shift your paradigm video: An excellent 20-minutes video encircling the history of the Muslim civilizations, the problems facing the world today, and a call for a spiritual awakening towards solving the maladies of the world and a conscience for the hereafter. Very good reflections of the video were also made by students from SMKA Inanam, Sabah.
  10. What to do after SPM: This session is contributed to give a rudimentary picture of how life after SPM would be (i.e. where to go next, the mission and vision in life beyond SPM etc.). An LDK session followed to clarify the topic.
  11. QnA Forum: A session dedicated to answer questions from the participants by all facilitators. Too many questions there were and many of them are still left unanswered. A blog is to be dedicated to answer the unanswered questions.
  12. Riadah Ukhwah: A friendly sport session to shatter the remnants of unbroken ice between the facilitators and the participants. For male participants, the games played were friendly volleyball matches, friendly futsal matches and traditional Cap Kelicap game of mimicry.
The program was held in five different schools in Borneo States of Malaysia namely Sabah and Sarawak. The venues were:

1. SMS Kuching, Kuching, Sarawak
2. Kolej Datu Patinggi Haji Abdillah (DPHA), Kuching, Sarawak
3. MRSM Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
4. Sekolah Menengah Agama Inanam, Sabah
5. Sekolah Menengah Agama Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

The Response

Our presence were cordially welcomed by the schools willing to host the event. No, even describing the manner of welcoming as cordial is an understatement. Imagine, in Kuching, we were welcomed by a contingent of Kolej DPHA students together with a teacher once the facilitators from Peninsular Malaysia arrived at Kuching International Airport. The experience in Kolej Abdillah dormitory cannot be sweeter; for six times each day we were served full-course meals (breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, dinner, and supper) with student-servers ready to refill our empty cups and plates. During the first day in Kolej Abdillah, we were tired. Thanks to the Collegians (that is what Kolej Abdillah students call themselves) who even sent the supper meals inside our sleeping quarters (and even cleaned up the mess the next morning)! Also, during a rainy time one evening, they helped to move our towels from a drying yard and saved the towels from getting soaking wet.

Not forgetting also the astounding level of enthusiasm, exuberance and participation from the students of the school that I were in: Kolej DPHA (the best!), SMS Kuching, SMA Inanam, and MRSM Kota Kinabalu. Many were not shy to ask questions, crack jokes and share opinions during the session. Oh yea, I still remember "the school song dance" (that is how I describe the verb) by the Collegians: a very interesting one. I am very confident that it is the first time in my life (and the life of other fellow facilitators as well) to witness people actually dance when singing their school song! And yea, to add up the spice, there were dancers in front of the stage who were the main dancers; when it comes to certain stanzas in the school song, people at the back 'replied' the dance with some sort of dance again together with uttered choral harmony. Such creativity!

Kolej DPHA "school dance"

Talking about creativity, I was deeply immersed with the theme song of the program, Aku Berlari (I Run). My first impression about the song was it was just another "Kau Boleh" and "Gemilang" song or some sort of melodic nasheed song with religious overtones. However, little did I expect that the song is so compelling that I keep repeating it in my song playlist! I shall refrain discussing more about the song, however, as I plan to write a post solely dedicated to it sometime in the future. But as far as the program is concerned, the song is very relevant: it is understandable to people of various background transcending races and religious beliefs; its modern-style rap-music is in-trend and is appealing to young listeners; it includes all - not only for the participants, but also the facilitators and all involved in the program!

Introducing Borneo

In the Penambang, a scary excitement

Among the memorable part of this program was introducing my place to fellow friends from Peninsular Malaysia. As I told one of my close friends from Johor who also joined as a facilitator for the program, "in Sabah and Sarawak, you will see the other face of Malaysia."

Yes, it was the stories of myth-shattering and re-defining the meaning of Malaysia. Perhaps some may believe that Sabahans and Sarawakians still live on the trees and the main transportation is the rakit, and that there are no shopping malls in Borneo states. Well, now I believe those are only assumptions of the past. Only that for Sarawak, culture, nature and modernization in goes hand-in-hand as witnessed with skyscrappers standing side by side with rivers with penambang and Kampung Melayu near Kuching-waterfront.

Also, in terms of population composition, surely it is radically different from Peninsular Malaysia. Whereas there are at least 80% Muslims and Malays of the total population in the Peninsular, in Sabah and Sarawak, there are at most 30% Muslims and only 25% Malays of the total population statewide. Not forget to mention a diversity of cultures and languages the Borneo states possess that has result a dynamics of society different from Peninsular Malaysia. These my fellow friends had (formally) witnessed in Sarawak Cultural Village and (informally witnessed) during interactions with the locals (Hard to guess who is a Muslim, who is a Malay, and who is a Bidayuh only by the face, eh?).

Of course, places of interest and state icons and special food were not left behind. We witnessed Mount Santubong with the visage of lying Puteri Santubong and heard its legend, we rode the Penambang that was and is still the main river-transport that connects the village and the city center, we took pictures at the Cat Statue, we climbed up to the hill of North Kuching City Hall etc. The food: Laksa Sarawak, Ikan Terubok Masin, Bakso, Mee Kolok, Kek Lapis, perhaps most if not all the States' main delicacies had been brought to taste. Only that we missed were the more natural setting of the island: the Orang Utans, the Rhinocerous Hornbills and the Giant Phytons, live! Another time perhaps...

Last but not least, the uniting language: the "Sarawak Language" for the Sarawakians and the "Sabah Language" for the Sabahans. I heard a lot of excitement from my fellow friends and glees and joys as they diligently learn the language totally foreign to them. In no time, they mastered the usage of "kitak-kamek", "aok-sik" and the "bah" and "o tedah" in their phrases as they speak. Such reminds me when I were in the Peninsular when I tried to learn Kelantanese and Terengganu language from my fellow coursemates. And yea, this also reminds me the blessings and beauty of Malaysia: separated by just a small South China Sea, and yet so different and so diverse but still are wiling to understand each other.

Knowing Sabah

Female Facilitators line-up in Sabah

Male facilitators line-up to Sabah

I am also blessed when I learned a lot about my nearest neighbor (yet the least-known) state of Sabah. Traversing the scenic seaside view of Kota Kinabalu, snorkeling, speed-boating, and banana boating over the coast of Manukan Island had proven to me the fabled natural beauty of Sabah. Not forgettig the warmth of the people. Before, I only get a glimpse of how Sabahans may live their life as I observe the interactions of few Sabahan friends that I have. Now, I have witnessed them in their homeland and thus have a fuller grasp of the Sabahan friendliness. And yea, I could also re-practice my rusty Sabah language that I left quite some time ago.

Learning the Virtue of Giving

The one thing I learned most from this program is the virtue of giving. I must admit, prior to the very days of the program, my heart was filled with doubts whether this program was worth an ounce of my holiday time. But certainly is not worth an ounce, it is an immeasurable lesson that I think would serve long in my mind and in my heart for a lifetime. Yes, the program was dreadfully exhaustive - but the exhaustion was compensated with the smiling face of eager participants who gave their utmost commitment to keep bearing with us despite we causing them almost fatal boredom at times.

Yes, the program was costly for our pocket since most expenses came out directly from our own pocket money - but none the money in the world could buy the great times again knowing great people such as Ustaz Hasrizal and Brother Suhaili, high-spirited facilitators with various personal and educational background and great little brothers and sisters whom their voices and dreams would echo long after the program ends.

And yes, perhaps now I understand more noble phrases such as "erti hidup pada yang memberi", "tangan yang memberi adalah lebih mulia daripada tangan yang menerima", and "the more you give, the more you get" in their fuller terms. No, mainstream capitalist method of thinking cannot measure the return. But the heart knows that the return is much more rewarding than Ringgits and Cents.


On the speed-boat. Next stop: Manukan Island

Indeed, I have learned a lot from this program with a great mix of emotions and experiences. From the excitement of introducing my homeland, the asperity of commitment, the austerity of financial reserves, the camaraderie of friendship, the charms of scenic beauty, and to the bonds of brotherhood - this program has taught me to be a person; a person worthy not by how fat his bank account or how much fame he possesses. Rather, a person worthy by his deeds and actions in his effort in serving his fellow men and God.


E Nursyaheera Sulaiman said...

Salam alaik Encik Semangat...

Wah, dah mendahului dengan entry Kem Borneo 2008. SubhanAllah. Mantap entrynye, x dpt ana nak buat entry version English dgn vocab yang moksya itu. Huhu. But will try and finish my entry. Seronok bace kitak orang punya entry. ^_^ Linking your blog ya.

nova said...

Salam Cik Adik Wina...

amboi2x... sy Encik Shazani la, bkn Encik Semangat! :P

anyway, thanks 4 visiting! hehe... looking forward 2 read ur entry :)

E Nursyaheera Sulaiman said...

It's Syaheera... Not Erwina ya. And yes, Encik Semangat was not something I created... a compliment from the Collegians. Huhu. Kamek sik ada masa & ilham lagi nieh mok buat entry. Adeh.

- e k a - said...

salam abg jani :)
first of all i would like to dedicate tons of credits to amazing persons i've met along the way.. not that i mean ppl that i've met along the street of kch,but facis who ended up becoming great friends and excellent guider.( was my lame joke);p

'live on the trees and the main transportation is the rakit, and that there are no shopping malls in Borneo states'. i would love to post an entry about the sjung ppl's perspective towards sarawakian soon.perhaps after my gp2exam.

correction: hearts n minds bkn lgu skolah ok? ;p ya lgu wajib bg every smart school in msia. mun tyk dgn saudara mukhtar suhaili pun,nya tauk lgu ya coz ny dr kolej bujang dolok. which is one of the smart school too :) every facis seems to think it is our school song~ -_-'

i hope there are some of you who reads from the start until the very bottom because i usually don't read other bloggers' long entry unless i have nothing better to do.. lol.. its a confession..heh

kamenr said...

heyy sounds soo much fun and it is a great programme. i salute you all who managed to organized as such a programme. (wishing i joined it myself:P)

munie lives in a shopping bag said...

salam abg.jani!

ur one of our fav. facis...
soo bersemangat n we love the way u talk...ada vibe!

btw,can i link ur blog?

nova said...

Cik Adik "Syaheera" :p

haa... masih tengah menunggu posting kitak.


oh, I'd love to hear your posting regarding the topic.

pasal lagu ya... haha, we all tot it was in fact your school song. regardless, u ppl look so cute dancing n singing the song. ceria apa...

ha... u can do the half-half reading kat blog... tp don do dat in other more serious literatures!


Thanks for the compliment. Ya la, mun ada wakil Jordan bgs juak. Regardless, we are attempting now... albeit much smaller in scale. ;)



thanks! hehe... sengaja meng'vibe'kan dirik sak ktkorg sik ngantok.

thanks n all the best 2u2! psst... mok jd pereka fesyen ka? bgs2... phaps u could create a fashion one day bleh jd identiti umat kita, selain dpd kta ambk dpd org lain jak.

sure, u could link my blog. :)

mujahidah said...


priceless experience. sgt best~
i wish i can join the team too=)
moga Allah membalas segala kebaikan dan sumbangan ikhlas antum.

btw, cmne boleh come across my blog eh?...i want to link urs too.

munie said...

okies thanx.
about the pereka fashion n stuffs, i made that profile quite a long time ago.
i need to rethink bout that cita2 since its hard to survive in the harsh fashion industry.
but i would love to design something yg boleh jadi trdemark umat kita.

nova said...


glad to hear the brimming spirit! one day, phaps u cud organize a better program. n if so, jgn lupa panjang2kan d sini. :)

actually, i stumbled over your blog by random stalking of others' blog and found a link to yours. a pleasant surprise, regardless.

certainly, you could link mine.


people change, what more an ambition?

regardless, i pray your success in whatever good endeavor you choose to undertake. :)

- SIS NADIA - said...


Encik Shazani = Encik Semangat??LOL!
I think it's quite a nice compliment though :D

Anyway,this is a very good entry,apetah lagi bila muka i pun ada tercacak kat entri ni,thank u la Shazani,haha~

Setiap kali lawat blog kamu,mesti hati I terdetik;"I wish my English will be as good as him".Haha,passkan sket skills and knowledge kamu tuh kat saya :P

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