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Assalamu'alaikum readers.

All IPTA students of Malaysia has to take Malaysian University English Test (MUET) before they graduate in their studies. There are 4 papers in this exam, Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening. This morning was Mujahid's and my Speaking Test. Luckily we managed to get the same institute that is, SMK Tinggi Setapak which is located at Jalan Ayer Jerneh.

We woke up early, drove and arrived there at 7.00am, half an hour earlier than the stated time. We went in the school and there was a nice indian teacher who lead us to the test venue, which is one of the classrooms. We sat there and waited for a while. We spoke with a few malay guys. They were studying from many different universities, UNISEL, UTM, UITM.

A few minutes later and an examiner came in, she divided us into groups and Alhamdulillah me and mujahid are in the FIRST group with the other 2 malay guys. I'm really thankful that I got guys to be my groupmates. It will be really awkward to have a group discussion with girls u never even met. I'm also thankful that we're the first group to do the test, so we can leave early.

We have to give up our handphones and soon we got called in the exam room. We sat down at our seats. The question paper was taped to the desk. We were given 1 minute to read both questions, Task A and Task B. I don't remember the exact question but it's something like this, "What is the best method for youth to express his/her feelings?" Candidate A has to support the method "Face to Face", candidate B, "Short Messaging Services (SMS)", candidate C, "Social Networking Sites" and candidate D, "a telephone call".

I was candidate C. Once again Alhamdulillah i got a topic where i'm actually proficient at. For Task A, we have to talk for only 2 minutes, explaining about the points that support the method, beginning with candidate A. While candidate A and B were speaking, I was listening to them and maybe i can find some points for my talk later. Not long later, it was my turn. I was quite nervous but i think i managed to speak up my points and made the examiner and the other candidates understand what i have to say.

Then it was Task B. We were given 10 minutes to discuss with each other on which is the best method for youth to express his/her feelings. It started a bit awkward but the momentum of the conversation increases with time. We argued (in a good way) among ourselves supporting our points. The examiners were observing closely to each one of us throughout the process. We got a bit carried away at the end that the examiner has to interrupt to tell us that it is already time that we have to conclude our discussion. In the end, majority of us think that face to face is the best method for youth to express his feelings. So that's it for Speaking Test. We thanked the examiners and left the room and Mujahid and I went back to UIA.

Overall, i think that it went way better than what i had thought in mind. I did my best and I should just concentrate on my next papers (even though its a one month gap till the next 3 papers >.>). For those who haven't done MUET but will do soon, just be confident in ur speech and u can succeed with ease on this paper! Ok thanks for reading readers. Salam :)

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Assalamu'alaikum readers.

For your information, all of the Wataniah juniors will be leaving Wataniah to join PALAPES Darat. So what is PALAPES Darat? And why are we leaving Wataniah? Let's answer one by one shall we.

PALAPES stands for Pasukan Latihan Pegawai Simpanan. The english version is ROTU which stands for Reserve Officers Training Unit. Darat is referring to the land Army. So me and my squad will be joining PALAPES Darat. So what's the difference between PALAPES and Wataniah? Wiki: Wataniah and PALAPES

In Wataniah, we are trained as Privates (Prebet). Privates are the lowest ranks of the miltary ranking structure. Some may also advance to be a Lance Corporal but usually that's the highest that u can get after finishing the 3 years doing Wataniah in IPTAs.

In PALAPES, we are trained to be Officers (Pegawai). An Officer is of a much higher rank than privates. In fact, it is even a higher level than Sergeants and Warrant Officers. Sergeants have to salute the Officers. After finishing 3 years in the PALAPES course, we will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant (Leftenan Muda). It is the lowest rank in the Officers group. There are mass advantages of becoming an officer when u are in the working life. Wiki: Malaysian Army Rank Structure

So why are the juniors leaving Wataniah for PALAPES? It is simply because IIUM is slowly abolishing Wataniah from the university. The current standard for Uniform Bodies in IPTAs are PALAPES and SUKSIS (police cadet). Wataniah is not up to par comparing to the other uniform bodies. IIUM already have PALAPES Udara (Air ROTU) established 3 years ago and is doing fine training at the campus every week. So this year they are starting to establish PALAPES Darat. And my batch are the fortunate ones to be chosen for the 1st batch of PALAPES Darat!

So as u can see, joining PALAPES has a much bigger advantage than joining Wataniah. But a higher rank means harder and more intensive training! Wataniah in IIUM only has to train 10 hours every saturday, but for PALAPES, we have to train 10 hours every saturday and sunday! Furthermore, since IIUM is still new to PALAPES Darat, trainings still cannot be held within campus due to lack of trainers. Instead, every training will be held at University of Malaya (UM), Petaling Jaya. We will be borrowing their curriculum structure for PALAPES Darat. Training starts at 7am there so basically we have to depart from UIA around 6am every training weekend.

This is quite an enormous challenge for us students. We not only have to maintain our academic CGPA, but we also have to go training every weekends. So the only time to do our assignments, revisions and discussions are only during the weekdays after class hours. This is a very big dilemma for us students even though we've been told earlier about this. We were given a choice. Either we join PALAPES or we leave the uniform body. I think out of the 32 people in our squad, only one left. We were saddened that we lost one of our squad members but at the same time we respect his decision. He knows what's best for him. Some of our squad members are actually still very doubtful about their decisions. The main worry is how much is it going to affect our academics. Basically, time management and mental strength is the key to overcome these problems.

Entering PALAPES is a huge sacrifice made by students. Like i mentioned in one of my tweets, "Most people think that you need toughness, strength and muscle to join the army, but actually it's more to attitude, discipline and commitment." It is shown by the students that joined PALAPES Udara mostly have a low CGPA, but we try to not be like them. We have to change our perspective, behaviour and discipline from now on. No more DotA for me and especially no more procrastinating! Procrastination is one of the bad habits i want to abolish from myself by joining PALAPES. Procrastination of assignments is a definite no no. I will try my best to revise every weeknights.

Thank for reading readers. Pray for the success for us uniform bodies!

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ZOMAF 2011!

Assalamu'alaikum readers.

Last night was the event that the Wataniah students have been training for every afternoon and night for the past 3 weeks! The name of the event is Zeal of Malaysian Armed Force (ZOMAF). Here's a promotional banner of it.
The event is organized annually (though the name of the event is different every year) (read EDIT 1) by IIUM's Nadiawatan Club in conjunction with the Convocation Fiesta (CONVEST). Nadiawatan Club is a society of Wataniah students. All students who joined Wataniah will automatically be a member of the club.

The event is held at the IIUM Male Sports Comples (Stadium) at night and is basically a series of performances by the Wataniah students. One of the VIPs of the event is the rector of IIUM herself, Prof. Dato' Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin.

The event begins with the singing of Asma'ul Husna, Negaraku, our IIUM song and the recitation of Du'a. Then there is the gimmick from a few Wataniah seniors. The gimmick is spectacular indeed. 2 soldiers fight against 3 terrorists. All of them were using real M-16s (blank bullets of course!) They made a couple of shots and 1 soldier and 1 terrorist died. The other soldier was out of ammo so he gave up his firearm and decided to take the other 2 terrorists by hand. The fight was amazing. As expected, the soldier killed the 2 soldiers and he ran up to the stage to receive a "Medal of Honour" from the rector. Then he ran back down and high-kicked this big suspended ball thing in the middle of the field and it broke open with fireworks unraveling the word ZOMAF 2011 in vertical.

The next performance is the Warrior Dance. It is performed by most of the Wataniah students, including me! We got to hold a real bayonet, sing (more of yelling) and perform the various movements. I was placed at the front line! I had a little trouble removing and putting the bayonet back into it's sheath but all went well. I don't know how to evaluate our dance last night because i'm one of the performers but people said it was great :')

Moving on is a performance by IIUM's Silat Gayong team. I wasn't really paying attention to this performance because i was still panting from the previous performance -.- But i guess they did some martial arts moves in patterns and did some sparring.

The next performance is the Silent Drill or in malay it's called Kawad Senyap. Only intermediate and senior wataniah students are involved in this one since they got to use real firearms. I'm a junior and still have no experience with guns -__- It is a group kawad led by a leader. They walk synchronously with guns and form various patterns. It is a spectacular view if seen from above. At the end they load their guns and shoot using the blank bullets.

After that is the Pantomime performance (ignore the major yet funny typo of it in the poster). I was acting in one of the scenes of this pantomime. Me and all of the juniors are the villagers (around 30 people). We have to wear villager outfits (sarong, baju melayu) and carry our props such as shovels, hoes, spears, heck one of us even have a bicycle! The villagers only acts in the first scene. In the first scene, the villagers were peacefully just doing our daily routines. Some were just playing around, some were farming, catching fishes, hunting, etc. I was one of those who's using the shovels! Just bashing around the field with it feels cool. Unaware, the villagers are actually being observed by a few armed communists. Then suddenly, an explosion is heard! It's actually just those ball fireworks (mercun bola) but they still make a very loud noise. The villagers ran haphazardly around the field. The communists shot every one of us, including me :( There was one villager who stood up and fought and killed one of the communists using his spear, but ended up being tortured and shot. That's it for scene 1.

Unfortunately for me that's the only scene i'm acting in :( The scene after that shows the malay soldiers' platoon in the forest, trying to find out the whereabouts of the communists. They are doing the sneak attack moves which are so cool and i still haven't learn about it. They also demonstrated the Solat al-Khauf. It is a prayer made in the battlefield. In the end, the platoon found the communists and they engage in battle. More shooting and bombs were released between them. All of the communists were killed in the battle and the platoon was victorious!

The last performance isn't really a performance, all of the performers lined up in the middle of the field standing firmly while a person is reading a patriotic poem (sajak) with a melancholic background music. I can feel the aura of sorrow at that time even when I'm not paying attention to the poem >.< And then the event is over but we are still standing firmly in the field! Some guests went down to the field to take some photographs of us :P We also took a group photo with the rector!

All of us also helped clean up the field and everything. We also stand in a single line at the edge of the field and walk slowly across the field to search for the cartridges from the gunshots during the performance. Kinda like minesweeper. Blank bullets also leave out the cartridges. I plan to keep one as a memory and to show off to my little brother but one of my friends said that i can be jailed for 20 years if i keep that cartridge -.-

Overall it was a great event especially when the VIPs especially the rector is satisfied. The organization team did a great job. I had a good time and experience. I have only been in IIUM for 4 weeks but i'm already involving myself in events and such! I still haven't forgotten about my academics though. I still have upcoming assignments, quizzes and presentations. Hopefully the end of ZOMAF will make me more flexible in time management! Thanks for reading readers. Salam.

p/s: Sorry for the lack of pictures of the event. I was one of the performers so I didn't really get any photos from the spectators' view. But i will post them if i can get a hold of them!

EDIT 1: We maintained the same name in the next year's event :/

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JPA PIDN 2011 Scholarship

Assalamu'alaikum readers!

If you've been reading my blog, maybe u'll know that i've been struggling to find a scholarship for my degree program during my holidays. And until now i'm already in university, and i still haven't gotten any scholarship yet. I last resorted my search for scholarship to the Jabatan Pengkhidmatan Awam (JPA) scholarship. I totally rely on JPA. I told myself if i didn't get this scholarship, I'll give up searching for any.

A few days ago JPA has released the result of their annual Program Ijazah Dalam Negara (PIDN) Scholarship. I tried accessing the site on the date of release but i can't because of traffic overload. So the next day i tried again and after refreshing a couple of times, I was finally able to check my result. Here's a printscreen of it.

It was a success! I can't believe it. I was one of the few that got chosen for the scholarship. My hardwork has finally paid off. Although this scholarship is not as luxurious as the Khazanah Scholarship, I'm still very thankful for it because it reduces the burden off my parents to pay for my tuition fees and hostel fees at university. It also gives me a lot of pocket money for me to do my spending!

Some of my roommates and room neighbours were there to check their result as well, but sadly all of them didn't get it.. They were happy for me. And i have to treat them Tutti Frutti because i promised them earlier that I will treat them if i did win it. I was joking at that time actually but mehh.. A promise's a promise. A few of my other friends actually won the scholarship as well.

There are still few processes that i have to do before i'm able to receive the scholarship. Like, downloading the documents and get the signature of the necessary people and etc. I still haven't been able to do any of that because the website is still jammed!! I'm very frustrated with JPA's website. I hope that they can improve their services.

Overall I would like to thank:

  1. Allah - The Almighty God who has showered us with blessings
  2. My parents - for nurturing me and always giving me support and always push me to find a scholarship.
  3. JPA - for awarding me with the scholarship itself! JPA actually sponsored my sister as well while she was doing her degree in the UK.
  4. My friends - for always being there to support me as well! It's ok if u didn't get it now. U can study hard this year to establish a good CGPA and try again for PIDN next year. I'll be waiting for u guys!
 I'm proud to say that my search for scholarship has finally come to an end! :D

source: google

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