Thursday, August 7, 2008

ON A DAY WE BECOME VVIP

Guests are welcomed and escorted to the school hall by school girls in their best finery bearing 'bunga mangga' adding color to the day.


YES we have observed many personalities being accorded VIP status. Surely it could come in many ways. Five-Star hotels or establishment will throw out hospitality to bewilder their guests and hope for continued return visits. Red carpet welcome, flowered garlands, musical fanfare and roses scattered on the tarmac are all instances of special salutations thrown in to guests of honor. The higher the hierarchy the taller the call for the planning, rehearsal and execution.


All that are experienced by people on the higher echelon. Sultan, Ministers and Heads of States on official visits accept that as norm and naturally the fringes are thrown in when they appear. Protocol officers in their line of duty, will also not agree to lesser structures. So when a VVIP comes to officiate a function, you will not expect the barest but the maximum according to the occasion. Actually the guest of honor is comfortable with simple decorum, punctuality and hospitality at its proper and respectable level. It is people behind the scene; supposedly linked to the guest of honor who unwittingly but surely demanded for the show to be at its best.

A proud father receiving a prize on behalf of his son who is away at a local university.
Standing on the left is
En. Zulkipli the Principal of SMKB


Today of all days I became a VVIP. Well, that was stated on my car sticker which I was supposed to attach to the vehicle's front windscreen. That would allow receptionists to direct me or the vehicle to the right place as I entered the premise. This took place in the town of Baling, on the south-eastern corner of Kedah, a town which once made history back in 1955 when the Baling Talk was held here. It then saw the meeting of Tunku Abdul Rahman with the communist leader and set the path for the Independence of Malaya ( Malaysia).



"We must realise that Baling is already known internationally, having been visited by many Commonwealth soldiers who spent days in the thick forest near the border and in 1955 the Baling Talk was held proving the way to 'Merdeka' We are already part of the international factor. The school should go forth to inculcate a conducive and international atmosphere of teaching and learning as spelt in its vision"



It was a come-home sort of invitation. Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Baling had kindly invited me to officially open the Annual School Speech and Prize Giving Day. I would of course not turn down the invitation especially it meant a golden opportunity for me to return to a former school which I had once been the Principal or the 'Pengetua'. Again it was a reason to look back at December 1967 when I was first appointed as the Principal of a secondary school. My young family then accompanied me to Baling though our family home was still in Alor Star. It would be glorious to meet some of the members of the staff and people whom I knew then again. At a time when Kedah is celebrating its Golden Jubilee of the Sultan's reign and my Alma mater its 100 yrs celebration as the oldest school in the state now to be linked to another historical agenda is a coincidence. Not that I regretted but surely thankful for.


If you have been a spectator before, today you take the main role. This morning sharp at 9.00 a,m having arrived with my wife, we were met by the welcoming committee. After the customary 'salam' and greeting I was invited to take the salute and inspect the school's uniformed group which stood smartly in their varied uniform on the parade ground. The announcement came loud and clear over the public address system , helping perhaps to signal to others in the school hall that the guest of honor had arrived.

Next, with the beating of the 'kompang' and flanked by 'bunga mangga' carrying students we walked to the school hall together with the Principal, Representative of District Education Office Baling/Sik, Yang Di Pertua PIBG and others. It felt good to be greeted by familiar faces and realising that the school had made a great effort to get former school principals , teachers and members of the staff to attend besides the current parents and students of the school. It was an official function but made intimate and family structured by excellent organization.



Two youthful master of ceremony, a boy and a girl performed the task very efficiently throughout and began by inviting a colleague to start the ceremony by reading a prayer. That over Zulkipli b Yusof the Principal gave a brief speech welcoming all to the function and grateful that his invitation had received warm support. Several references to the guest of honor of course hit you like never before.




The students giving their best show and certainly delighting their parents, teachers and guests who attended the school Speech and Prize Giving Day. Those who got the opportunity to be on stage must be the envy of the rest of their schoolmates

School Speech and Prize Giving Day would of course not be complete if it does not fulfill three main elements i.e a speech from the guest of honor, prizes to be given out and performances by the students on stage. All three were executed and the stage performances by the students added color and pride.


The warm welcome, meeting old friends and a delightful kampong cooked lunch served with fruits in season ended the glorious day. The school has progressed with leaps and bounds, achieving many laurels and prizes academically and co-curricular wise. We were reminded that in 2012 it too would touch the golden jubilee year. Hopefully it will be time for all to rejoice again. Teachers and students alike.

We are grateful at this time in the evenings of our life to be accorded such warm feelings and honor.


A token of appreciation with a basket full of local fruits currently in season.'Dukong' especially from Baling is of excellent quality




"Syukur" indeed because we are blessed to meet old friends again after years of lapse.


Thursday 7 August 2008

2 comments:

NGINAP SRENGENGE said...

Pak Non,

Cerita menarik dan boleh membawa harmoni , dapat kita larikan diri dalam suasana negara yang membosankan kekinian.

Tahniah terpilih sebagai VVIP.

KotaStar said...

Terima kasih lebih2 lagi Che Gu Besarnya anak murid kita pula semasa di Jenan.Tajuk tu hanya sebagai satu tarikan. Bukan hajat hendak jadi VIP.Yang vip hari itu ibubapa dan pelajar kita.Apa khabar sdr Mat Isa? Saya setuju hal -hal terkini nampaknya tak kemana. Kita sama2 berdoa agar negara tercinta ini terkeluar dari 'impasse' yang melanda.Salam