By Khairul Anuar Muhamad Noh
BINTULU, Oct 10 - Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) will establish a Scouts Academy within its campus in support of volunteerism activities that can be utilized by other higher learning institutions that have Kumpulan Latihan Kelana Siswa (KLKM).
UPM Vice-Chancellor, Prof Datin Paduka Dr Aini Ideris, said she will ask UPM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Alumni) to realize the effort as the academy could become the point of reference for scouting movement and assist the country in promoting volunteerism programmes.
“UPM is accepting the challenge thrown by State Scout Chief Commissioner of Kumpulan Latihan Kelana Siswa (KLKM), Assoc. Prof. Dr Abdul Rashid Mohamad for UPM to lead in scouting activities with other universities that have KLKM.
“KLKM efforts and scouting movement elements are, indeed, of paramount importance, in line with the needs of today’s students, and in consistent with the concept of IHSAN as UPM pillar of excellence, that is, for any kind of work to be carried out with efficiency to achieve quality and excellence in serving the community and the country,” said Prof Datin Paduka Dr Aini Ideris who is also Yang Dipertua of UPM District Scouts Council.
She was commenting on the proposal by Dr Rashid when opening the 14th Higher Institution National Exploration & Camping (HINEX CAMP) at Dewan Sri Kenyalang, UPM Bintulu Campus (UPMKB), here, yesterday. UPM was chosen to be the host for the event which attracted some 205 participants and officials-in-attendance of HINEX program which started from Oct 9 to Oct 15.
She also said the UPM management had channelled an allocation of RM150,000 for upgrading of the camp site at Nirvana Forest Camp in UPMKB and in support of UPM as the host of the programme.
"I, myself, have visited the camp site and I am confident that with this upgrading, this programme will be remembered fondly by all participants as one that is impactful and fruitful.
"We hope that this programme will produce students who are fit and with strong endurance, both mentally and physically, through their involvement in physical scouting activities,” she added.
Apart from Dr Abdul Rashid, others present included UPM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Alumni) who is also Scout Honorary Commissioner of UPM District, Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Shatar Sabran, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International), Prof Datuk Dr Mad Nasir Shamsudin and Dean of Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, UPMKB, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zamri Rosli.
The programme was organized by UPM district KLKM involving UPM students, Malaysian International Islamic University (UIAM), Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UNIMAP), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) and Mukah Polytechnic.
The programme was organized in collaboration with UPM Bintulu Branch Campus, UPM Curriculum and Student Development Centre, KLKM State Scout Association and Malaysian Scout Association.
Among the activities held were Similajau Jungle Tracking, Night Walk Forest of Nirvana Camp, Alumni Friendly Night, expedition to the Niah Cave, visits to longhouses and community services in Kuala Tatau and Sebauh.
Prior to launching of the programme, Prof Datin Paduka Dr Aini inspected HINEX CAMP in Nirwana Forest Camp to see for herself preparations that had been made for HINEX CAMP participants and she also planted a Kapur (Dipterocarpaceace) tree at the camp site as a soft launch of the event.
For the first time in conjunction with HINEX 2016, UPM Bintulu Branch Campus also held an International Youth Forum for two days, with the aim of enabling participants, including those from Ghana, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Indonesia and Brunei, to share their ideas on various, wide-ranging issues.