Thank God at that time we owned a saloon car (Renault 19). It was pretty comfy travelling for a long distance journey such as that. We arrived at Pekan Muadzam Shah at about 11.00 am. Maktab Rendah Sains Mara Muadzam Shah (MRSM MZMS) was a new school build and there is only one batch at the moment which was 95/96 and we (students who registered that day) meant to be the second batch to be placed there known as the batch of 96/97.
Everywhere around the school area, the red dirt of construction was still visibly seen to the eye. I can still recall the new spanking smells of the building corridor mixed with the freshness of the surrounding schools air. My hearts beating like a drum by the time our car reach the school area. I’m pretty much doesn’t have any idea of what will I faced during my confinement of the boarding schools life.
Me in English class in the year 1996
My dad had to pay a lot of fees at the registrations counter that day. There are numerous types of fees; association’s fees, sports fees, library fees, monthly MARA fees (RM 30.00), and all sorts of registrations fees which I don’t bother to recall.
I can still remember my mother hugs me real tight after sending me into my rooms which was provided for junior students enrolled that day at MRSM Muadzam Shah. They have arranged two seniors and two juniors to every room. And it is up the seniors to orientake the greenhorns (new students) about the schools daily life and life at MRSM MZMS.
I was set into one of the rooms with a “Kelantanese” brother name Shahrizal and another senior student named Radzwill which is the son of Datuk Maznah of Pahang (the infamous iron lady). Shahrizal is a very nice senior to me and all the greenhorns thus he came from Kelantan and so do I. He taught me quite a lot of things about boarding school life and protects me around the clock from senior bullying regime on my first two weeks there. Automatically we create a very good rapport with each other.
Unlike Radzwill which I must say pretty naughty students who lived by his own teenage rules and had his own circles of friends in their daily life at the school. They given us one locker each and there are four students per room. I was given room number 27 if not mistaken of the C block latter to be named as Block Saidina Ali.
The room was practically new with four beds and four steel lockers each to every occupier. It was a new block and pretty much comfy if compared to other MRSM around Malaysia. The school was just open two years back with the pioneer of the students was us and the senior. The toilet and the shower rooms located at the edge of the building block.
Practically two blocks shares one shower rooms. It is also meaning as a place where students clean their shoes, clothes and for shower. Laundry is provided but the services were very bad. During my first year, there still are no amenities such as laundry room and ironing room. You had to iron your clothes at the centre of your block where usually the warden provided one iron for every block. But usually the iron never works and always in a broken condition. The students (boys) used to not ironing their clothes for months. They just hang it out dry and under the fan for it to be look neat and tidy.
After meeting students who had already been there on the registration day, then I realized that I was the second intake for batch 96/97. Only 32 of us registered that day, while approximately 100 students under the batch 96/97 had already settled for 3 months before. We had to catch up a lot of studying syllabus that we had lag behind and we did.
My heart beats so fast that registration day thus I don’t know what to face after my parents left for Kajang. I still remember that moment where my mother hugs me really tight as if in her mind wishing me to be somebody after I left the school. I knew that my parents were so hopeful of me being somebody. Then they left home leaving me there in agape and not knowing what to face next. It was a mixed feeling of scare and enthusiasm.
That night after Maghrib prayers, I was pretty much don’t know what’s the next tentative. While every new students left for prep schools, I was left alone in my room wondering where everybody is. For the first time in my life I felt lonely and vulnerable that night.
After realizing that I was alone in that room, I went out of my room try to look around. Two next door rooms from mine, I can see the lights were still on. I knocked on the door and there are two new freshies like me. I remember one of them was Nasri and the other was Zafuan aka Awe. I asked them, where everybody gone and they too was astounded and don’t know where everybody have left. I was put into a situation to get to know my new two friends and that’s exactly what I did. They are very much a greenhorns and don’t have any ideas on what to be face next at MRSM Muadzam Shah.
Me during school trips to PWTC in the year 1996
At 10.30 pm, I start to hear noisy sounds of the students came back from their prep class. I ask my seniors where everybody had gone, and he was surprised that no one told me to be at the prep class. Thank God, the warden does not make an inspection while prep hours (they usually did) and we were saved by our ignorance. That night I before sleep, surely it is very quiet night being there at MRSM Muadzam Shah.
That morning I was instructed by my seniors to get dressed in Peach colour uniform. It is a very common every Monday that we had to wear the official uniform which is peach colour. I woke up at 5.30 am, very earlier thus we had to pray at the school surau “berjemaah”. After dawn prayers, the warden will count how many heads missing that do not turn out for dawn prayers at the surau.
They usually get punished by humiliated at the morning assembly and then caned. For the first year I had been caned quite a few times, usually on the weekends. After “tazkirah” (usually I slept and so does most of the students), we will had our breakfast at the dining hall. Next we’ll be headed back to our rooms to get ready for school days. Waiting for shower is one thing, getting into head counts at 7.15 am before moving to class is another. Sometimes, I had to skip morning shower, not because it was very cold in the morning, but due to lack of time that had to be chased around after breakfast.
Me during school trips to PWTC in the year 1996
I was put into class named Argon. Every class in MRSM Muadzam Shah name is based on the gas (chemical elements). I can’t hardly remember my classmate name except a few such as Nasri, Zafuan (they both sits next to each other in class since they are both roommate, both were from Kelantan too). The others classmate which I can recall was Haslina (beautiful girl), Nazri (Muar boys) – just to name a few. Our first day of studying class in MRSM MZMS was normal.
I used to wear black “songkok” whenever I go during my first year at MRSM MZMS and sometimes my hair will develop a strange disease as if there are tiny fruits to it. Some of my friends ask me either do I feel hot with the “songkok” on my head on a hot sunny day? It’s normal once you get used to it.
I develop a very good friendship with my next door senior rather than my own. My other roommate was Aminuddin Mahat and he was from Mersing, Johor. Amin is a very straight and naïve boys. He is okay, but I do rather talked and click with two my next door senior neighbour. We had a very good rapport and their name was Hairi and Syed Salikin. They are very close to me. Two of their junior roommates were Nazri and Azahari. Syed crazy about cars and always bought magazines about cars and Hairi was a boy with passion for women (aren’t we all). We usually chat every night before 12 am and sometimes during the weekends we chat till three in the morning. There are one Terengganu boy who was in our circles which we called him Along.
Me during school camping into Pahang wilderness
During weekends, on Saturday, the warden will permit out to the “pasar malam”. But we had to get signature of the warden the night before on our outings cards. We had to left the outings cards at the guard house and the outing time permitted was between 9.00 am – 5.00 pm. On my first week at MRSM Muadzam Shah - during the outing hours, I took the liberty to take a sight seeing especially the famous lake Muadzam.
The town was quiet new indeed. But the only thing that makes us quite chilly happy was the “pasar malam”. It was our only entertainment for fun during the weekends. It is too was an escapade from the Dewan Makan food and dull environment of MRSM MZMS. We can get basically new things and new taste of foods every Saturday. My mom will provide me with allowance about RM 30 monthly apart from the fees which is also cost us RM 30.00 a months.
The bullying at the school was rampant. It was based on luck actually when we talked about being a greenhorns developed in the new surroundings. There are a few goods students but being put into a room with very naughty seniors, resulted them too turn bad themselves.
Me as student leader during school camping at Panching, Pahang
It was a hard time for us in searching for our identity and I don’t blame these students for giving us such a hard time there at the schools. But there are quiet a few who will never recover from the bullying trauma as not being the one who was bullied but the one who done it. I do not wish to speak of that person but he blamed himself for what he had done towards others. What a bloody destiny for him I supposed.
On my first months at MRSM MZMS, I won the story telling contest. It was a very good experience for me. Then things start to look jumpy on me.
Me on my story telling contest
Continue reading my life journey at MRSM MZMS (here) - Part-4…
p/s: To be honest, I don’t like to talk about my years at the MRSM MZMS due to bad memories I acquired there. But looking back, I cannot run away from the facts that I am who I am today as a results of my hardship at Muadzam Shah. To share with all, I’m prepared to go back to the hard time so that I’ll learn and relearn so I can be in my finest hour...