Dawn on the 13th of January, 1997 epitomised the vast possibilities of a new day. That day, people from all over the country congregated at the grounds of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar to witness a historical event that would forever change the lives of more than a hundred young men: the birth of a new batch.
There were about 110 of us at first as the 9701 of the Malay College (as we came to know it) was introduced to our new home away from home, the Prep School. We were placed under the guidance of 5 prefects namely Mr. Fadzli, Mr. Reza, Mr. Azizi, Mr. Azam and Mr. Buana. It was in that first month or so that we were jolted from our sweet dreams and brought to face reality. We were submitted to numerous “exercises” undoubtedly meant to strengthen the mind and the body. Deprived of sleep and shouted upon most of the time, some of us decided that their future lay someone else and consequently departed.
The rest of us, however, continued life in MCKK and we were joined by another individuals. We totalled 121 at that time. Throughout the year, we learned a lot of things; everyday seemed to bring a new experience to our inquisitive minds. We learned the importance of discipline, maintaining cleanliness and most importantly (as shown by our prefect, Mr. Fadzli) the sacrifices that have to be made in order to carry out your responsibilities.
There was even a spooky period of time when the Prep School was allegedly visited by numerous ghost. Well, it started with a sighting by someone, and lo and behold everybody seemed to have seen or heard something strange. Even our friend, Zulfadhli a.k.a Butcher (who weight 108 kg back then) was preposterously seen floating in the air. Resorted to reciting the Yassin every night, hoping thwart the growing monstrosity. The result? Confinement for everybody except Suffian a.k.a Schamma who somehow slept soundly while all of us religiously reciting the Yassin.
At the end of the year, a carnival was held. We managed to grab 3 victories in volleyball, tennis and handball and also snatched the best debater award debate. That was satisfaction enough for us as it was a record of the carnival.
In the end, as we reflect upon the year 1997, it will always be considered as one of the turning point of our lives, it was the year we became apart of the MCKK and we will always be thankful that we were given that chance.
However, everything must come to an end. As the day for us to leave the beloved Prep School crept nearer, we spent our remaining time as best as we could and in the end, we departed knowing that the year 1997 had been one the best years of our lives.
The year 1998, we were in form two. At first, we were unable to actually comprehend the distance between the New Hostel (where our dormitories are situated) and the second formers’ classes. Imagine, give or take, a distance of about a kilometre. An arduous task isn’t it? Consider having to walk to class in the morning, walk back in the afternoon, attend preparation class in the evening, walk back to the New Hostel, one more trip for the night classes and of course, the trip back.
Meanwhile, our lives were easier as second former. We were freed from some or the complicated tasks that we had to do when we were in form one. Early in the year, we elected our batch leaders; they were going to be the ones who have to manage the batch as best as they could. Apart from the occasional commotion, we lived quite peacefully during the first few months.
The same however, cannot be said of our prefects. They were divided into groups rarely: the U.C.P (Upper Cube Prefects)-Mr. Afwan, Mr. Mahyuddin, Mr. Hadi and Mr. Nazrul and the two prefects who stayed beside the “surau”, Mr. Azam and Mr. Buana.
At the end of the year, it was our turn to organise the annual Form 1-Form 2 Carnival. Undoubtedly, there were glitches here and there and rain interrupted some of the events but we were proud all the same that we managed to organise something big at such a young age.
One of the highlights of the year would surely be the fire drill (FIRE DEGHILL,COMMON GHOOM)…prefect Papan’s rhythm…conducted by the Form 4 prefects. We had never known such ferocity until we experienced those extremely long 4 hours.
As we left the New hostel, one question remained clearly in our heads; what would the Big School (where we were going to spend our next years) be like? But that, is another story altogether.
It has to be said that life as a third former is undeniably hard at first. We were required to get the signatures of all the fifth former in our own sport houses. Thus, we became objects of amusement for the seniors.
The leap into Form Three brought some more freedom to us, but despite the freedom gained, we still had to face the unenviable task of being the youngest among the students in Big School. Everything has a mixture of luck in it: if you were lucky, you won’t be made servants all the time.
A few months before the PMR, the school organised a motivational course for our batch. The venue was Pulau Pangkor and we dreamt of sandy beaches and serene surroundings. Alas, the condition of the place turned the dream into a nightmare. We got along as best as we could though, carrying out the activities such as jogging, bathing in the sea, performing and so on.
In the meantime, a number of our friends started to show their true colours, though, much to our dismay. At first, we tried to persuade them to stop their unfavourable activities but our advises seemed to fall on deaf ears. This caused a friction in our batch and in one way or another, it affected our batch academically.
As the clock ticked closer to the day we were going to face our biggest challenge of the year, the PMR, we burnt the midnight oil studying. Some of us who had procrastinated early in the year suffered as they were forced to study day and night in order to prepare themselves for the examination. When the actual day came, we trudged into the Hargreaves Hall knowing that this will be the manifestation of the three years that we have spent in MCKK. For four days, we strive to prove that our past three years have been well spent.
As soon as we finished the last paper, our joy was temporarily delayed as we had to take the oral examinations. After that it was mayhem to the end. We did lots of things in the space of two weeks after the exam: watch movies, organised an interclass football league et cetera.
One sad note was that the hard feelings between our batch leaders and the group CXA a.k.a Crossarm (as they called themselves) escalated. In those turbulent two weeks, hard words were exchanged, hard feelings were exposed. The crisis was halted only by the start of the long holidays.
All in all, it had been an unprecedented year in our lives, full of twists and turns. Life isn’t fair, people say, but as one of our seniors suggested, it’s up to us to make it as fair and as decent as possible.
Not complete yet…