All About NS: Part Three

Batch Info: Pro­gram Lati­han Khid­mat Negara: Kumpu­lan 1, Siri 4/2007, Kem Pun­cak Per­mai, Bau.

Part One: here.
Part Two: here.

Photo coutesy of cherry tan

the march­ing field.


Uh, yeah. So there was going to be a part three after all. Read on if you will.

First time with triggers

Prob­a­bly the most antic­i­pated activ­ity through­out NS was the newly intro­duced Weaponry Mod­ule which involves a two day Colt M16 course.

The first day was all indoor the­ory. Active infantry were assigned to guide us through the whole course, arriv­ing the day before in army trucks laden with weapon cre­ates and equip­ment. Imag­ine the excite­ment. XD

Colt M16 the­ory — Sar­gent Justan

We were taught on first, the safety tips. What can I say, it’s safety-first after all. The Colt M16 has a safety pin which when switched, deac­ti­vates the gun, ren­der­ing it use­less or in other words, safe. We were also taught on inspect­ing the weapon, whether it’s loaded or not, on how to hold and aim the weapon, and how to peek through the viewfinder. All in prepa­ra­tion for the big day tomor­row. XD

Next day, we woke up at 5.15am and went out in 3 buses for the first batch headed for the Sem­padi Shoot­ing Range in Lundu. The place was more like an open­ing in the moun­tains, a wide, misty space with large num­ber signs 1 through 12 in the distance.

We were to shoot 100 metres away from the tar­gets, 10 of us shoot­ing at once. Thus were divided into details of 10 the day before. Dur­ing the demo done by our guides, we heard the weapons fire for the first time. Although awed by its fire­power, it was not as loud as expected. Fire­crack­ers fared bet­ter. XD But every bang was accom­pa­nied by an echo through the moun­tain ranges which was pretty cool. XD

a dude in posi­tion with a guide next to him. instructor’s photo.

I was assigned to the 3rd shootout of the 12th detail. Which means I would be man­ning the 3rd shootout post, aim­ing at the 3rd tar­get when the 12th detail moves into posi­tion. Each post were manned by a guide. There was a ponco spread out on the ground and a sand­bag for the weapon to rest on. We then wear on a pair of large headphone-like ear pro­tec­tors and lay face down and were handed the loaded Colt M16 which weighed about 2.6Kgs.

In posi­tion, I held the gun firmly to my shoul­der blade and squinted through the viewfinder. I felt ner­vous for some time, hold­ing a weapon con­tain­ing live bul­lets in which when I squeeze a trig­ger, I could take a life. I thought about that for a moment and shrugged. Such awe­some fire­power in my hands. XD

That was before my guide sig­naled for me to ‘fire at will’. I tried my very best to align the crosshairs with the tiny bulls­eye a hun­dred metres away and that was no easy task. And so what the hell, some dude already started firing.

I squeezed the trig­ger softly and with a tiny click, trig­gered a mechan­i­cal chain reac­tion that caused a sec­ond click two milisec­onds later, where oth­ers hear as a loud bang fol­lowed by a shock­wave. The Colt M16 recoiled a lit­tle and went a lit­tle off course and the smell of gun­pow­der began to fill my nos­trils. I stared at the tar­get through the crosshair blankly for a few sec­onds before regain­ing my con­cen­tra­tion. First bul­let off. XD

We fired another 9 bul­lets, mak­ing a total of 10. And that was only for test­ing. We had to get up and run a hun­dred metres towards our tar­get boards and count the holes. Sur­pris­ingly, one of my bul­lets strayed onto a bulls­eye. XD The other 8 were scat­tered around the board and one missed the board totally. So it was a score of 9/10. Not bad eh? XD

We headed back to our posts and pre­pared to fire the remain­ing 20 bul­lets which were now counted for marks. All moti­vated, I fired the first shot and the oth­ers fol­lowed. It started to get pretty tir­ing try­ing to min­imise the gun’s recoil­ing and sta­bil­is­ing it while read­just­ing the crosshair. But for what I know, I just kept shoot­ing, try­ing my best to stay focused on the tar­get in the mid­dle of the crosshair.

Pretty soon it was all over and we gath­ered back at the tents wait­ing for the results. At the end of the day, I got the sec­ond high­est score of the day of 63 marks along with Han Chun. XD Accu­racy was 19 hits out of 20. Now that’s really not bad. XD Okay enough brag­ging. The high­est over­all score was 82, proudly held by a girl from Delta. I was around the 13th place which sucked, ‘cos the cer­tifi­cates were awarded only up to the 10th place. Argh.

Jason, Joshua and me with the Alpha gang at the Sem­padi shoot­ing range.

Any­way, it was a pretty good expe­ri­ence. Not to men­tion a rare one. Kudos to NS for the chance! XD

Wira­jaya

The sec­ond most awaited activ­ity will then be the Lati­han Wira­jaya. It involves spend­ing the night camp­ing in the for­est. We headed into the forests com­plete with all the basic camp­ing gears, pon­cos, mess tins, bot­tles and a haver­sack to carry the load. In one sin­gle file, we con­quered the sur­round­ing for­est and reach­ing a camp site after around 30 minutes.

line-up with gears before enter­ing the forests.

The rule was orig­i­nally two per­sons in a tent. But then we were assigned to erect our tents on a pretty steep slope which made lying down very uncom­fort­able. So we ripped every­thing off and found a pretty large flat area and built another tent — this time, a large one enough to fit 6 dudes, built with equip­ment from 6 peo­ple. XD

mem­bers of kom­peni knn.

gath­ered for mis­sion briefing.

Our ambi­tious project finally paid off when the largest tent was erected. And it looked soo fine. XD Jason, Joshua, Ah Pin, MC, Anthony, Shaun and me shared the tent. There were activ­i­ties such as trea­sure hunt­ing and a ‘sights and sounds of the for­est’ ses­sion to fill the time, other than that, we spent more of the time dec­o­rat­ing our tents and dig­ging holes as rub­bish bins or toi­lets. We also spent a lot of time get­ting a camp fire into life.

Next morn­ing we took the tents apart and headed back to camp, all exhausted.

The last hours.

The very last event dur­ing our 70 days in NS was the Malam Ngiling Tikai or lit­er­ally, ‘the clos­ing night’ in Iban. Held the day before we leave our camp life, it was sched­uled to be jam packed full of per­for­mances all night from 8pm to 12.30am in the morn­ing. Almost every­one took part in the per­for­mances. I tagged along with sign-language per­for­mance group as with dur­ing the pre­vi­ous open day. This time, we per­formed the song, Shin­ing Friends.

the stage all set for the big night.

After a short BBQ din­ner. The per­for­mances took off. We spent our last few hours together pre­ciously, tak­ing pho­tos, exchang­ing emails, con­tacts, num­bers, you name it. The night drew to a close with a slideshow pre­sen­ta­tion through­out the days in NS. The hall lights were dimmed and every­one were left with privacy.

The emo­tions were over­whelm­ing. Couldn’t bear took at all those pic­tures, think­ing of every­thing we have been through together, in a place were race and ori­gin doesn’t mat­ter. And they just have to accom­pany the slideshow with melan­cholic songs. Tears rolled as I couldn’t bear the thought of leav­ing my dearly camp mates.

When the slideshow finally ended and the lights turned back on, we sort of chuck­led in tears see­ing each oth­ers’ red­dish eyes and wet cheeks. Alvin was mum­bling in tears that never before he had cried in front of so many dudes. Arm in arms we stood, savour­ing the final hours together. Deep hugs were exchanged with con­stant reminders to stay in touch.

Wrap­ping it up.

Sigh..it’s been two months now. Still miss every­one and every­thing back there. It has been such a rich expe­ri­ence. I’m sure every­one who had been through NS are nat­u­rally full sup­port­ers of the programme.

NS has really opened my eyes to the vari­ety of peo­ple, cul­tures and lan­guages our coun­try has. I got to learn about dif­fer­ent lifestyles, dif­fer­ent cul­tures, inter­est­ing sto­ries, expe­ri­ences, lan­guages and so much more. There really is much more to Malaysia than just your neighborhood.

fel­low dorm mates.

If you’d ask me, I’d say that NS has def­i­nitely change my view­point on the coun­try and its peo­ple as a whole. I mean, espe­cially dur­ing the raft­ing com­pe­ti­tion. I was there, giv­ing out my very best to row the raft for­ward as fast as I could, hop­ing to con­tribute to the momen­tum and drive us to vic­tory. Then I looked around, every­one was per­spir­ing to give out their best to win, and there was Malays, Chi­nese, Iban, Bidayuhs, and all sorts on that same raft. Fight­ing together, for vic­tory.

TTS (hand to hand com­bat) sessions.

Coin­ci­dence? No. It’s just what our coun­try needs to be.

On a much more per­sonal side, I guessed I have been more socia­ble and inde­pen­dent through­out my stay here. Of course, it’s not for me to say about what I’ve improved, but there defi­nately are improve­ments. Sadly though, not much on the height department.

Any­way, I’ll leave the rest to photos.

broth­ers of Char­lie and Delta

bore­dom rules! XD


long live Delta!

best pals

sign-language per­form­ers

pos­ing with the assis­tant com­man­dant of man­age­ment, Kapt. Nor Aswadi B. Wakiman

talk about being lens-happy XD

our much-respected head-instructor of the Delta Com­pany and res­i­dent TTS (hand to hand com­bat) instruc­tor, Cikgu Entawan

fel­low dorm mate, Harry ak. Pinang, whos bed is just next to mine. we often have chats till late nights. I taught him Man­drin while he taught me a lit­tle Bidayuh. Miss you dude.

and last but not least:

the Delta com­pany. One that I feel proud to be part of. Despite the occa­sional let­downs in dis­ci­pli­nary issues. The Delta’s have arguably the best spirit in camp. Win­ners of the over­all sports, best indi­vid­ual shooter, the pres­ti­gious march­ing com­pe­ti­tion and prize-holders of almost every other cater­gory, we were also the com­pany with the most merit marks. If it hadn’t been for our large num­ber of demer­its, we would have been the best over­all com­pany. And that, is more than enough to be proud of for we had aspired together for a come-back and so we succeeded!

That said, kudos and thank you to everyone.


Engraved you all are, in my mem­o­ries of NS.

———————

Cred­its: every­one, for mak­ing NS so much more fun par­tic­u­larly, Jason, Joshua, Zac, Yan Pin, Anthony, MC, Shaun, Min Yang, Harry, Kenny, James, Nizam, Iqram, Adi, Richard, Joseph, Cikgu Ani, Cikgu Entawan, Cikgu Johan, Cikgu Has­ran, Cikgu Sani, and every­one else. Also, to Zac, Joshua, Jason, Cherry, Alleem and Cikgu Has­ran for the photos.


by shenghan in General, Life on 12th May, 2007 at 5pm, Saturday, May 12th, 2007 05:07 pm GMT +8

5 Comments

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  1. Kavidha N said

    Hello! Sorry, you don’t know me, but I googled KPP and clicked on your blog. I am in the kumpu­lan right after yours…and guess what? DELTA TOO!!!!!

    Even in our group Delta has the most spirit AND the most dis­ci­pli­nary issues! Hah. Guess it runs in the Delta­ni­ans… I snagged from pic­tures of, but don’t worry, I’ll source you. I miss KPP. We won SUKAN AIR KESELURUHAN and run­ner up for sukan kreativ­iti and sec­ond for KAWAD by ONE point.

    Kavidha N
    Pla­toon Sergeant, Delta Kumpu­lan 2 Siri 4/2007

  2. ember said

    Haha. It does indeed looks that way. So I heard from my friends in your kumpu­lan. Too bad you guys didn’t win march­ing though. That was soo close.

    It’s okay about the pics. BTW, you mind to link me to your blog?

  3. Sure. I haven’t put up my NS post though. XD Hehehe.

  4. […] Part 2 here. Part 3 here. « the Marathon of Emo­tions Ques­tion­ing the Void […]

  5. […] « Back to school All About NS: Part Three […]