KUALA LUMPUR: “He was a shy boy before but not any more,” observed Rosmahani Mohd Yatim, speaking of national service graduate Kabir Iqbal Mohd Kassim.
In just a short span of time after his arrival Bukit Jalil Stadium drop-off point here yesterday from Camp Warisan in Malacca, she noticed that her son had more self-confidence.
“He's normally quiet and keeps to himself, but I see that he carries himself better and is more expressive.
“It's good to see how the programme has benefited him,” she said at the stadium when picking up Kabir Iqbal.
Her son's arrival was delayed by some four hours due to heavy traffic but the change she found was well worth the wait.
“I'm so proud of my son. At least I won't have to worry too much when he goes to university this June,” said Rosmahani.
Unlike his twin sister, who was disappointed when she was not selected for the programme, Kabir Iqbal was devastated when he received the notification letter.
“My sister asked why she wasn't selected. I wanted to trade places with her because I thought it would be a waste of time.
“But now I am glad I didn't. In fact, I wished it was longer.”
Asked what was most memorable part of the programme, Kabir Iqbal said it was the activities and the interaction with others his age.
“It's a cool programme. I made many friends from all over the country and of all races.
“We have reunion plans set for next year. It will be like an anniversary party,” he said.
On regrets, the 18-year-old said he wished he had spent less time on the phone with his mother during the training, noting that he “ran up the phone bill sky high”, averaging about RM500 a month.
“When I first arrived I was sadden by the new environment and had to speak with my mom.
“As the days went by, the sad stories were replaced with happier ones. I just wanted to share my experiences right away,” he said.
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