KUALA LUMPUR: The Raja Perآmaiآsuri Agong, Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, is confident that scouting can serve as a platform to shape young girls as leaders and prepare them to boldly champion their rights in the world.
Talking about her own experience in the scouting movement, Tunآku Azizah said the Girl Guides Association had evolved from camping activities to shaping women of calibre through the inculcation of knowledge, skills and leadership values.
Tunku Azizah, who is the Royal Patron of the Girl Guides Association of Malaysia, said donations were used to send members overseas to attend courses and programmes to enhance their knowledge, skills and confidence.
“Those who provide this funding want to see the Girl Guides become a force that educates girls to be the leaders of tomorrow, fully aware of their rights and gender equality, and free to say what they want as the voice of young girls,” she said at the Istana Negara ahead of the installation of Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong tomorrow.
The 103-year-old Girl Guides Assآoآciation of Malaysia has almost 130,000 members across the country.
Tunku Azizah, who is also the Royal Patron of the Friends of the Asia Pacific World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), said that she was proud and satisfied with the participation and achievement of Malaysian girls in the association.
“I am satisfied but there is more we can do,” she said.
Tunku Azizah recalled memories of her part in the association over the last 50 years, starting from being a Brownie at the age of nine.
Actively involved in the Girl Guides Association since 1981, she said all the positions she had held and was currently holding in the association were a result of her experience and hard work.
“Ever since I was a Brownie, as a little girl, guiding has been in my life for more than 50 years. So, I started from the bottom, not merely holding positions. I earned my badges, I passed the tests,” she said.
Tunku Azizah has worked with the wives of four prime ministers in her 12 years as the Deputy President of the Girl Guides Association of Malaysia while being involved in WAGGGS, as well as being a board member of the Olave Baden-Powell Society.
Admitting that she missed her “active days” with the Girl Guides, Tunku Azizah said despite having to let go of several international positions in the movement, she remآained involved behind the scenes and was still the Royal Patron of Friends of Asia Pacific, the fund-raising arm of WAGGGS.
Her main mission now, she said, was to persuade the Indonesian scout movement, Pramuka, which left WAGGGS in 2001, to rejoin the global organisation.
“With WI (the Women’s Institute), I deal with women of all ages, all races; with Pandu Puteri (Girl Guides), I deal with young girls of all races. So, these two are very important in my life,” said Her Majesty. — Bernama