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Tuesday July 24, 2007

161 Malaysian scouts to be at world jamboree

Have a good gathering: Kamarudin (left) handing over the flag to contingent leader Ekbert Yong during the flag-off ceremony for the Malaysian contingent attending the jamboree.
A troop of 161 Malaysian scouts will attend the 21st World Scout Jamboree in Hylands Park, Chelmsford, England from July 27 to Aug 8. 

This year’s event will witness 40,000 scouts from 215 countries sharing adventure, international friendship, personal growth and development under the theme “One World, One Promise”. 

National chief scout commissioner of Malaysia Kol Prof Datuk Dr Kamarudin Kachar said besides meeting new people, the scouts would also learn new skills at the Jamboree. 

National chief scout Datuk Seri Dr Shafie Mohd Salleh said there would be a global village at the Jamboree to showcase each country’s culture. 

“We have already sent a whole container of things like national costumes, games, handicrafts and decorative items for our booth,” said assistant national chief commissioner Radzwan Hussain. 

As 2007 also marks the centenary of scouting, a special Scouting Sunrise will take place on Aug 1 at Brownsea Island, the birth of scouting. 

There will be representatives from each country to raise their national flags at the island. 

“Based on their qualifications, we have already chosen the Malaysian representative but we will not reveal the person’s name until we get there. It will be a surprise for him or her,” said contingent leader Ekbert Yong. 

According to Scouts Association of Malaysia international commissioner Dr Mohd Mukhyuddin Sarwani, scouts around the world will also raise the scout flag and their respective national flags at sunrise on the highest peak of their country. 

“This means that for 24 hours on Aug 1, there will be someone raising a flag every hour. 

“ In Malaysia, the flags will be raised on Mount Kinabalu,” he said. 

The World Scout Jamboree is held once every four years and it takes six years to plan the event. 

Besides paying for their own airfare to England, each participant also pays a fee of £420 (about RM3,000). 

“These are very committed scouts who are going for the Jamboree. Those in the service team are basically paying to do work at the Jamboree,” said Radzwan. 

He said that they have tried to get sponsors for the participants but the response was disappointing. 

Geoffrey Kok, 16 from SMK Taman Sea would be going with his 14-year-old sister Shannen. 

“We had to butter-up to our parents to convince them to let us go. We were on our best behaviours, made tea for them and we let them boss us around for a few weeks,” he said cheekily. 

The 2011 World Scout Jamboree will be held in Sweden.