PLKN or Program Latihan Khidmat Negara (National Service) has been around in this country for several years now, but our first 2 sons “escaped” from it. They were just not chosen.
Nafis, our 3rd son, however, got a call to go for the session which started 2 weeks ago. We sent him off at Shah Alam Stadium, as blogged here.
I remember asking him about the preparation, etc. He just answered saying that most of the stuff would be provided. When we told him to get his long hair cut, he told us not to worry, because when they reached the camp, they’d get the haircut anyway.
Last Saturday (not yesterday), Nafis called us to inform that every Sunday is the visiting day. Half asleep (at the time of the call), I told him that we didn’t intend to visit him that weekend. I told him I was just too exhausted and would like to spend the Sunday at home, unpacking some boxes and tidying up some of the stuff at home (which I did!). I told him we would visit him today.
So, the plan today was to visit him, before we visited Mae, who is in Sg Gadut, Seremban.
At 10.30am we left home, and just slightly over 1 hour later, we arrived at the Kem Millennium, Beranang. After registering ourselves, we walked (now… that was quite a long walk!) into the compound, all the way to the Dining Hall (the meeting place).
Soon Nafis came, in full uniform. We asked him why some of the trainees were not in uniforms, and we were told that trainees who came to the hall to meet visitors must wear their uniforms!
We also found out that one of the trainers/teachers was a second cousin (by marriage) to both my mother-in-law and father-in-law! He came to talk to us too. The trainer was told that Nafis had a grandpa in Kelantan, and after Nafis told his grandpa’s name, the trainer said that they were related!
After a while of talking, DH asked about the stripes on Nafis’s shoulder, and the trainer told us that he (Nafis) was the leader. I asked Nafis, was he the class leader or the group leader, only to be told by the trainer that Nafis was the leader of the all the 422 trainees in the camp! What???? Both DH and I had a good laugh. Ok, ok, Nafis was a prefect in school, but he was not the Headboy.
I asked the trainer who chose him, and what was the criteria of the selection. He told us that the trainers (about 30 of them all together) decided to choose him. They saw that Nafis had confidence in presentation and handled the Q&A session well. Wow, I am so proud of my boy! Which mother would not?
Here are some of the shots taken just before we left.
Look at the stripes on the shoulder:
Chatting with our distant relative, En Wan who is an x-army, and now a trainer there:
Another for the album:
One obvious change that I could see on Nafis (apart from the haircut) is that he doesn’t slouch anymore. Nice posture:
DH took some shots as we were walking out.
This is just one stretch/part of the long walk:
And finally we got out of the compound:
Here, outside the camp is where they do their daily march:
I hope the national service programme (PLKN) will give my son the opportunity to improve himself, especially leadership-wise.