This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.
by Nabilah Bte Abdul Rahman (16S03B), President; Izzat Rashad B Rosazizi (16S03C), Vice President; Muhd Marthius B Zulkifli (16S06M), Secretary; Khairunnisa Nabilah Bte Z A (16A01C), Treasurer; Shauqat Ali Taib Ali (16S06M), EXCO; Nazihah Bte Shukran (16S07D), EXCO
Raffles Institution’s Malay Literary Drama Cultural Society (MLDCS), in a nutshell, can be said to be a ‘kampong’ with our fellow Malay Rafflesians as its friendly villagers. And as in most kampongs, this kampong in particular unites the Malay community of Rafflesians, which may be small in numbers but strong in spirit, to equip them with a sense of familiarity and belonging as they journey through their two years here in RI.
Being a secondary CCA, MLDCS is unique as each individual member usually has a separate main CCA, ranging from sports to performing arts and to uniform groups. Consequently though, we unfortunately do not have regular sessions. Instead, we have gatherings and events sprinkled throughout the school year for our members, and we ‘gotong-royong’ to ensure that each one of them is truly meaningful to not only ourselves, but to the school and the community as well.
Each year, MLDCS adds further colour to the Rafflesian experience of its members as members can look forward to getting to know their fellow Malay peers through our annual Orientation Camp, and forge strong bonds between one another through various opportunities to work together, in the planning and execution of exciting events all through the year. Such events include the yearly Malay Youth Seminar that we organise for secondary school students from all over Singapore, discussing important social issues. During this event, we invite esteemed speakers to share their views and experiences related to important issues concerning Malay youths. Past seminars have even included participation from local television personalities like ‘Rudy and Rilla’, and explored topics like ‘Youth and Rules’, which emphasises the importance of adhering to the law and the foolishness of committing crime at such a young age. Organising such a seminar thus, is our way of contributing to the community, as we hope to cultivate a culture of active knowledge-seeking and learning among other fellow youths in the wider Malay community.
As the nature of MLDCS is event-based, we conduct several planning and preparation sessions leading up to our events, where we usually come together to generate ideas and prepare the materials needed, ideally over some food.
At the end of the day, we get work done and most importantly, feel warmth and joy from being in each other’s company.
The community in our kampong is like an extended family. We may not meet often but when we do, in the canteen or around school, we greet each other warmly and ‘salam’ — shaking each other’s hands and bringing our hands to our chests to indicate that our greetings are indeed from our hearts. Our events then, are like Hari Raya. We not only look forward to our different events like we look forward to Hari Raya after weeks of preparation, but when we gather, we also feel happy to see each other after a long time.
To the incoming batch of members, wherever you come from, know that you have a rightful place in our kampong. We hope that your stay here is one filled with lasting friendships and good memories to come, and look forward to meeting and working with all of you soon.
Together, we will continue to serve the school and our community and together, our Melayu spirit will never die.