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Week 3 & 4: Back to Civilization...

‚ÄčAfter a week spent at Outward Bound Brunei Darussalam (OBBD) in Temburong, where I am more bound to living in the jungle and surrounded by nature, I've returned to Brunei-Muara. In other terms, I am back to civilization.

This year is the 55th Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Anniversary of Brunei Darussalam and I feel honored to be able to witness the rehearsal which took place in the RBAF Defence Academy in Tanah Jambu. We went to the Defence Academy, Officer Cadet School for three half days to rehearsal.

When we first arrived at our booth, we were shown the correct way to set up the booth for future purposes i.e Roadshow. We also prepared a line for the conversation with His Majesty for which my part was "Ampun Beribu Ampun, Hamba Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik menjunjung kasih ke atas pengurniaan biasiswa ini. My name I Hong Zi Ling and I'm going to pursue Finance, alongside with legal and contract."

Apart from that, we also got to enjoy ourselves with the three other Jerudong International scholars accompanied by a performance by all the soldiers in the Academy. I must say I was very impressed with the performance because I could never believe there's such thing as Special Forces in Brunei. On top of that, I've fantasized about fighting the bad and be a superwoman.

An early preparation was done to ensure a smooth flow for the signing ceremony later in the afternoon. We started rehearsing from 10 am in the SHHBIDSS lecture room on the morning itself. Miss Susie guided us patiently throughout the rehearsal. The rehearsal touched on the appropriate way to greet the special guests, which include Datin and Dato.

We were shown the way to insert buttons into our new blazers. We also had to prepare a Selection Process video for the signing ceremony.

On the 30th May 2016, we've finally become an official MinDef Scholars by signing the Agreement Contract for whom signing on behalf of the ministry was the Permanent Secretary Datin Paduka Hajah Suriyah Hj Umar.

We started the day with morning fitness at the mini stadium which included an alternate of running and walking for 12 laps. After breakfast, we departed for SHHBIDSS and prepared for the signing ceremony rehearsal with our parents followed by the actual ceremony at 3.30 pm.

Deputy Minister of Defence First Admiral (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Abdul Aziz Hj Md Tamit presented the recipients with the scholarships. I was also given the opportunity to converse with the Defence Executive Committee (DEC) members for whom are all very professional in their own fields. I was also very happy as my principal and teachers came to witness my big day!

The Royal Brunei Armed Forces Anniversary took place on the 31st of May, 2016 in the Defence Academy, Tanah Jambu. We departed from the apartment to Defence Academy by 6 am for Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Day. His Majesty arrived at about 8.30 am but His Majesty the Sultan visited our booth at around 10 am and we were able to personally thank His Majesty for blessing us the scholarship. We also engaged in conversations with His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and His Royal Highness Prince Malik.

When His Majesty approached the scholars, I could feel my heart thumping fast and my legs felt numb. Unfortunately, I was frozen by the time His Majesty stood in front of me so I didn't manage to express my sincere appreciation by conveying the line that I've memorized. However, I did manage to response to HM's questions as well as Crown Prince's.

It was a prestigious opportunity to be able to meet His Majesty the Sultan, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and His Royal Highness Prince Malik. They were easygoing and made us feel more comfortable and less pressured when speaking to them.

After the Royals had left the Academy, my family and I spent the afternoon by utilizing the RBAF Fun Fair which took place in the outdoor. One of the scholars, Chai Tze, join us for leisure. Through the exposure of this anniversary, I've come to learn that there's so much than just fighting in the military field.

On 1st June 2016, we scholars involved ourselves in RBAF activities that was opened to the public, hence students from different schools came to visit the Academy. We were to promote the scholarship and make it known to the students that had visited our booth.

This involvement is believed to have assist me in every way to be more comfortable in public speaking, and to speak from the heart rather than a piece of paper. Miss Susie has also helped me to realize how to do an introduction to grab the attention of the public while you're promoting the scholarship.

It has been almost a month since I started this Freshmen Induction Program. I've come to learn a lot from the people around me, gained a life changing experiences and enjoyed myself thoroughly. The program has helped to shape one part of me to stay humble and be professional at the same time.

I am thankful to be a part of the MinDef Scholars' family and thankful for all the guidance they have given to me. I am looking forward to see a more independent and street smart Zi Ling in the near future before I go abroad to pursue my education. In other terms, to start a new chapter of my life.

Two of the most significant events throughout the freshmen induction programme occurred this week, namely the signing ceremony and meeting His Majesty the Sultan during RBAF Day. The later days of the week focused on preparation for the upcoming roadshow next week.

By Lim Chai Tze & Hong Zi Ling, SCRBAF Scholars 2016