Launching of the Young Achievers Club

   Tables were being arranged, chairs were being unstacked and placed around them, corners of the house were being dusted, pillows were fluffed and adjusted, everywhere around, there was cleaning going on as the house reverberated with excitement due to the upcoming events of the night. Every Young Achiever worked with a certain pride and joy in their hearts, because the very house they were dusting and cleaning and doing up, was going to be launched in a few hours time as theirs – the Young Achievers’ Clubhouse. 

   The 31st of August every year is a day of celebration for every citizen of Malaysia for its obvious reasons. But this year’s was special to a few individuals now known as the Young Achievers. On the same significant day 46 years ago when Malaysia was declared  independent, the new name, logo and clubhouse of the former TV program Golden Kid’s Club was to be launched. Uncle Sabri and Aunty Wati, the founders of the club made a decision to ‘mould’ the house beside theirs which had been empty for some time into a place for fellowship and gathering amongst the members of the club. After a month or so of painting and renovating, the clubhouse was ready to be accommodated and it looked like the dream house every group of youngsters wanted to have.  

   The cleaning of the clubhouse went on under the watchful eyes of Anthony Tan, the appointed warden of the clubhouse and also a senior member of the Young Achiever’s Club. It finally came to an end when we had to change into our new Young Achiever’s T-shirt for a shoot for the website. They had wet clay platforms put up for us on a table and we were to press our palms into it, making a lasting imprint when it dries. We had a lot of fun, each creating our own identity on the platforms, but we all realised the essence of this whole activity. The imprint that we left was to signify commitment on our parts to being nation-building leaders of tomorrow. 

   We had to change again into traditional costumes for it was also a celebration in conjunction with the National Day. There were ‘baju kebaya’s, ‘baju kurung’s, ‘sari’s, ‘cheongsams’ and ‘bhangra’ dresses everywhere, creating a cheerful, radiant atmosphere around us, complimenting the exact way we felt. After that, we waited anxiously for the arrival of the VIPs of the evening who are Yg Bhg Datin Seri Wendy Ong, the wife of Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting,the MCA president and Datin Freida Dato’ Pilus, Chairman of Cempaka schools. In the meantime, we mingled with guests who were mostly residents of the neighbouring houses as well as members of the PPC, who are parents of the Young Achievers.  

   Upon the arrival of the honoured guests, they were ushered to their seats and then Amanda Sabri, daughter of Uncle Sabri and Aunty Wati as well as a well respected YA stepped up to present her informative and entertaining speech about the background as well as the new image of the club. Datin Freida Dato’ Pilus and Datin Seri Wendy Ong gave very well-written opening speeches which led to the official launch of the clubhouse. Ribbons attached to colourful helium-filled balloons were cut and let loose into the air, a large banner bearing the YAC’s logo and name hanging below it. Dinner was then served and the guests dug into the scrumptious food from various ethnicities.  There was a little breakdancing show put up by 4 young boys no older than 13 years of age and everyone were impressed with the way their flexible bodies challenged the stunts involved in breakdancing.      

   The YAs then had to go into rush mode again as we changed into our YA shirts and prepared the clubhouse as the next activity in the agenda was the viewing of the clubhouse by the VIPs and the guests. As our honoured VIPs launched the clubhouse by finishing empty spaces in the logo with orange paint right outside the entrance door, we on the other side, waiting for the cue to open it and welcome them into our new pride and joy. The cue, a knock on the door, came and we greeted them into the house with warm smiles. The VIPs and guests were all given a guided tour around the clubhouse while a few of us were stationed by the entrance to greet and welcome viewers. To see the intrigued and fascinated expressions on the faces of our guests as we explained the activities of the club, pointed out newspaper cuttings of us on the walls and elaborated each area of the house was one of the most memorable moments of all.  

   With the formal part of the launch over and the departure of the VIPs, we decided to have a little casual fun. Guests were still staying behind to mingle and chat and the YAs decided to put up a little show for them with the karaoke set. Uncle Sabri was playfully pulled up to sing with us (after a lot of pleading and chantings of his name) and we sang Rasa Sayang along with clapping from the crowd. He mysteriously ‘disappeared’ halfway through the song and we took over, belting out tunes from the golden oldies to pop songs and even patriotic songs like Jalur Gemilang and Setia.  

   The evening dragged on as the guests started to leave and the sky started to get dark. The YAs decided we have not had enough fun yet and decided to play a game of badminton, moving on to basketball and then taking a dip in the pool behind Uncle Sabri’s house. Everyone went to bed that night, exhausted, with a smile plastered on their faces for this was a significant day to be remembered by every one of us. And as I lay my head back and lingered in between wakefulness and dreams, I thanked God for the club, its founders, its members and that He had given me the opportunity to be part of it all.

 

By Tracy Too,
16 years
6th of September 2003