By Azman Zakaria
Photo by Noor Azreen Awang
Young Junior Officer Muhammad Syahiran Abd Sukor, 22, who is studying in Bachelor of Economics, was picked as UPM’s PALAPES Army Best Cadet Officer, while Senior Cadet Officer Nurul Aini Amkaromi, 24, who is doing a Bachelor of Horticultural Science was chosen as UPM ROTU Navy Best Cadet Officer.
Muhammad Syahiran said his brother who is a soldier had challenged him by saying that it would be tough to be an officer in the Armed Forces.
“His words made me resolved for success. I took it upon myself to accomplish something in ROTU but it never crossed my mind that I would be picked as the Best Cadet Officer (Army),” he said in an interview.
His interest in marching formation started when he was studying at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Baling in Kedah. Still, Muhammad Syahiran did not expect to walk away with the Best Cadet Officer award as he said there were just too many ROTU officers, especially those senior Junior officers.
“While undergoing an annual training camp, I complained to my superiors when they chose me to lead the training camp as I felt it was unfair, simply because there were many ROTU cadets will be commissioned and they too should alternately lead the training camp.
“But when the officer asked me for my biodata, I started asking myself…it was just a few days before the Commissioning Ceremony that I knew I had been chosen as ROTU Army Best Cadet Officer,” he said.
He expressed his gratitude, saying that he was also made the chief of parade for the event.
He called his parents after knowing that he had been selected.“My father just could not believe it…he thought I would just lead the UPM team, not the whole detachment,” he said, adding that he would remain active as a member of the Territorial Army after completing his study at UPM by registering himself at the Territorial Army Unit.
Some 1,620 cadets in 24 detachments from 18 public universities were commissioned by the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah,who is also UPM Chancellor, during the Commissioning Ceremony.
For Nurul Aini, it was a sweet success that she was chosen as ROTU Navy Best Cadet Officer as she could be at par with her male colleagues and able to take up the challenge thrown by her brother who was disappointed when Nurul Aini failed to gain admission to Malaysian Maritime Academy (ALAM).
“My brother told me to apply for ALAM but I failed. That was the reason I joined ROTU in UPM.
“I was shocked that I was chosen as UPM ROTU Navy Best Cadet Officer as I had to compete with many male candidates,” said Nurul Aini who aspires to be a member of the Armed Forces after completing her study and will be reporting for duty at KD Sri Klang.
She added that her interest to join the Army started when she was chosen to undergo the National Service (NS) camp after sitting for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).
After getting an offer to pursue her study at UPM in Serdang from UPM branch campus in Bintulu, she initially wanted to join ROTU Army but later changed her mind and applied for ROTU Navy with several friends who also wanted to join ROTU Navy.
“I was very happy that my application was approved but was sad that my friends did not get to join ROTU Navy,” she said. – UPM.
Sekolah Pengajian Siswazah
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia