[Bakti Siswa 2018] An Interview with Program Director, Roshan Charles Razali

Bakti Siswa, or more specifically,  “Bakti Siswa 2018 Mahasiswa Harapan Rakyat” will be taking place this 26-29 September in Pagoh, Johor. It will be the biggest voluntary program ever conducted by UNITEN, with the idea to instill the sense of giving to people who are less fortunate and given the scale of the event, inspire the people around them to engage in volunteering as well. This 120-person expedition will deploy students and staff members from both Putrajaya and Muadzam campuses, making it the first Bakti Siswa to involve both campuses.

There are four main aspects of the event, namely

  1. Education
  2. Eco-volunteering
  3. Community Engagement
  4. “Kempen Kesedaran Keselamatan Elektrik” (KKKE)

The program is currently UNITEN’s highest net worth student-conducted project, standing in at a whopping 114,000 ringgit. To compare, the #KITAUNITEN campaign stands at around 27,000 ringgit. The event is sponsored by part by several UNITEN bodies, such as the Student Affairs Centre, ‘Tabung Amanah Zakat Uniten (TAZU)’, Yayasan Canselori Uniten, and a few others. Sadly, this time around, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, TNB, will not be sponsoring Bakti Siswa. “If I meet Dato’ Seri Azman, I’ll definitely be asking him why,” joked the enthusiastic 23-year-old program director.

Some of the activities that will be held during the event are as follows:

  • An ‘Explorace’ in SK  Panjang Sari and SMK Sultan Alauyuddin Riyal Shah, which will expose the students to the world of robotics, engineering and IT. BakSis will be collaborating with several UNITEN Clubs such as the Mobile Robotics Club (MRC), Electric Vehicle Association (EVA), Pro-C and CLICQ, as well as some Alumni.
  • Plucking a leaf from TNB’s “Tree for a Tree”, BakSis will be introducing orchards in the schools, planting various plants while promoting love and greenery to the students. They will also be educating the students regarding botanic sciences, relating classroom material to their fun, hands-on practical sessions.
  • To provide a sense of variety and potentially avoid the occasion that students start to feel overwhelmed and bored with the sciences, BakSis will also be having a mural painting session. This will provide students the means and luxury of expressing their creative side, and help stress on the importance of maintaining the balance between fact and creativity.
  • In the village areas, there will be a ‘Jelajah Kampung’, basically an ‘Adventure Time’ experience by going to oil palm plantations, rubber plantations and to ‘ladang ubi (sweet potatoes, yams)’, to get a hands-on experience on how hard and dirty the village workers work every day.
  • Deer farm visit. UNITEN students and staff will get the front row seats on how farmers operate with venison from the nurturing, to the slaughter house.
  • KKKE seminar and exhibitions at the Balai Raya of Sari Baru.
  • Foster Family program, where 120 students will share houses with 55 foster families in Pagoh.

With a 6,000 ringgit deficit in the student allocation budget, Roshan assures us that this money was not taken from other clubs.

“Since January, each and every club received their own allocations. It’s (Bakti Siswa 2018) RM114,000 but only RM20,000 comes from Tabung Aktiviti Pelajar under SRC (student representative council) itself. It’s the SRC’s money, not the other clubs money. We are not taking any money from other clubs at all.”

Interestingly, this year’s Bakti Siswa was to take place in Terengganu. However, due to the revolutionary General Election 14, Terengganu became a non-government state, and UNITEN as a Government Link University (GLU), was not allowed to carry out the program there. There were quite a few locations up for discussion, such as Muar, Langkawi, Kedah and other strategic political areas, but ultimately the team finalized on Pagoh.

Shortly after the decision was made, Roshan along with four other members of Bakti Siswa’s Alpha went on-site for a quick inspection. Plans were made on when and where activities were going to take place, as well as how each activity was to be carried out. Thanks to the Kelana Jaya and Pagoh police department, the team managed to receive contact information which efficiently helped with the progress of the event.

It took over a year of planning, but its finally happening. This event is particularly important to the director, as it was part of his manifesto for when he was in the Council.

“Exploring Global Perspectives through Social Engagement.”

For the first time in any volunteerism event, both UNITEN Putrajaya and UNITEN KHSAS joining hands to spread  love and awareness through Bakti Siswa. Another highlight is that ten international students will be joining this event, introducing and giving them the opportunity to experience the ‘kampung’ lifestyle.

It’s been over a year since Alpha, Bravo and Charlie have been preparing for this event, and along the way many of the crew members were unable to continue the strenuous commitment. Regardless of who stayed and who left, the director expressed his utmost gratitude to all who contributed to the event.

“It’s gonna be one hell of an experience. Get pumped, get psyched and get ready for #BaktiSiswa2018”

The BakSis community hopes to create the ripple that will generate a wave of better ethics. Through this reach of volunteerism by Bakti Siswa, BakSis hopes that they can genuinely inspire even a small amount of people to not neglect the kindness and genuineness in their selves to help others, and in turn, inspire others to do the same. The journey to contribute to a better generation, and a better Malaysia takes place this 26 September, 2018.



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