This year marks the 90th anniversary celebration of the Malay College Old Boys’ Association (MCOBA). Yes! That’s how long we have been in existence. Ninety freaking years!
History has it that way back in 1929, a bunch of former Malay College students – or how they fondly call themselves, Old Boys – gathered and reunited in the school over a weekend. Yep, you guessed it right my dear friend; The Old Boys Weekend (OBW). That was when the idea to form MCOBA was mooted. The March 1929 edition of the “Times of Malaya” and the “Planters & Miners Gazette” published articles on this. It’s a bit long but please bear with us. Actually no. We’re not gonna bore you with that. You can read them here.
Now fast forward to the year 2005, where the school itself, the alma mater, the Eaton of the East, the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) celebrated its 100th years anniversary. That’s one whole CENTURY for you! We celebrated like there was no tomorrow. We called it the Centenary Celebration Day (CCD). No one was spared on that historic day. Not the present boys, not the teachers, not the Sultans, not even the elephants! That was when the school was once again baptised when the Conference of Rulers proclaimed that for as long as the moon, the stars and the sun orbit, MCKK will be under their patronage. Sounds grand right? Wait, there’s more. Being part of the country’s long history – pre, during and post-war, British and Japanese occupations, Malaya to Malaysia – surely there was something good in store for us, right? Heck we’ve seen the worst and we survived. Wait before we forget, you may read up on MCKK here. Okay now back to 2005, where one of the buildings in MCKK, the Big School, was pronounced as a national heritage. Which means, that particular building is untouchable. Of course there was a due process we needed to undergo, all the groundwork, the paperwork, endless trips to relevant authorities’ offices, did not deter us from getting the Big School gazetted as the country’s heritage. So in 2010, 5 years after the CCD, the Big School was finally gazetted and listed as a national heritage. Cool! Now what?
The year was 2016, when a bunch of Old Boys were planning to celebrate their reunion. They wanted to give back to their alma mater, something sustainable and long-lasting. Something intangible but yet tangible. Something that people will look forward to, and be the reason to come back every year during the OBW. Heads were cracked, ideas were poured. After hours of brainstorming and eliminating of ideas, they finally decided: let’s organise a run, and let’s call it Bungwak Run (BWR)! Wait, what the heck is Bungwak?! Again, don’t wanna bore you. You may read all about BWR here.
Now that we have given you a little background about what MCOBA, MCKK and BWR are, this is where things are getting more exciting. Well at least to us, the self-involved Old Boys. This year, we plan to put a little twist to BWR. This year we want to open up, and share with you peeps what a 114 years old school students are made of. Since the Big School is one of the many heritage sites and buildings in the country, we decided to organise a virtual run. No, not the one where you strap that heavy digital wired goggle around your head and pretend that you run but you actually don’t. Virtual run here means you can virtually run anywhere at anytime. All you need to do is download the app and register yourself, and you’re in.
The virtual Bungwak Run, aka BWR x Heritage, will champion a cause – national heritage – in collaboration with Badan Warisan Malaysia as the beneficiary, and SOFEA Run as the platform provider.
So what’s in it for you, you might ask? Well if you complete the minimum distance, you will receive a running tee and a medallion. That’s the tangible part of it, something you can see, hold, flaunt and whatnot. The intangibles? You are now more aware about the heritage sites and buildings and the importance in preserving them. Head on to Badan Warisan Malaysia & Jabatan Warisan Negara’s websites to learn more if you will.
And what’s in it for Badan Warisan Malaysia? Obviously, some proceeds of the fund will go to them to support their cause in preserving the national heritage for all of us Malaysians. Win-win, right?
For us, we find the joy in spreading the word, sharing the fruit of the labor and at the same time creating the awareness about the often overlooked, and dated heritage sites and buildings in the country.
Okay, enough talk. Let’s run the talk, let’s run the Bungwak Run!
MCKK Class of ‘96
On behalf of BWR x Heritage 2019 Committee