Girl Guides celebrate 100 years in Malaysia

PHOTO: The Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR - It's been 100 years of friendship and fun for the Girl Guides Association of Malaysia, as they marked their centennial celebration with songs, dance and a roster of events for the rest of 2016.

Officiated by Girl Guides Association president Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and deputy president Raja Puan Besar Perak Darul Ridzuan Raja Nor Mahani Raja Shahar Shah, the ceremony saw all 18 state Girl Guides presidents there to place state memorabilia into a time capsule, which is to be opened in 25 years.

Rosmah told the crowd she was proud of the association and its accomplishments.

"Just last year, three Girl Guides were chosen to be Malaysia's representatives in the United Nations' youth assembly in New York. This shows that our Girl Guides have succeeded in producing leaders of international calibre," she said.

She also praised the organisation's readiness to help in acts of volunteerism.

"Girl Guides always act imm­e­­diately when there's a natural disaster in or out of the country. This was proven through the launch of their disaster fund and their humanitarian mission during the floods.

"Girl Guides all over Malaysia collected donations that were channelled to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan, and flood victims here (East Coast). They also gave drinking water to people in those states when there was no clean water," she said.

Girl Guides Chief Commissioner Normala Baharudin said a lot of work went into the planning and execution of programmes and activities for the betterment of its members and the community at large.

"We would not be successful without teamwork and the determination to ensure the Girl Guides are a catalyst of leadership. This noble task has to continue with the same energy and zeal," she said.

Also present at the ceremony was Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

At the ceremony, the Girl Guides presented a new logo with the tagline "Girl Guides Can", as well as a mascot - a mousedeer - to represent intelligence and bravery.

The Girl Guides Association of Malaysia was founded in 1916 in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia has about 85,000 members.

Among the events that have been lined up to mark the centennial celebration are a showcase gallery and a commemorative coin launch in May, a commemorative stamp to be issued in November, and a grand finale celebration, also slated for November.