Ansara is the association of MARA Junior Science College (MRSM) alumni. It had its 2010 annual dinner last night where more than 300 former students attended.
MRSM is one of the social engineering projects in Malaysia which was designed to provide better education and opportunities, especially to poor Malay students. Started in 1972 with the opening of the first MRSM in Seremban, I have lost count of the exact number of MRSMs around the country today.
28 years later, the outcome of the MRSM project is quite obvious. There were 2 deputy ministers at the dinner last night, Mukhriz Mahathir who is the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry and Razali Ibrahim, the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports. Among the corporate players today, names like Wahid Omar, the CEO of Maybank and Kamarudin Meranun of AirAsia represent the products of the MRSM system who are now making the difference to this country of ours.
Different from other alumni, the membership of Ansara is not limited from one school but from one schooling system. Naturally, this would create a huge talent pool which could create real different if properly orchestrated. The diversity of views and experience would certainly be a catalyst for more calibrated ideas and efforts which provide enough energy for us to transform ourselves into a better country.
The downside risk of the alumni is being caught in the comfort zone of the presence and refrain from continue to explore opportunities to make significant different to the society. Given the level of education received, it is not a surprise if most MRSM alumni ended up in the middle class section of the society. This sense of comfort may stifle innovation.
Billions of ringgit had been spent by the government is supporting the MRSM project. The alumni are now holding various positions across all sectors in Malaysia and quite a number of them are in the position of influence, to chart the next stage of development of Malaysia.
It is now time of MRSM alumni to prove their worth.