KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 (NNN-BERNAMA) — Tan Sri Shafie Mohd Salleh, who died at the Selayang Hospital on Wednesday, was the man responsible for taking the Malaysian scouts to greater heights.
Shafie, 73, who had been National Chief Scout since 2005, revived the Scouts Association of Malaysia (PPM) after 20 years of relative inactivity, by restructuring the scouting organisation to be more effective and efficient.
It paved the way for PPM to become known and establish a strong collaboration with scouting associations across the country through international conferences and scouting jamborees, among other efforts.
During his leadership, the then Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin as the main patron of the PPM, consented to the awarding of stars and medals for scouts at the Istana Negara as well as the respective royal palaces of the Malay rulers and residences of heads of states.
Among his most memorable achievements was the successful organising of PPM’s Highest Medal Award Ceremony, which saw Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the prime minister at the time, receive the Semangat Padi Award First Class (Gold) as Honorary President of PPM, and the then president of the Republic of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the scouting chief of the country.
Shafie was also responsible for establishing the ASEAN Scouts, in addition to organising “The First ASEAN Scout Conference” in Kuala Lumpur in 2007 and The Second Scouts Association For Regional Cooperation (ASARC) Conference in Jakarta in 2008 and ASARC 2012 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
He was also involved in a committee that bid for the relocation of the World Organization of the Scout Movement from Geneva to Kuala Lumpur, which was subsequently implemented in 2014.
On Aug 19 this year, Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad was declared the Honorary President of the PPM by Shafie, in accordance with the procedures of the organisation.
In a book published in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of PPM, Shafie, in his address stated that PPM would continue to enhance efforts to create a more prosperous world through well-trained scouts.
“The history of scouting activities in Malaysia is a truly colourful tale, including the aspirations of its members and the determination of those who had no cultural barriers whatsoever. Indeed, the story of the scouting movement in Malaysia is worth telling to the generations to come, for its uniqueness,” he said.
Meanwhile in a statement issued here Wednesday evening, Dr Shanta Kumari Natkunam, a Director with voluntary organisation Prime Academy Bhd, expressed sadness on the passing away of Shafie.
“He will be deeply missed. He was a people person who would always listen and help whoever he could help. He was a Chief Scout, kind and gentle.”
Dr Shanta also said he had gone to great lengths to promote peace and harmony in the country.