Jertih's long-standing Rukun Tetangga, a symbol of unity

Mohammad Ishak

JERTIH: Bandar Jertih Rukun Tetangga (Kawasan Rukun Tetangga or KRT), here, may very well be the best example of how a group of residents strive to express the Sayangi Malaysia (Love Malaysia) spirit by regularly organising various community programmes based on patriotism, unity and neighbourhood values. Its secretary Abd Aziz Hassan said the concept of cooperation and trust among the committee members making it one of the longest surviving KRT that remained active until today. He said diversity was clearly reflected in the committee that was formed 33 years ago, which membership included Malays, Chinese, India, Kadazan. KRT was established in 1975, originally to enhance neighbourhood safety. “We receive encouraging response from all races in the Besut district when carrying out programmes because most of the activities were planned based on the wants and cultures of the diverse community,” he told NSTP. Abd Aziz said every year, the committee would organise parade, car and bicycle convoy, and flag decorating contest in celebration of Merdeka Day. Chinese and Malay dishes’ cooking contest would be organised to allow the residents to get to know each others’ culture. He said in conjunction with the Merdeka celebration, the KRT would also organise village tour on bicycle, ‘know our Independence leaders’ and Fly Jalur Gemilang contest, held in collaboration with the state National Unity and Integration Department (JPNIN). When it comes to Merdeka celebration, Bandar Jertih KRT had its share of fame as it was named the best parade team for the non-governmental organisation (NGO) category in 2011. “It also came as no surprise when it was awarded the state-level excellent KRT last year and the longest serving KRT at the national level by (JPNIN) in February this year,” he said. He said patriotic spirit shown by all the races in the district through activities organised by the KRT was set as benchmark for the success of KRTs in Terengganu. State JPNIN director, Burhanuddin Daud, said he hoped that the teamwork spirit and patriotism would be kept alive in nurturing a strong sense of unity among the residents. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd