The United Kingdom Executive Council for Malaysian Students (UKEC) was a union of Malaysian students societies in universities throughout the UK. I can't remember the current number of memberships, but at its height it counted 44 societies from 44 universities in the UK as members, roughly representing 10,000 students.
UKEC is sentimental to me personally because it was the work (and brain child) of (among others) the late Adlan Benan Omar (Class of 90). Together with other pioneers (including Harmiadi Don Rahim, also Class of 90), UKEC was formed in its nascent form in 1993.
I remember the summer of 1994 when Ben was back in Malaysia and we had a long chat about my plan after school. By that time, I already secured an Esso scholarship to US to become a geologist (ha ha nasib baik!) and my mind was already tuned towards that. A weekend with Ben, somehow we made a promise to each other that I would end up in the UK somehow and UKEC played a central role in it - because the plan was to bring me directly into UKEC.
The rest, as they say, is history.
The first 7 chairmen of UKEC were all budak koleq, so much so that at one point it was used against UKEC (some quarters alleged it as an MCKK old boy network ha ha):
1st: Adlan Benan Omar (Class of 90)
2nd: Eqhwan Mokhzanee Mohamad (Class of 92)
3rd: Harmiadi Don Rahim (Class of 90)
4th: Hilmi Yusof (Class of 92)
5th: Rafizi Ramli - 2 terms (Class of 94)
6th: Azri Nache - 2 terms (Class of 95)
The chain was broken in 2001, when the chairmanship was finally passed to a non-MCKK. It went through its low moments (as any organisation should be) before picking up again to reach its height from the mid 2005 onwards.
I had asked a few people from Class of 2005 to consider running for UKEC as they settled down in the UK, but I suppose life took a different turn for most of them.
In the end, perhaps realising that it would have meant a lot to the late Adlan Benan that finally another MCKK old boy takes the helm of UKEC - Sdr Farquar Haqqani (Class of 2006) had been working his way up the UKEC ladder for the last 2 years.
Alhamdulillah, last weekend he defeated 2 other candidates to be elected as the next UKEC chairman - a small matter to most but most sentimental to some of us.
Hopefully it's a sign of many things to come, from the Classes of 2007 onwards who will be in the UK :-)
Good luck Haqqa, this is a way of saying congratulations for all the trials and tribulations thus far.