Naylin Al | Old Marlburian

Former Marlborough College Malaysia pupil, Naylin Al, who left in June 2018,  shares his experience of his National Service. 


Conscription is often accompanied by ambivalence. You are required to sacrifice two years of your time for your country, while your peers begin their chapters of tertiary education. However, I enlisted with the perception of National Service (NS) simply being another opportunity to learn, grow, and demonstrate my capabilities; a mindset that I attribute to the encouraging learning environment of Marlborough College Malaysia. 


After nine months of intense training, I was posted to the Central Division in the Singapore Police Force as an Inspector (NS). Being in VVIP security, let alone the Police, I became immersed in a special side of Singapore. From being appointed as Officer-In-Charge Red Teaming Unit and having to orchestrate anti-terrorist operations, to directing security deployments at highly sensitive events and institutions, it was rewarding to see my efforts directly enhance Singapore’s security. Protecting officials, leading the celebrity security at F1 2019, extending my service to set up over 50 quarantine facilities for Covid-19, and being awarded Best Officer in my division, it never felt like just NS to me.


The past two years were truly an experience of personal growth. I wanted to become the fittest and strongest I had ever been, both physically and mentally. I set out to learn as much as possible. The consequence of this was the most incredible NS experience I could have asked for. NS enabled me to overcome mental barriers I didn’t know I had. I faced some of my greatest challenges ever in these two years, from brutal expeditions on land and sea, to sleepless nights alone in the jungle, but the lessons were invaluable. 


It was invigorating to be able to apply the leadership and public speaking skills I had acquired at Marlborough College Malaysia on a daily basis. The importance of leading by example and being proactive was echoed throughout my NS commitment. I will forever be grateful to Marlborough College Malaysia for establishing a foundation of curiosity, versatility, and determination, necessary to chart a fulfilling journey in life beyond the College. 


Regardless of the chapter, be confident in yourself. It is impossible to be both fearless and courageous simultaneously, for the very definition of courage is doing something you fear. Always capitalise on an opportunity and you will keep turning the pages. 


“Naylin is a wonderful ambassador of a Marlborough College Malaysia pupil enhancing and building on his strong foundations created whilst here at the college.” said The Master, Mr Alan Stevens.

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