Fiat Sapientia Virtus (FSV): What it means to me

original text by: zin dahari za
Class of ’71

In Form 1 (1967), when I first came into contact with the MCKK logo and wording, what struck me immediately was the word FIAT. To a 13-year old, a car came to mind, and mind you, Italian makes were more common than Japanese in the 60s. In fact, my father used to own a Fiat which had doors opening from the front side of the door panels, and a funny yellow signal light that stuck out insolently like a tongue on either side of the car when my dad presses the signal switch (had to be on duty to pull out the signal light on the left side of the car when it malfunctioned more than once), in sync with my dad’s commands. The car, sadly, had a watery ending when my grandfather borrowed it to go to the market, and forgot to pull up the brakes; it slid down the slope into the Terusan Wan Mat Saman).

Fiat? What has Kolej got to do with a car? Are we supposed to be associated with motoring, and a foreign one at that? Later as I grew up in MCKK’s hallowed surroundings, it did cross my mind that maybe this has something to do with driving or being driven. Perhaps Budak Kolej should be in the driver’s seat, or are so driven in whatever that they do later on in life. But why Fiat and not Holden or Toyopet?

The Italian Job, the exciting movie screened in Hargreaves Hall where Alfa Romeos driven by policemen had to chase after sleek crooks in sleek Mini Coopers, also got me thinking; this Italian connection, maybe it has to do with the Mafia, the secret brotherhood of Italians in Sicily that spawned its tentacles across the USA. MCKK with its brotherhood of budak kolej in the all boys network could be a kind of Mafia: working for the common good sometimes using not so good means (read: dropping names/wearing kolej tie on Wednesdays and at interviews), at the expense of lesser mortals like those in Clifford, KE or SDAR (sorry, could not resist).

Sapientia? Sapientia sounds serpentine, and dark thoughts of secret brotherhood with snake symbols (like the one you find on the Alfa logo) started to form. Shades of Da Vinci Code! But Virtus? This has something to do with good: virtue/virtuous. So how can a secret brotherhood with snake symbols be virtuous or good?

It was much, much later that the meaning of the college logo dawned on me. Fiat Sapientia Virtus is Latin for ‘Let Manliness Come Through Wisdom’. But even the translation did not elucidate much about the real meaning.

Manliness? The first image conjured up then in those early years was that of Charles Bronson, the rugged, macho hero in many Hollywood movies. One can never imagine Mr Bronson donning a frock like John Travolta in Shampoo, or Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire. Poor Mr Bronson was even unkindly compared to another Hollywood hero famous for his handsome profile: ‘Charles Bronson is Robert Redford left too long in the sun!’

Wisdom? We normally associate this word with the elder section of society, never with the young and brash. So how can one attain manliness through wisdom? Can one be a man just by being wise?

It took years to register but it did, later rather than sooner. A Budak Kolej can be a man if he is wise. ‘Manliness’ here refers to the emotional traits of courage and conviction. ‘Wisdom’ is the ability to hold back, assess and take the harder option even though the softer one, the path of least resistance, seems more appealing. It is the state of the heart rather than of the mind, when one is able to gauge from the guts that to deliberately not act when acting would be wrong, is the preferred choice. A wise person is he or she who chooses the live and let live option, an acknowledgment of the other person’s rights while not compromising one’s own. (lakum di nukum waliyadin). It is very difficult to define wisdom but there is a saying that was interpreted to mean that wisdom is the lost jewel of the Muslims; find it if one wants to be a good Muslim.

Courage and conviction are hard acts to perform but important nonetheless. It is courageous to own up to a spouse than to try and manufacture a white lie as a lie is color-free. And conviction allows one to grow old gracefully and with gratitude for all that’s blessed in one’s life to date (including a dutiful spouse), the heart at peace and convinced it is on the right track, never mind the occasional non sequitur.

And to be a man is sexless and not gender-biased: a woman tumbling out of a plane on her 100th sky jump is every bit a man, just as a husband who does the household chores, cooks and changes diapers is every bit a woman of the house without loss of dignity or having the effect of diminishing his manhood (pun intended) whatsoever.

This is why the greatest leader in history (per Hart’s 100 Great Leaders) did not feel inadequate doing household chores in order to lessen the burden on his wives, and died not long after his Farewell Sermon on Mt Arafat which sought to remind his followers to treat women well as those who ‘are not of my flock’. It was he who wisely said: the strongest among you is he, or she, who could hold back and not react, when in anger.

(Isra’ Mi’raj just passed, but as we move towards Ramadan al Mubarak, let us read his seerah and be humbled by his achievements, a real man who overcame his fears and surmounted intolerable odds just by being wise).

That is how I relate our logo to the sunnah.

note: this text was forwarded to me by Wan Abdul Hadi. – Nik Anas



  1. peah Says:

    berapa lama dah kau jadi jambu mamat ni Hadi?

  2. hadi Says:

    haha…dah lama dah…dah jauh pacik berjalan….

    actually article ni aku dapat dari Quadcolors email group. nampak macam best je article ni so minta anas tlg post kan. lagipun boring sangat dah dengan post kawen2 ni, yang pasal jemputan kawen tu takde masalah, tapi komen2 bell ngan org tak ngaku bell tu yang tak tahan nye tuh…

  3. hadi Says:

    kahweners: sumting to ponder

    “just as a husband who does the household chores, cooks and changes diapers is every bit a woman of the house without loss of dignity or having the effect of diminishing his manhood”

  4. azam jalil Says:

    Good posting hadi,aku pun ada dapat through Quadcolors email.An innocent point of view from the beginning that grows wiser towards the end.

    Aku harap posting nie dapat melebarkan kematangan minda kita tentang kenapa kita tak kan dapat hilang nilai budak Kolej……..

  5. amin r Says:

    for those who didn’t have the pleasure of reading Hart’s ranking of the most influential people, the top 10 in his list..

    1. Prophet Muhammad
    2. Isaac Newton
    3. Jesus Christ
    4. Buddha
    5. Confucius
    6. St. Paul
    7. Ts’ai Lun
    8. Johann Gutenberg
    9. Christopher Columbus
    10. Albert Einstein

    the reasoning behind his choices is exceptional. great book.

  6. peah Says:

    kalau ade no 11 confirm areps…

  7. hadi Says:

    Peah, ko jangan la provoke…

  8. maoi Says:

    peah : hahah.. terbaik!!

  9. areps Says:

    begitulah kau kan peah.. x abes lagi tu..


    apa kata korang pulak explain what Fiat Sapientia Virtus in your point of view.

    Start with peah.. ..boleh?

  10. tg Says:


  11. tg Says:

    ade sorg budak penah bagtau aku die tgk Fiat Sapienta Virtus kat logo koleq, die ingat mckk tuh franchise sekolah dari italy…


    mengong punye budak..

  12. peah Says:

    tg: areps ke? Ya Rabbi..ape nak jadi la budak areps nih…

  13. areps Says:

    peah – masihlah x abes2 lagi kan. baiklah..

    tg – saper budak tu? peah ke? do tell

  14. i Says:

    ape la arep..tak mungkin la peah..
    peah lagi tau psl fiat sapienta nih..kan peah kan..

    cuba citer skit peah ape fiat sapienta virtus tu…

  15. nikanasz Says:

    sebelum ada orang konfius siapa “I”…

    i = tg. both are using the same i.p address. kalau tak check i.p pun bole agak. hint: font italic style.

    tanjung, aku tak jumpa “sapienta” dalam latin dictionary.

  16. tg Says:

    ala anasz..lek arr..
    aku tersilap tekan i td..
    n tetinggal lak i dlm sapient” i “a..

    niway,thank u for the correction..

    kebod opis aku ni cikai btul la…

  17. nikanasz Says:

    haha. okay. ingatkan ko nak menyamar bagi nampak ramai sikit org nak pressure peah.

  18. peah Says:

    areps: ape yang kau nak aku “abes” kan? [1]

    FSV if translated,is commonly understood by fellow budak kolet as “manliness thru wisdom”.

    We can scrutinize or analyze. go thru tonnes of dictionaries/thesaurus and what not…but, I’d like to invite you to ponder on this thought, which through out the numerous years we’ve become acquainted might just be the thing we would expect from me,.the maxim also reflects that:

    “A lack of wisdom will make an effeminate man”

    ok… dah puas gelak…sape yang tak setuju…sila la post.

    [1] dah “abes” dah.

  19. hadi Says:

    Peah: bulls eye!!! kui kui kui…

  20. amin r Says:

    interesting thought peah.. so does that mean a total lack of wisdom makes a woman?

  21. anas Says:

    i think what peah means is, lack of wisdom makes a man, less a man. lack of wisdom means you act with your heart, not with your mind, where wisdom comes from.

    lelaki yang kurang kebijaksanaan ni, lelaki yg selalu emo kot?

    of course, this is just what i understand.

  22. amin r Says:

    reason i asked is because the word “effeminate” usually relates to womanly / feminine traits, i.e. lembut, pondan, etc., rather than sensitive or emotional.

  23. areps Says:

    agree with amin r. an “effeminate” man is one who is like a woman

    anas – less a man = ? , selalu emo = kurang bijaksana? perempuan yg “selalu” emo x bijak.. harsh statement tu

  24. anas Says:

    areps: if that is your interpretation of my comments, then ‘perempuan yg “selalu” emo x bijak’ is your harsh statement, not mine. aku takde sentuh pasal perempuan pun.

  25. peah Says:

    jangan sentuh perempuan yang bukan muhrim.

    lelaki pun kalau salah sentuh kena buat sumpah depan Al Quran la ape la..tak best ah..

    intepretation aku tu..nak cencorot orang je..takde kena mengena ngan koleq pun.

  26. amin r Says:

    peah, aku baru email kau pasal equipment, kalau kau still nak. let me know.

  27. peah Says:

    xpe, i’ll take a raincheck. thanks alot anyway.

  28. izheaven Says:

    FSV!!! FSV!!!

  29. peah Says:

    pehal ni?

  30. baber bell Says:

    areps ni arep tayeb ke arep mat hassan?

  31. peah Says:

    haha, nasib baik kat nama tu dah ngaku..takyah ah aku nak state the obvious lagi…

  32. izheaven Says:

    wei jum lunch…

  33. hadi Says:

    izheaven? sape ni? ingat arshavin star rusia tu, tapi pandai cakap mayu la pulok..izdihar, is that u? or Izi fect 96 kot?

  34. peah Says:

    this “iz heaven” on earth la…new hostel…

  35. mache Says:

    sape 2 peah?tp sebelum ko kutuk aku pon ngaku la jgk…aku bell x tau..

  36. mache Says:

    ber, aku nk tgk anak ko, ko ade upload kat mane2 tak?

  37. baber Says:

    gambar anak aku ada dalam facebook mardhy, aku buta IT sikit la mache , harap maklum ye.

  38. peah Says:

    semenjak kena tampar ngan wan harun sebab main game NBA dalam library….

  39. d10 Says:


  40. Poron Says:

    now that’s funny.

  41. Poron Says:

    Conversation via YM on 28th August 2008 between me and Anas

    Poron: muka raissa takde iras baber langsung
    Poron: aku tgk kat facebook mardhy
    Anas:ikut mak dia kot..
    Poron: mmg pun
    Anas: genetik baber tak dominan la tu…
    Poron: lepas kena tampar dgn wan harun agaknya, seperti kata peah kat wordpress
    Anas: haha cam sial la peah

  42. izheaven Says:

    aku org yg dah lama korang lupa…..

  43. pyanski Says:

    adakah wan ahmad tarmizi?

  44. Poron Says:

    tak pun faizal kamal.

  45. izheaven Says:

    we dont have so much memories togather…’s been a while with all of u….but then felt like wanted to know some updates about the brotherhood… 🙂

  46. amin r Says:

    baber bell: areps = arep mat hassan.

    looks like we have another tease. mula2 tg, ni izheaven lak. semua perasan jambu ni.. tengok Poron, dengan bangganya letak nama dia. capital “P” lagi… “Poron”..

  47. baber Says:

    tampar aku sebab cd NBA kandaq..ade ke patut

  48. peah Says:

    kuat wei die tampar..

    izheaven: pakai la no dobi je kalau mcm tu…

  49. maoi Says:

    shariramri kot..

  50. hadi Says:

    isk ngada2 la suh teka2..
    administrator: ban je sapa2 yang nak t.p. kat sini..

  51. areps Says:

    hi baber. dah jadik ayah yek? baguslah

    izheaven ?? saper tu ?

  52. peah Says:

    Baber n Areps: Boleh bawak berbincang kat Sofar Sogood kat Nago..


  53. izheaven Says:

    aku kroll la….form 1 setengah tahun je, then family aku migrate ke us…so sempat kejap je la…aku pun tak igt nama korang…korang pun tah igt aku ker tak…korang dah jd apa skang??malu gak nak contact korang….

  54. peah Says:

    masa main bola interclub ko team sapa?

    ko dorm mana? no dobi?

  55. hadi Says:

    aku macam ingat..rasanya dia ni budak pahang ni…badan ala2 bagak cam spr.tapi kalo salah tak tau le…

  56. pyanski Says:

    hadi – tu faizal kamal la

    yg kuar bukan tarmizi, faizal kamal ngan shariramri je ke? kalau setengah tahun sure mcm kenal gak. betul ke ko tak silap batch or tak silap skolah?

  57. hadi Says:

    ooo…shafiq yatim pun bukan…

  58. peah Says:

    kalau faizal kamal, confirm ah team aku..

    kroll sape?

  59. d10 Says:

    faizal kamal yang banyak kad x men kene kabus tu ke?

  60. maoi Says:

    kroll mana wei?? nombor dobi bape? dorm mana? kau biar betul ni???

  61. d3 Says:

    akmal zaki?setahun tk kuar kk tu sib baiik ko migrate.

  62. peah Says:

    ko rembat ek yew u?

  63. d10 Says:

    manja man

  64. mache Says:

    sharil amri team aku wei…dia terer keeper…lg terer dr ewe..hahaha…tp spe keroll?mcm x wujud je…ko salah skolah kot…dorm mane ko ni?compom bkn dorm C

  65. peah Says:


    ko ape tau..ko geng pakai no dobi…

    jangan buat perangai tulis no dobi kat collar lagi Mache tapi since ko pun selalu lepak ngan mobsters, baik kau tulis ah..diorg suka rembat baju…

  66. amin r Says:

    yew-u: kad x men kena kabus tu aku la. siot punya samchit. semua salah farhan sbb dia yang suruh aku bawak gi class.

  67. spr Says:

    amin: rolling stone bukan rolling stine

  68. mache Says:

    aku bkn lepak ngn mobster la, mmg aku bela sorg mobster trus kat umah aku…hahhah

  69. peah Says:

    uish..bijak gak idea kau nih..dari bela kucing baik bela mobster…boleh kita gelak2 tengok tabiat dia..

  70. D.Zin Says:

    Dear brothers all from Class of 98 [the one I know quite well is Munzir], FYI, the original text of the above article was written by my dear friend and class mate, Dato’ Setia DiRaja Syed Nadzri Syed Harun who is also the Group Editor in Chief for NSTP.

    Teman nengok sikit bebenor C’98 aktif dalam our EGroup like MM although I know that your batch, if based on this blog, looks to be a very close and strong espirtde corps.

    KEEP IT UP and do not forget to come for MCOBA’s Buka Puasa kat Penthouse on the 10th (Wed) i.e. next week.

    kind regards,
    Zin Dahari ZA, C71 (Ahmad Hse)
    Asst. Hon Sec., MCOBA, 2008/2010

    PS: Hoping that the blog administrator will publish my comment

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