"Army to help maintain order if need arises" says IGP, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, as reported in the mainstream media.
This reminds me of the dreadful May 13, 1969. At that time, I was serving in Tawau, Sabah, and my concern than was towards my parents who were residing at Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur. I know how my parents feared for their lives upon seeing the military roaming the village trying to enforce the curfew. My father who was working at the General Hospital, a close distant from his house, had to be escorted to work. His work was deemed essential,as he had to supervise the day to day operations of the outpatient department.
Being a retired Army officer, I would not want to be involved in a public order operations....honestly. Many will disagree with me, for they will say that Public Order training is also being taught in the Army.
My reason is simple...I have been trained to fight a war against a foreign aggressor in defence of my country...full stop! And does the public know that the Army is trained to shot to kill? That was my fear when I was commanding an Army contingent on peacekeeping duties in Cambodia in 1993...the fear that my soldiers will be trigger happy to shot down civilians during a public protest or a rioting. We have read reports of such things happening in Iraq, and the perpetrators are none other than the US military forces. How many thousands have they killed...old folks, women and children....god only knows.
And my utmost fear is that when the situation gets out of hand, sentiment will be aroused and things may get racial and religious, and we will end up being like Bosnia. This is a possible scenario , and the politicians must fully understand that the Army is composed of almost 100% Malays. I do not know much about the police.
I am totally confused as to why a joint Police/Military training need to be carried out at a time when the country is in a 'mess', caused mainly by an incompetent government filled with incompetent politicians. Please do not think for a minute that the Army will be there to save your back when the situation gets out of control. You are the cause of the problem...and you have to take account for it. Face the public with full responsibility and accountability, if you want to claim that you are still leaders of the country. And if you think otherwise, just resign and pack out.
The announcement of a joint Police/Military training in anticipation of a worsening public order and security environment is undeniably bad publicity. I am quite sure the announcement has caused public apprehension and fear and I must be honest, that I am afraid too, not only for myself, but for my children and my grandchildren.