Saturday, July 5, 2008

THE ROYAL MALAY REGIMENT OFFICERS CLUB DESERVES BETTER RESPECT AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The Royal Malay Regiment Officers Club (RMDOC) whose Malay acronym is KPRAMD, held its 15th Annual General Meeting, Saturday 6th 2008 at the Officers Mess of the Royal Signal Regiment, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. KPRAMD was formed past a decade ago, primarily to perpetuate a lasting bondage and the espirit de corps among its members, that comprise of both retired and serving officers of the Royal Malay Regiment.

I somehow missed attending the last AGM for unknown reason, but was reminded consistently by the club’s secretariat via sms to make my presence at the AGM this year, and which I did. My willingness to attend is not so much about the meeting, but it is about meeting old friends, a majority of whom were my superiors. I could refer all of them as friends now, because we no longer classify individual members by class or seniority. All are collectively referred to as retirees.

The AGM was graced by General Tun Ibrahim Ismail, the club’s patron and an outstanding soldier, whose contribution to the nation and the Armed Forces in particular, is second to none. He was the person who during the riots of May 13, 1969, was offered by Tun Razak Hussein to administer the troubled nation, but only to refuse it and said that “ as a soldier, I am not trained to run a government” or words to that effect. Those words has remained embedded in the minds of all officers of the Armed Forces till today, where loyalty and unquestioned servitude is towards King and country only.

Many issues were raised at the AGM, ranging from ‘regimental issues’ affecting the corps and the Army, to a hint concerning the political landscape troubling the country today. I am glad that a mention is made of the latter, because I strongly believe that the Armed Forces being a ‘tool’ of the government, has to be fully conscious of its primary role, and not to indulge itself in roles that will incriminate itself as the defender of the sovereignty of the nation. It is for this reason that I had in an earlier article in this blog, stated my wholesome disagreement to the ‘indiscriminate’ use of the Army in Public Duties, should a worsening public order situation develops as a result of the current fiasco brewing among the political circles today.

One striking issue that was raised by a senior members, was with regards to what he implies as ‘indifference attitude’ of the government towards the Armed Forces, and in particular to the Royal Malay Regiment, in recognizing the services of the latter towards the maintenance of defence and security of the nation. Matters relating to the club were raised up to the Ministry of Defence, with them promising to support the club of some of its request. But what the club got later were unfulfilled promises. Someone remarked..”masuk telinga kiri, keluar telinga kanan”. This is how the government views the club members, in recognition for their loyalty and service to the nation.

The Royal Malay Regiment has been in the forefront of defence and security during the 2nd World War, the 1st and 2nd Emergency, the period of confrontation and the May 13 incident. Hundreds have died in the line duty; and the Royal Malay Regiment has sworn never to forsake its duties and responsibilities to defend the country to its very last drop of blood.

The club, I am told, is fortunate enough to receive some goodwill from LTAT, and from some generous members, in the form of cash donation. This is the only source of income to the club. I don’t think there is any monetary contribution by the government to club activities, but the spirit to survive has endured the club to remain in existence till this day.

The present club house is an old government quarters, that can be taken back at a stroke of a pen by anyone from the government. In other words, the club is at the mercy of the government. And is this the way soldiers are treated for their loyalty and service to the motherland? I think politicians in this country gets better treatment, and I suppose this is the very reason why many aspire to become politicians……even for some gatekeeper.

At the end of the meeting, Tun Ibrahim in his casual self, reminded the members to remain steadfast as loyal members of the club; to continue to grow in membership in the hope that one day, the club will be strong with a voice, and be recognized by all and sundry.

3 comments:

Nochan said...

I am very elated to read that you have written something on The Royal Malay Regiment Officers Club. I hope that more officers retired or serving will read, come, and join us to enable us to continue the spirit de corps that we had built so laboriously whilst serving as soldiers of the Agong and country.

I was one of the many who were at that fateful night of Ramadan more than15 years ago when we thrashed out the necessity of a club for officers of the Royal Malay Regiment. We felt then that we were drifting apart once one shed his uniform for Civvy Street. We want the spirit that we had to continue until our last breath. We want the invisible link with the serving officers to continue. The result with the blessings of the Registrar of Societies was a club open to retired and serving officers of the Royal Malay Regiment named as above.

Our aim was noble. However, our hopes of the birth of the club with a big bang received lukewarm reception from authorities. Several negative perceptions appeared. However, the existing members persevered and we are still on track and membership increasing but not at the pace that we expect.

It is a pity that Malaysians as a norm has negative perceptions of anything noble. We prefer to see and carry out negative side of things rather than enriching and improving noble ideas whatever it may be. Perhaps this is our national character!

This statement is not without proof. For the last 50 years of our independence, billions were lost through mismanagement where projects launched, completed and/or seen success were allowed to rot away in spite of having the government, ministers or exco members from the same party. The only difference was only a change of leadership. There is no difference at state or federal level.

The current political situation is in similar situation. We are more than willing to destroy the country in order to achieve one’s political ambition irrespective of political affiliations.

ArshadRaji said...

Nochan Sir,

You have said it right, and I couldn't agree with you more. What I fear most is that the Army and in particular the Royal Malay Regiment acts to the dictates of politicians. The Army must be brave enough to reject any attempt by the civil authorities to use the Army in overlapping roles with the police.

WaliMuar said...

Dato,

I was in the military but serving in different corps. I beg to differ from you or your colleague perception of loyalty to the country which the RMR steadfasly uphold.The RMR motto speaks thousand words,mountainous sacrifice poured to protect the nation sovereignity. The Regiment which I respect most and recognised by the Act of parliament which made your regiment an absolute Malay dominated regiment.Why did the law was tailored in that manner is for the dead sultans to explain from their grave.Your mission throughout is to protect "ketuanan Melayu" this is what I gather from its historical inception.

As time goes by a lot of thing have changed,people dont remember u anymore,they did not recognised u anymore,your voice is just like the ocean breeze, no body bothers and worst still your existence is just like any other govt. organisation . May be they consider RMR is just like RELA , worst still Rosmah once said exservicemen is the same like exposmen,ex che gu,ex peon....etc.
(This is not a "fitnah"...Brig Gen (R) Dato Fahami Hussin can testify that this words or words to that effect was uttered openly in public in front of a large crowd.The occassion was at RTM to commemorate "Rayuan Hari Pahlawan"). The RMR never retalite because of your motto "Taat Setia".

With this percetion about RMR going round in this country, it is wise for all ex RMR to think about how to rectify this idiotic perception and bring back the respect which you deserve. You must be brave enough to come out in the open and fight for your status.