Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I have just received an SMS from a former colleague informing me that 6 Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment will be receiving its new regimental colours on August 15, 2008. The battalion is presently based in Kepala Batas, Alor Star, Kedah.

Back in 80's, the base was occupied by 9 Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment, of which I was its Commanding Officer for two years, from 1980 until 1982. In the 80's, most infantry battalions could hardly find time to be in base, long enough for its soldiers to be with their families. In the case of my battalion, we were deployed on operations for a period of three months at a time, with a three months break, and back again on operations for another three months. This was the routine, and even when the battalion was in base, there were other activities that the battalion had to undertake eg. battalion retraining, formation exercises and sporting activities.

6 Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment was my first battalion that I was posted to, upon completing my officers cadet training at the Royal Military College in 1966. The battalion was then based in Kluang, Johore, and the Commanding Officer was Lt Col Mokhti Jabar (died in service in 1978 in the rank of Colonel). I was detailed to B Company as a platoon commander, and its Officer Commanding was Maj Dahalan Sulaiman (retired in the rank of Major General).

I believe, the new regimental colours that 6 Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment will be receiving is the third. The original regimental colours which was presented to the battalion during the British Colonial period was destroyed during a fire of a storehouse at HQ 5 Brigade, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in 1969. I could remember the burning incident, because I was then the adjutant of the battalion based in Tawau, Sabah. The regimental colours was kept in transit at the storehouse, and was to be flown back to Tawau, after a parade held in Kuching, Sarawak. The accompanying officer was one Capt Badaruddin Yassin.

I also wish to relate a bad experience that I had with the regimental colours. In 1967, I was assigned to be the colour ensign at the Merdeka Parade held in Kuala Lumpur. Being the colour ensign, I was given the responsibility to care for safety of the regimental colours. The battalion regimental HQ was then based in Labuan, Sabah.

After the parade, I directed the colour escorts to store the regimental colours at Batu Cantoment Camp, and to bring it back to Sg. Besi Air Force Base the following morning for our return flight to Labuan.

Upon my arrival at Sg. Besi Air Force Base that morning, I realised that my name had been deleted from the passengers manifest list. The reason they gave was that I was late, and my seat had been given to someone else. However, the colour escorts who had arrived much earlier, had managed to secure their return seats, and had safely loaded the regimental colours into the aircraft. What I did not realised was that my Commanding Officer was also on the same fight to Labuan that morning, and upon seeing him, I told him that I could not return to Labuan with him, because I no longer have a seat in the aircraft, and will only return to Labuan the next day. He did not say a word, and I knew he was angry at me for being late.

The following day, I arrived at Sg. Besi Air Force Base, and this time I was early. During the flight back, I was restless, and I know that I will be punished upon my return to Labuan. I had broken a sacred rule, that I as the colour ensign, should have at all times, to be with the regimental colours. In this instance, the regimental colours had flown out without me.

Upon my arrival at Labuan, I was greeted by the adjutant, Capt Zainal Che Dan, and the first thing that come out of him was that, I have been ordered to do a 30 days duty officer starting the day I arrived Labuan. I wasn't shocked at the pronouncement, for I clearly deserve the punishment. The next 30 days was a 'harrowing experience' for me, because I had to be in my uniform every minute of the day, and to be sleeping in the Duty Officers Room.


maurice said...

Dear ArshadRaji,

In order to increase and enhance the pride of members of the battalion with their Regimental Colour, I would like to suggest that the name of the battle that earned the batalion the regimental colour be sewn on it.

For example, I RAMD Regimental Colour should have the word Pasir Panjang be sewn on it.Of course. a batalion that have been through many battles would have more than one battle name sewn on its Regimental Colour.The visibility of battle names on their Regimental Colour will surely inspire members of the battalion to emulate the bravery of their predecessors.

maurice said...

Want to share a report from Strategy Page on the present Georgia-Russia Conflict:

" August 8, 2007: A week of fighting in Georgia (on Russians southern border in the Caucasus) was apparently a Georgian attempt to finally defeat ethnic separatists in the breakaway area of South Ossetia (population 50,000). Georgia announced that it had liberated the separatist area. Russia has not yet announced if it will go to war to support the, apparently, defeated South Ossetian separatists.

There is a second such area; Abkhazia (population 200,000). Georgia has a population of 4.6 million, and a hostile relationship (going back centuries) with Russia. In response to this bad attitude, Russia has backed the rebels of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (which are on the Russian border) since the early 1990s. Georgia was part of the Soviet Union (and Russia) for over two centuries. Georgians tolerated this for a long time as the only way to keep the Moslem Turks out of Christian Georgia. But with the end of the Cold War, this was no longer an issue and the Georgians wanted the Russians gone. The Russians considered the Georgians ungrateful and unreliable (for allowing Chechen rebels to hide out in neighboring Georgian mountains.)

The fighting in South Ossetia and Abkhazia had stopped over a decade ago, because Georgia could not muster sufficient military force to regain control of the two breakaway border areas. Then a UN brokered peace deal brought in several thousand Russian peacekeepers. About ten days ago, there were were reports of gunfire and mortar shells exploding in South Ossetia. In the last few days, Georgian Su-25 ground attack aircraft were seen hitting targets in South Ossetia. Artillery shells were reported to have hit a Russian peace keeper barracks. Russia announced that it was sending more peacekeeping troops to South Ossetia. Russian aircraft were reported to have bombed targets just inside Georgia. Russia was unable to get the UN to pass a resolution demanding that Georgia cease efforts to get back control of its territory."

maurice said...

Want to share a report from Strategy Page on 'A Deal Done Become Undone' affecting the future of MILF in Mindanao:

"August 5, 2008: The agreed peace deal with the MILF is coming apart as wealthy Catholic and Moslem families in the south exercised their political influence to protect their interests. These families have their own gunmen, and some even control portions of the MILF. Nothing is simple in the south. Then the Filipino Supreme Court agreed with some of these groups, proclaiming the deal unconstitutional (mainly because of the extent of the autonomy given to the southern Moslems.) Many northern politicians believe that the more corrupt southern politicians will use the autonomy to plunder and impoverish the southerners even more than is the case now. The Christian minority also sees themselves as becoming second-class citizens under the new deal (something many southern Moslems favor.)"