Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It has been rumoured that the Boys Wing of the Royal Military College will be relocated to accommodate the expansion programme of the National Defence University (NDU).

The establishment of the NDU had earlier necessitated the relocation of the Cadet Wing, which is the training center for army officer cadets, to Ulu Tiram, Johore. The move of the Cadet Wing to Ulu Tiram was seen by many as to be lowering the status of the Army Officers Cadet Training Center, to one that befits that of a recruit training center of yesteryears. Even the present recruit training center at Port Dickson is more presentable.

The reason I say this is because the once prestigious Cadet Wing of the Royal Military College was a shinning symbol of awe and grandeur, matching that of other Officer Cadet Training Centers of other countries. Some even dubbed the Cadet Wing as “Little Sandhurst’; the British Army Cadet Training Institution in the UK. The Cadet Wing at Ulu Tiram that had now been designated the Officers Cadet School, is presently housed in semi permanent barracks that resembles buildings meant for operational camps. It is no longer the ‘Little Sandhurst’ that the older generation of officers would want to be associated with.

With the Cadet Wing gone, the authorities are now vying on the Boys Wing that is situated on a hillock with a panoramic view of almost the entire Sg. Besi garrison. The Boys Wing has produced a number of luminaries that are big names in government, as well as in the private sector. I do not want to name them here, because the list is endless.

The question that many had asked is, “why the Boys Wing, and removing it, will also obliterate the history of the institution”? And I am quite sure there will be protestations from the Old Putra Association (OPA) members whose loyalty to their Alma Mate is ‘thick’.

Should the rumours be true, and with the Boys Wing gone, the once renowned Royal Military College will therefore cease to exist.



maurice said...

From planning perspective, the NDU physical layout is short of the required standard.

It should not be co-located with RMC which make the place so congested.NDU has destroyed the beautiful open environment RMC once had around its playing field at the campus entrance.I am afraid the damage has been done and nothing can be done to restore its former glorious physical image.

NDU facade and layout are poorly planned, lacking in aesthethic beauty and conducive learning environment.

The quality of work of finished building is much to be desired.

One cannot fail to have the impression that it was a hurried decison to have the NDU there.

Why can't the decision-maker(s) choose a better location and plan the NDU campus layout properly so that is befitting the status of the highest national military institution of our country?

aah said...

Salam Pak Chat,

Its sad very sad,how on earth can MINDEF allow this thing to happen,RMC should remain as it is ! its shameful to allow RMC to be demolished.

To my knowledge theres a piece of land in Templer Park that has been earmark for future development of a complete Military training centre inclusive of a university,what happen to the land ? are they being robbed by some other organisation or the military are being played out.


Class of 1970,Regular 15/SSC 19 Sungai Besi.

eli said...

Simply lack of foresight on the Ministry of Defence when ATMA was formed.Easy way out at the expense of Army Cadets and the Boys Wing.

Too late to do anything now as damage been done.

mohamad said...

I hope you are not rumour mongering Dato'!

If the rumour turns out to be true I am inviting all OPA members to discuss about this subject with the ultimate referendum to be sent to PM and Minister of defence to put a stop to this rubbish!

There must be some mad guys (definitely not OPs) who come up with this idea and if he is an OPA member, he must be dumb and stupid "yes" man.

For God's sake, let the RMC remain where it is.

For a prestigeous National Defence University, the national must set the highest standard for a campus and not an ad-hoc infrastuctures robbed from another organisation.

I am an OP and after my research on this subject, I shall return.

mohamad said...

I have many friends from the Navy and the Air Force who were from Cadet Wing RMC. They claim to spend a year at the Cadet Wing before being sent overseas for further training.

Wasn't the Cadet Wing RMC a tri-service officer cadet school then?

I feel sorry for the army to have accepted a sub-standard officer cadet school at Ulu Tiram, Johore. I believe the officer cadet school in Johore is still the same permanently temporary old wooden barracks?

This must be the result of ad-hoc planning and is it going to be the same thing fot National Defence University? I allocate the blame on the army leadership. How many four-star generals and Tan Sris have claimed the Chief of Army position, but they are no ashamed of their own officer cadet school!

I have never been to the Army Officer Cadet School but your descriptions in the article reveals your unhappiness about the condition of the school. You may wish to look at the Navy and the Air Force schools. I have been to Navy Officer Cadet School in Lumut and the RMAF Officer Cadet School in Alor Setar. I thought the Navy is slow but they have done a good job to have modern facilities for their officer cadets.

I have also seen RMAF Officer Cadet School in Kepala Batas, Alor Setar. They have done a good job in upgrading the old "army camp" with new image and modern facilities.

YB Dato' Seri Zahid Hamidi, please let the army have a new and modern officer cadet school.

To Mindef leaders and planners, please do away with ad-hoc National Defence University campus in Sungai Besi. Be brave and bold... choose a nice piece of land in Putra Jaya, Kuala Lumpur or any part in Klang Valley and turn it into a modern and permanent campus of prestigeous NDU.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear All,

I am glad that all have supported me in our desire to retain what remains of RMC. Infact, when the Cadet Wing was 'evicted' from Sg. Besi, one can claim that half of RMC is gone.
I am please too that Mohammed is serious in getting OPA to voice out their disagreement over this matter. Please do it for god sake.

Nochan said...

I am one of those earlier ones who entered FMC at Port Dickson and Commissioned in FMC (before it became RMC) in Sg Besi. I looked back at those years with nostalgic memories which I am very proud to this day.

Long after my retirement, a friend who had never known RMC wanted me to show it. I took him down memory lane in Sg Besi. Somehow, being outdated, I realised that my name that was pasted among my intake at every pillar on the ground floor of the ‘Mess’ that I wanted to show my friend was not there anymore. Only then that I realised that the RMC that I was so proud of is gone.

When I was in service, it was common knowledge that Mindef had plans to build a military school of higher learning in Templar Park area. As it goes with any planning, once the chief retires or moved away, the plan becomes scrap. This is a habitual Malaysian style that runs deep from the top hierarchy to the lowest in any Malaysian organisation.

Just mention anything – from the crooked bridge, Pasir Salak memoriam, Langkawi Library, KL Master Plan and traffic system and many more where millions had gone the drain just to please the current chief. Even Merdeka Stadium almost became just a model to be put in a museum. Just go to every state and organisation, such happenings are repeated all the time.

Therefore, it is nothing new to listen to the current rumour that the Boys’ Wing is scheduled to move out.

One thing that I realise is that the majority of our decision makers at all levels are not interested in history where they are not involved in the making. All these has a bearing to lining one’s pockets.

komando said...

Oh ME GOD....!
I must protest and light up candles!
CALLING ALL ex cadets and old putras lets gather and start wearing RMC coloured T-Shirts and stand in DATARAN merdeka.
We want to preserve the heritage, our home at one time....
The defence university can go to putra much land should Staff College and Defence College...

mohamad said...

Since this article was posted by Dato' Arshad, I spent many hours of research into this subject, including talking to the following:
Former ministers of defence,Mindef
KSUs, chiefs of defence forces, service chiefs, armed forces chief
of staff, AKS plans and RMC and ATMA commandants.

I have established following facts:
- RMC (Boys Wing) was to remain in present place in Sungai Besi.
- Cadet Wing had to make way for Akedemi Tentera Malaysia (ATMA) with the Army Officer Cadet School
to squat in old army camp in Ulu Tiram, Johore. This was accepted by the army leadership.
- The Navy and Air Force had to plan and build their own officer cadet schools which they did with success. The army, however, continued with their sub-standard buildings in Ulu Tiram ( I don't know why, but present and past army chiefs have different answers to this!)
- Mindef built additional cadet accomodations in forms of three-bedromm appartments, to be sold as private home when ATMA moves to its permanent home outside Sungai Besi at later dates.
- There were ideas of getting ATMA to various places such as Kota Tinggi ( when Dato Syed Hamid was Minister of Defence) but all became mere dreams.
- National Defence University( NDU) was approved and formed during Dato Sri Najib's tanure as Defence Minister. This was a remarkable achievement with the ATMA facilities becoming NDU's.
- In view of very glaring shortages of buildings and other facilities for NDU ( very much understood) the easiest way out is for RMC ( now only the Boys Wing) to be driven to another new area and make way for NDU.
- Staff officers started writing staff papers to allign the RMC moving out ( for obvius reason, military surbordinates have to obey "orders").
- Officers seating in the NDU Board of Governors are mostly non-OPs. I bet you, they lack feelings of RMC sensitivities and nostalgia, will strongly push the "take Over"!

I call for the government to look for a 2000 acres land in Klang Valley for a proper, modern and well-planned NDU. It may take another 5 years, so what?

Let the Army Officer Cadet School have a proper modern home, the best viable option is to return to the "old Cadet Wing" when NDU moves out to its new home.

History and heritage must be retained and respected as such RMC must be allowed to remain where they are. They have come a long way from Port Dickson in 1961 and let us not drive them out to another unknown destiny!

If we do proper planning and execute well, we all can live happily ever after.

maurice said...

Dear Mohamad,

Thank you for throwing more light on the subject.

Appreciate if you could elaborate on: Mindef built additional cadet accomodations in forms of three-bedromm appartments, to be sold as private home when ATMA moves to its permanent home outside Sungai Besi at later dates.

How could it be sold as private homes when the land on which the buildings are built belong to the Ministry of Defence?

Need an answer from KSU for accepting this ridicolous reasoning which allowed the contractor to make money by building the 3 room cadet accomodation in the first instance.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Mohamed,

I agree with you comments. What is required is to preserve RMC, and to do this is to bring back the Army Cadet Wing to Sg.Besi. They can take over the NDU complex, and NDU to be moved to a new area. With only the Boys Wing at Sg. Besi, it does not constitute a 'full RMC'.

maurice said...

Dear Dato,

The NDU Complex is not suitable place to be turned into a Cadet School.Not a place to train Army's young leaders.

I would say more ideal for NDU buildings to be converted into Officers Housing Complex.

eli said...


Being an Old Putra and garduate of Cadet Wing, it will be interesting to find out the CDF's views on the subject matter.

komando said...


aofuad said...

Pak Chat and all,
The Boy's Wing or now the independent Royal Military College less the Cadets will be moved to a new site behind the present site and will border the Mines resort and Balakong.
It is RM100 million project.
The project is in the final final phase of paperworks planning and awiting final approval from EPU and Finance Ministry to get cracking, i.e. building it.
The contractors has not beem identified but at the request of the Old Putera Association, the EPU has agreed that it should be awraded to an Old Putera dedicated contractor. The Board Of Governors of RMC headed by the KSU of Mindef too has given a nod of agreement that it should be so. The President of The OPA who sits on the Board as a member has been instrumental in voicing out the concerns of members of the Association.
The members of the OPA has always been a concerned party to any development of their former college and this is not the forst time they have showed their concern. The last time the Mines wanted to acquire the RMC area to broaden the Mines was nip in the bud by the Alumnis headed by Tun Ling Liong Sik.

The only concern now is the ststus of the present site up the hill.
What will become of it once the new RMC campus is ready in a few years time.
Will the NDU get the prime land?
Or will it remain in the hands of RMC and be turned into a sentimental heritage site?
At the rate the NDU is bulldozing their presence in the small plot of land in the valley of the RMC hills, it is only a matter of time that they will climb up the hill and occupy it?
At the present moment the demarcation of boundary between RMC nad NDU is governed by the road and drain from the small roundabout to thr former dhoby line, meaning the prime lot and startegic piece still belongs to RMC and leaving the NDU in the valley.
Yes, as humans definitely NDU has all the intentions to be up there?

So what is there to stop them from getting it onnce RMC which is only a boarding school get their spanking new campus?
It is only a matter of time and NDU has only to be patience...
Sentiments aside, what can normal school boys alumni do, which the strong ex Cadets of the only Royal Military College do?
The present Chiefs were trained there and yet they have not said anything when the Cadets were sent off to the Jungle Training araes of Southern Johore which is lees inferior than even the Recruits Trining Cntre in Port Dickson which is sited in a tourist zone???

Nasi sudah jadi bubur and another nasi will be bubur again?
What can we do?
We are the master of our own doing.
The decision makers for the site cahnge previously were done by our own people?
Please do not blame anybody else, because we were given the power and we bastardized it!!!!

At least the Colonial masters had the decency to strategically site all of our military camps.....look at Minden Heights?
Look at Mindef of yesteryeras where it was nice and cooling and pangsapuri di mana mana exclusiveness...
Even the officers quarters of yesteryears....and now...they are living in rumah burung...flats....

The military system of housing was done for a reason that befits the uniqueness of the military system.

We have advnced too fast and we should be prepared to face any consequences. No point crying over spilt milk.

Azudin O Fuad, Lt Col retired

aofuad said...

Pak Chat,
In my last postings i made many typing errors, unintentionally because of my of my haste in responding to what you wrote and reading the comments made by others.I just got back from Umrah and missed you blog for more than a week.
I have been keeping a very close eye on Boy's Wing and and RMC for many many years since 1996, when i served in the Military Academy, named ATMA, which in my opinion should have been called RMA or Royal Military Academy.
It should have been just an upograding of RMC and added feature of a graduate scheme to train officers, leaving the Cadet and Boy's Wing as an integral part of it.
When they decided to part ways and have independent training colleges for the tri service, the separation began.
In times of old all officers have the same basic grounding at the Royal Military College before they were sorted out into the 3 services.
There was a sort of common bondage then, which has proven to be beneficial in their future service life and that attributed to the oneness of the Malaysian Armed Forces.
Now it seems that this integration only occurs to selected officers at Staff College level and Defence College level, which in my opinion is too late to get the required result of oneness, togetherness and unity in diversity.
Sometimes at Staff College level it might be detrimental to achieving integration because, they might have more disagreements and maybe conflicting views.....
sometimes it might create more disintegration than integration, when they found out their various service follies and idiosyncracies!!!!
I wonder how difficult it will be for Jointness at the Joint Hq level..."buluh dah jadi rotan'.

Anyway my additional input as to RMC here is the Royal Colours.
Well it is with RMC albeit Boy's Wing and sadly not at Kolej Tentera Darat...
This is my opinion is a major SD ERROR, and the best pasrt is nobody is complaining?
The Colours is now in the possession of a sekolah menengah!!!!
I wonder whether KTD, KTU, KTL has the colours?
If indeed this is still standing and legally right, then Boy's Wing or rather the fully independent Royal Military College is on record in the Guiness Book Of World Record as the only high school that has a Royal Colours in their Guardroom? Commandant's Office or perhaps Prep Room.
I stand to be corrected but not reprimanded.
Azudin O Fuad, Lt Col retired

ArshadRaji said...


Thanks for the exciting comments regarding the Boys Wing. If there are plans to develop a new Boys Wing within the Sg. Besi complex, I will support the idea 1000%. And will the Boys Wing still be referred to as RMC, minus the Cadet Wing?
You have brought to light an interesting comment i.e. the fate of the RMC Colours. Will it be handed to the Boys Wing or be send to the AF Museum? I will be writing something regarding this shortly.