I had an interesting discourse with a number of friends who were my colleagues in the military; some retired and a few others still in the service. I had just wanted to hear from them their views regarding the political landscape surrounding the by-elections in Bagan Pinang where all parties says that the postal votes will be crucial in determining which party wins or loses.
Besides the by-elections, I also wanted to confirm the much talked about Army leadership changes that is expected to occur soon upon the retirement of the incumbent Army Chief.
What I have heard wasn't too pleasing to my ears because the leadership changes subsequent to the retirement of the Army Chief is said to be mired in controversy, i.e. one that is not based on merit, seniority, competency, etc etc; but is based on the factor of 'I know him better than others'. In other words, there is a scheming plan to promote certain preferred individuals who will supposedly will act as their business proxies when the incumbent leader retires from the service. This to me is incredulous, but the murmurs are obvious around the corridors of the Department of Army, as well as outside the military circles. What is unbelievable is that such murmurs are openly being debated among junior officers who now thinks that cronies now lurks even in this honourable profession.
When discussing the by-elections in Bagan Pinang, someone showed me an invitation card for the Anniversary Celebration of the 2nd Armoured Regiment at Sungala Camp, Port Dickson held on October 5th 2009. The invitees includes top army commanders and some notable UMNO politicians who have all decided to make their way to Port Dickson for the function.
I tried to reason out why was there a need for such 'luminaries' to attend just a simple regimental function, where the main host ought rightly be the Commanding Officer (CO) himself. If at all the CO wants to extend an invitation to someone of a higher rank, it could have been just the Brigade Commander. But in this instant, there were too 'many stars' from Kuala Lumpur, and some ministers who were guests to the function that was organised too close to a by-election. Now, this smells fishy!
I do not know if this was sheer coincidence, but my intuition tells me that it wasn't. It certainly has the by-election as the primary reason, and please prove me wrong for such reasoning. If my intuition is right, then I only have to blame the star studded army officers for their utter ignorance and failure not to understand and recognised the sensitivities of having too many ministers attending a simple regimental function that is organised a few days prior to a by-election, and is held in the constituency of Bagan Pinang. Or are the star studded army officers dancing to the tune of the honourable UMNO ministers? And please forgive me if I and many others perceive the aforesaid to be true.
Now, with regards to the proposed change of the army leadership, I am told that the plan had began back in 2005. Some of the preferred officers were promoted in double quick time, ahead of those who already have the seniority. But for some unknown reason, these officers who already have an edge in seniority are being left in a lurch, and are bewildered as to why have they have been by-passed in the promotion exercise. This is indeed an unhealthy trend that has also created groups within the army heirachy, i.e. one that is favoured and forms the inner circle by the leadership, and the others being left on the periphery. It is believed that the factor of clan is also a criteria to determine who forms the grouping. This is simply outrageous.
As I was writing this posting, I received a call from Port Dickson to confirm that the people who attend the recent function where PM Najib had announce the renaming of Port Dickson as the Army Town had received an envelope containing cash worth RM300. How fortunate are these people to be receiving such largesse from our generous PM, and if only I knew, I wouldn't mind lining up among the mass to receive the cash that is more than sufficient to pay off my petrol expenses.
Just imagine, if there were just 500 people attending, what would be the total payout, and if it were 1000 people, just times that by two. What generosity?
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION