Monday, October 19, 2009

IS THE PINGAT TENTERA UDARA (PTU) SUBSERVIENT TO THE PINGAT GAGAH BERANI (PGB)?

I was introduced to a blog owned by an ex RMAF Nuri helicopter pilot Mej Nor Ibrahim Sulaiman (B) (http://xnuripilot.blogspot.com) recently. Having browse through some of his postings, I was caught by an email posted by an ex Nuri pilot Lt Col Chong Keng Lay (B) who argues that recipients of the Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU), a meritorious and gallantry award for bravery and valour for RMAF personnel, should also be receiving a similar allowance announced recently by the government for recipients of the PGB and the SP.

I do not know the reasons why recipients of the PTU are deprived of the allowance since both are awards for bravery and valour and has been gazette as such by the government. Or is the PTU considered of a lesser award for bravery and valour; hence they are deprived of the allowance?

Lt Col Chong Keng Lay (B) is a course mate of mine who took the greater challenge to be a pilot, and to discard his army uniform. He has flown me on many trips into the jungle operational areas, and I know the sort of person Lt Col Chong is. He is a strict disciplinarian, loyal to the service and had served the nation well. I do not see any reason why his award of the PTU is subservient to the PGB.

I hope the new Chief of Air Force should take a serious look into this matter, that not only affect Lt Col Chong, but to all other recipients as well.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

20 comments:

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Dato',
Thank you for your support that PTU too, should be given the monthly allowance. If you care to read my posts entitled "Penghargaan Negara...Nyawa atau Nama?" and "Pergi Tanpa Penghormatan", my understanding of the KSU's e-mail was that JPP, PTU and KPK medals are NOT PRESTIGIOUS. For this very reason, I suggested that MINDEF should take action to abolish these medals...solve the problem!(my post-"Never Ending Story").
Why have 5 national gallantry medals, ie, SP, PGB, JPP, PTU and KPK,if only SP and PGB are considered 'prestigious'? Why offer unprestigious medals? I have my pride too.
May I have your permission to import this post of yours for my blog? Thank you.

Butterfly said...

Aaahh, Lt Col.Chong, that rings a loud bell. One heck of a man!He was there everytime we needed him. I recall how he was "stranded"in my gun position when his chopper engine failed. We had to open up a new LP to accomodate a second heli land bring in the "rescue". He spent a few nights with us and of course it was always a pleasure to have another officer to chat with. After that incident, we had the odd flight in to drop off newspapers from the Butterworth mess. It was Lt.Col Chong, saying thank you. I do not see why these brave men in their flying machines are not accorded the same accolade?

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Nor,

The KSU does not understand what bravery and valour means to us soldiers. You should have taken him on a spin in the Nuri, for him to understand the stress of being a pilot, and at the same time the threat that awaits the Nuri on the ground.
It is my honour to have you post my write up in your blog. Please keep the RMAF spirit high.

EAGLE said...

Life goes on and it is nice to hear from people like Nor Ibrahim-claim your right brother!!!.
Looking back at the history of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, bet you that no body can deny the fact of their contribution...but as always if you lack the skill of apple polishing or you try to be smarter than your boss- sorry mate you are unwanted!!! In short, most of the heli pilots that operate closely with the army to fight the CTs in the jungle left and forgotten, the real people that risk their life but so what???!!! Nobody cares and this is very sad thing that can happen.
The present CDF, as pilot!!! what is his credential? Bet you he has got nut but a good drinker and a good golfer yes he is and not forgetting a good singer that is the quality to be selected as head of the Armed Forces may be and you don't require brain. So he doesn't know what these chopper pilot have gone through!!!!! clueless anyway!!!!!!
The current Air Force chief!!! is back to back with the current CDF, he loves praying not like CDF but he will nod his head pretending to fully understood whatever said by the CDF, known as chicken pilot but good at playing office politics, always play safe and non committal!!! Check his flying hours!!! is he fits or still medically unfit!!!
When Nor Ibrahim and Chong K L were putting their life flying up down in support of the army, where were these two guys-CDF and COAF- so all these meddles meant nothing to both of them except the collection of Datukships that will be on their chest hanging right to the bottom of their trousers.
So sorry Nor Ibrahim and Chong K L but worth trying, The RMAF have forgotten you and gang that blast the morning air taking off either from Butterworth or Kuantan to the border either Gubir or Kroh or known as Pangkalan Hulu where the army operates and return to base late in the evening when the darkness almost closing up the airfield, that if you are lucky or otherwise you may end up with the soldiers in the LP.
Love to see which of these generals will fight for your cause!!! But whatever it is, those who forget their history is bound to fail or as always the fish rot from its head...... never ending story... Alahai Angkatan Tentera Malaysia.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Eagle,

A highly moving yet motivating comment. I can feel the frustration in you,and certainly Nor and Chong are by your side. Being in infantry, seeing the Nuri in the air closing in to land in the jungle LP, give us foot sloggers the motivation to slog on.
The supply of fresh pack rations that you bring us, to keep us alive for the next two weeks is like God's gift.
You, Chong and Nor were there for us everytime and anytime.
Thanks to all of your Nuri pilots....the old guards, I mean.

PM said...

It is interesting to find out who chaired the meeting to determine those allowances. I am sure all the service chief should have been present to thrash it out.

A gallantry award is a gallantry award and no one should deny it.

The KSU is not the authority nor he has any idea at all. Perhaps the next stop is the Prime Minister.

A few contacts which I had, with firing still going on, without any doubt the nuri was there overhead waiting to come in. In Sibu, when my Comm center located with the RASCOM Hq received "contact wait out" within 10-15 minutes an alloutte landed on a basketball court for evacuation.

Not to mention the many abseilling from the nuri into the various operational areas for hot pursuit...I admire those pilots whose life were equally in danger.

To be abit rude, was there any service rivalry or opposition from the army to exclude the Air and Navy in receiving those allowances.

It is good to find out. You guy should know how bad the rivalry is within Tentera Darat .????

Yap

Fabian said...

My dear friend,

All is not lost. It could be an genuine oversight. The whole honour and award system might be reviewed and allowances relooked.

All gallantry awards are prestigious. All medals are prestigious. The recent approved medal, Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) is very prestigious. We fought hard and long two insurgencies, one against Communist Party of Malaya and the other against North Kalimantan Communist Party. We won.

Hopefully, the oversight would be corrected soon and our brave heli-friends invited to MINDEF and be honoured.

Fabian Wong
Kuching
017-851-5225

zulu said...

Dato'
I fully support that bravery is bravery. Period. It does not matter if the recipient is from the army, navy or air force. If army recipients gets monetary rewards so should recipients from the other two sister services.
I have personally known some very, very brave chopper pilots. They have carried out their tasks in my operational area beyond the call of duty. I salute and will vouch for them any day. We on the ground, had shed tears to see such brave acts and it still bring tears to my eyes as I recall the incidences every now and then.
I am very proud of them.

komando said...

The PJM is a sham!
We spend millions of dollars awarding the medal to foreign forces and troops as in recognition of their contribution to defending the country!

WELL AND GOOD!

THE LOCAL TROOPS THE THOUSANDS WHO SLOUGH AND FOUGHT? WHAT ABOUT THEM?
SOME WOULD SAY, THAT'S YOUR JOB, WHO ASKED YOU TO BE A SOLDIER!

WHEN IS THE GORMEN EVER GOING TO THINK RIGHT AND AWARD THE MEDALS WITH SOME DIGNITY AND PRIDE TO THOSE WHO LEFT OR RETIRED!

NOT JUST ASK A SOLDIER TO COLLECT HIS MEDALS FROM JRP!

IS THAT WHAT AND HOW WE WERE TRAINED?

THE EXCUSE IS "WE CAN'T AFFORD TO DO IT TOO COSTLY!"

THAT BEING THE CASE FORGET ABOUT HAVING A MEDAL TO APPRECIATE US!

DON'T BE HALF PAST SIX!

SAME WHEN THE SOLDIERS WHO CAME BACK FROM UN MISSIONS..THE UN PNBB MEDALS HAD NO VALUE...UNLESS A PARADE IS DONE AND WE RECEIVE THE CITATION AS WELL!

DATUKS AND TAN SERI's WHO ROB AND STEAL ARE GIVEN CITATIONS AND WORST OF ALL INSIDE THE ISTANA!

SO WHERE ARE WE?

THE UNSUNG HEROES WHO DEFENDED THIS COUNTRY AND MADE IT SAFE FOR OTHERS TO SLEEP AND GET ABOUT THEIR LIVES!

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Dear EAGLE and Others,
Thank you for your support, whoever you may be.

zulu said...

Dato'

Please allow me to share this incredibly brave story with everybody, and I sincerely hope somebody still serving higher up in the air force picks this up.

Kem Gubir in Kedah served as the Brigade Tac HQ and other HQs for border operations in that sector. I was the Battery Commander in Kem Gubir during one of my many operational tours up North. In the mid 80s, we also had a detachment of Nuris, with air force ground liaison and logistics support. One Nuri helicopter or sometimes two of them would be on immediate standby to support the continuous ops.

One cold morning, we had a distress call for medevac for an infantry soldier who had stepped on a booby trap. The pilots were given the alert and they started up the cold twin engines. But the engines could not flare up for several start up drills. A replacement Nuri from the Squadron in Butterworth was not available. The pilots and an air mechanic did their checks and managed to start up after some anxieties. But the Nuri was seen wobbly and the whining of the blades did not sound right. It was very tense and we were loosing critical time.

The young pilot captain said very clearly that he will still take on the mission inspite of the mechanical problems, but only with a minimum rescue team, so only the air QM and the battalion doctor was allowed on the mission.

The wounded soldier was successfully winched up into the the Nuri. The pilot reported to Bde Tac that he was going to fly direct to Alor Star as the casualty was in a very critical state.

But after a short while the pilot captain reported that the Nuri had developed more mechanical problems and had to make an emergency landing back at Kem Gubir. He could not make it direct to Alor Star.

He landed safely in Kem Gubir. A second call for a back up Nuri was still not available. The doctor reported that the casualty would die if he was not flown out to Alor Star immediately. The pilots and air mechanic franticly checked the Nuri. The engines started and died many times. We were all watching hopelessly.

The engines finally started and we prayed in awe as the blades were not sounding right again. The pilot captain gave the thumb up and said he would take the risk to fly to Alor Star only 40 minutes away. The Brigade Commander stopped pilot captain and said that the risk was too heavy. He gave a direct order to abort the mission. We all heard the pilot captain cooly told the Brigade Command that he was the captain of the aircraft and that he would take off regardless, as the casualty's life was at stake.

The Nuri took off and we all prayed. The air force liaison team on the ground monitored the flight. It was the most tense 40 minutes for all of us. We all shed tears when the liason team reported that the Nuri had landed safely in Alor Star.

A soldier's life was saved, thanks to the bravery of the young pilot captain and his co-pilot. I do not remember the pilots' names, but I recall that young pilot captain had left the service several years after that incident, and that he had unfortunately died in a helicopter crash while serving in Sabah. Some may recall his name. God bless him.

Fabian said...

My dear friend,

My suggestion is someone MUST write to the PM-cum-FM and tell him about the oversight in order to get a decisive answer, quick and sweet.

Fabian Wong
Kuching
017-851-5225

Fabian said...

My dear friend,

My suggestion is someone MUST write to the PM-cum-FM and tell him about the oversight in order to get a decisive answer, quick and sweet.

Fabian Wong
Kuching
017-851-5225

Major (Rtd) D.Swami said...

PGB is good for the Tri Services, why now the PTU? There have been Air Force Officers who have received the PGB, they are Capt Abdul Rahim bin Abdul Rahman of 10th Sqn in a rescue mission in Weng and his Air Q Sgt Arokiasamy Augustine were awarded the PGB on the 8th May 1975. Capt Choo Yeok Boo TUDM was another who was awarded the PGB posthumously, a total of 10 men died with him. His helicopter was shot down on the 26th April 1976. The PGB was good enough for all. So why the this Air Force thingy?

hussin said...

dear zulu,

tears flowing my cheeks as i read ur story. yeah, who cares?

i'd like to take this opportunity to say "thank you very much" to mr subramaniam of jkr and mr liaw of lln for their continued support in making our lives a 'pleasurable' one. both, being very senior govt servants then, would entertain and ever ready to listen to me, a young cheeko then, at odd hours and weekends. they would not hesitate to return my calls once they were back in office. they would ensure that their water trucks be despatched to our locations along the pilot tracks and temenggor dam respectively. when days were dry, coy comdrs would be jumping high after me on the radio sets asking for water for their soldiers. jkr personnel at grik camp and lln personnel at temenggor under mr subramaniam and mr liaw respectively, have done a great job. thank you to all of you.

to all chopper pilots supporting us between 1971 and 1975, "thank you!". i concurred with all the stories about your courage cos my unit too suffered a number of booby trap cas. the risks taken by you to do medevac and resup were tremendous cos we were not able to prep the lps as per reqd. you all know what "parang gomen" could do!

we were truly 'one malaysia' then, with mr maniam (indian), mr liaw (chinese) and ramd (malay). so were the chopper pilots, risking their lives for the ramd jungle bashers. thank you to all of you! need i say more?

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Zulu,

Thanks for your recollection. But do our leaders today recognised such bravery. It is only those who have toiled the jungle areas with the RMAF knows how our pilots brave themselves to help others.
I will also be writing something that I know off the helicopter pilots that had flown me.

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Dato',
I think I'm going to publish all these comments in my blog. 'Anonymous' commented in my blog that I should not 'rest my case'.

To Maj (Rtd) D. Swaimi, for your information, there are 5 national gallantary awards, ie, SP, PGB, JPP, PTU and KPK.If I may suggest, please read my blog - xnuripilot.blogspot.com - entitled "Pengiktirafan Negara...Nyawa Atau Nama?", "Pergi Tanpa Penghormatan" and "Never Ending Story".

In Datuk Rahim's adventure,if I'm not mistaken, Sgt Augustine surrendered his PGB when he migrated to Germany.The co-pilot was awarded a KPK.

I think there are less 30 recipients of PTU and most of us had retired.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Nor,

Please do the necessary. You are not doing it for yourself, but to others who were your comrades. If the government do not recognise the PTU as a gallantry award, then we had better ask all recipients to return the awards.

komando said...

Please return all medals, PW I Kanang ak Langkau at one time almost sold all his medals, he was sick and tired..he said no china man in Sarawak wanted to buy!

That's the true story told to me first hand!

Believe or NOT!

H@D!3 said...

Nak dapat SP,PGB atau PTU atau KPK perlu ada pengorbanan. Malang nya hanya PGB dan SP saja di kira pretigious.

Mengapa perkara ini terjadi. General manakah yang akan fight for KPK dan PTU. I don't think they will bcos depa bukan faham sangat tentang pengorbanan yang telah di lalui oleh penerima KPK dan PTU.