Over the last few days there has been lots of talk among retired military officers of a spat between a retired officer of the Royal Malay Regiment, Colonel Roseli and the Defence Minister Dato Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over a statement made by the latter when officiating the Annual Meeting of the Ex-Servicemen Association in Seremban on Sunday 4th ,1009, that had angered Colonel Roseli.
Colonel Roseli who in his blog (colroseli.blogspot.com) have said that the words uttered by the minister at the meeting was offensive to retired senior military officers as well as soldiers of the other races, and is also likely to cause a rift between retired officers and the soldiers. Colonel Roseli wasn't specific as regards to what the minister had actually said, and this leaves the matter open to speculations. Colonel Roseli had also demanded that the minister makes a public apology in order to put the matter to rest.
I am not privy to what had actually transpired between Colonel Roseli and the minister following this matter.But if the claim by Colonel Roseli proves to be true, then this will be the first exposure ever that a retired military officer has the audacity to parry with a minister over what he (Colonel Roseli) claims to be wrongful. On the other hand, if the minister believes that his speech has been misconstrued, he then need to correct it so that this matter does not get out of hand.
I am not here to make a judgment, nor do I wish to widen the issue any further. But I am aware that this matter has caused deep concern among some retired senior officers of the Armed Forces whose past service to the King and country is unquestionable. This concern need to be arrested and address in the most amicable manner so as not to cause dissension among the retired senior officers. This is also to quell any negative views concerning the minister.
Many have given their lives in defence of the nation, and for anybody to say that they now no longer care for the nation and the soldiers that had once served them is mischievous and hurting. It certainly hurts me if some one says that to me, because my loyalty to King and country is not only when I was in uniform, but it is life long.
The same is felt by all serving and retired officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces. Loyalty is a supreme factor in the Armed Forces, and without it, there can never be an Armed Forces.
And I can also say with much certainty that the officers loyalty to their soldiers is also life long. But to continue to provide physical care to them and their families should no longer be the burden of the retired officers, but other government institutions including the Ex-Servicemen Association and the Veteran Affairs Department.
I, and including many other retired officers of the Armed Forces do hope that the spat between the minister and Colonel Roseli can be resolved amicably and any animosity that arose out of it should be forgiven and forgotten.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION