Saturday, January 16, 2010


In the next few months, the army will witness a change in its top leadership, following the retirement of the Chief of Army (COA), scheduled in September this year. It is not normal for the service of the COA to be extended, unlike in the case of the Chief of Defence Force (CDF). An extension of service for top civil servants (Armed Forces included), is the prerogative of the government, but in the case of the service chiefs (Army, Navy and Air Force), it is an exception rather than the rule.
Under the normal circumstances, military officers who are scheduled for compulsory retirement are expected to submit their retirement documents a year prior to their date of retirement. This is to give sufficient time for the Armed Forces Records and Pension Office and the Veteran Affairs Department to process the documents that includes, processing the quantum of pension and gratuity, processing of a civilian identity card and most importantly, any outstanding personal income tax owed to the government.
In my case, I was shocked to be told that I owed the government RM30, 000 in unpaid income tax, and after going through my previous income tax records and several appeals, it was reduced to only RM6, 000. Had the Income Tax Department disallowed my appeal, I would have been poorer by RM30, 000, and am therefore left with a paltry sum of slightly more than RM100, 000 in gratuity. That’s my worth for 33 years of military service paid by the government in the form of my gratuity in 1998; a laughable sum compared to those in the private sector; but I believe the quantum is much better today.
With the retirement of the COA, the concern among the army officers now is who will succeed the COA. Considering the norm, the Deputy COA will most likely succeed the COA, and who then will succeed the Deputy COA? This will be the million dollar question, as there are now four army three star generals available to take over the post of the Deputy COA, and they are as follows (in no order of preference and seniority):-
1. Lt Gen Dato Pahlawan Hj. Zulfifly Hj. Zainal Abidin – Vice Chancellor, National Defence University Malaysia.
2. Lt Gen Dato AllLatif Mohd Noor – Commander, Joint Force Headquarters.
3. Lt Gen Dato Raja Affendi Raja Mohd Noor – Chief of Staff, Armed Forces Headquarters.
4. Lt Gen Dato Ahmad Hasbullah Mohd Nawawi – Commander, Army Field Command.
Each one of the above officers has their strength and weaknesses, and with varied experiences. I should say that I know each one of them, and of which two have served with me in an earlier capacity. Interestingly, all are in their early 50’s (the youngest being Lt Gen Dato Ahmad Hasbullah) and with service ranging from 6 to 8 years left, prior to them attaining the compulsory retirement age of 58 years. And with the exception of Lt Gen Dato Ahmad Hasbullah, the other three officers are currently holding a tri-service appointment (an appointment that can be held by officers from any of the three services)

If one were to ask me who among the four officers above is my choice for the post of Deputy COA? My answer would be anyone of the four, merely on the basis that each one of them has the experience and the right exposure to assume the second highest position in the army.

But experience and exposure alone isn’t enough to meet the challenges and demands of a modern day army. Guts and the courage to speak out in defence of what is right for the army, is what I think is the most crucial leadership quality that must be inherent in these top echelon army officers. I am not implying here that these officers must be the ‘gang-ho’ type, with the fancy to make quick outburst at their subordinates over trivial issues, but becomes meek when confronted with the powers that be. I have heard that this seem to be the trend among some these days.

To have guts and courage, one has to have knowledge; not limited to one’s professional knowledge only. To be in the exulted position of the COA or the Deputy COA, one has to have wide ranging knowledge i.e. from the affairs of government to international affairs and politics. The test to ones knowledge is when the officer can appear in confidence in front of an international audience, and to speak over a myriad of issues, and be able to articulate the issues well. One is reminded of General Dwight D. Eisenhower of the US who excelled as a military commander in war, and later led his nation as its President for eight years from 1953 till 1961. Closer to home, we had General Suharto of Indonesia, and now General Susilo Bambang Widhoyono at the helm of government. My question now is whether we will ever see a military general taking over the helm of government in this country (through a democratic process)? Surely, this is not an impossible proposition, though not likely in the immediate future.

Now back to the choice of the Deputy COA? On a much serious note, who will it be; one that is acceptable to the soldiers as well as the government, and with the necessary leadership acumen to lead the army to greater heights, and most of all, he must be incorruptible and staunchly religious. Certainly, it has to be one of the four, and I wish to reserve my choice close to my heart.

And with the retirement of the present COA, will there be joy among the officers’ corps, or will there be tears wailing in the eyes of some? This, we will have to wait and see.



askarsusu said...

A'kum Dato,
I like the statement

"Now back to the choice of the Deputy COA? On a much serious note, who will it be; one that is acceptable to the soldiers as well as the government, and with the necessary leadership acumen to lead the army to greater heights, and most of all, he must be incorruptible and staunchly religious. Certainly, it has to be one of the four, and I wish to reserve my choice close to my heart."

most important thing is habulum minnas and habulum minallah... foundation of religion must be strong enough, the selfishness must be the most important elements to discard from one we doa to be on the top..

what i am trying to say is we can't deny that ethic jeneral with Allah swt will ensure the Army n the AF will prosper... another point, we must allow sufficient time for the appointment holder to proof what in their head to justified the appiontment and not just for the sake of having another star or appiontment...

do be surprise ZZ will not get the appointment of COA... but my sincere hope is... if Jen Zulkifli Zainal Abidin will be COA and Jen Hasbullah is the Deputy COA, then we will see the change of the whole pattern and will clean the Army in a way.... insya'alah... amin.. hehehe sorry it's only my wish and sincere doa for the betterment of the army and the AF.... TAAT SETIA & BELAJAR UNTUK BERKHIDMAT

komando said...

Wow, what have we here today?

The crystal ball is at my feet...!
Wait a minute so much many names many many many liabilities!

Dato' Pak Chad, me having problems lah very fuzzy picture ahead..

Cannot say much as it is a political decision. Not for the troops or other Generals to say anything. Lest if they ask us, we have lots to say!

The Def Minister and the PM has a huge part to play...maybe get "orang kampong" sendiri attitude! Maybe get the most senior (give golden hand shake) maybe get the most trustworthy/honest.....maybe get the youngest, in view of him making it right to the top to become the next PAT!

Maybe take some one that the incoming PTD can work with effectively. Maybe someone whom the troops have faith and respect!

Someone with a clean record, thus far! Not kaki perempuan, not botol, not judi, not karaoke...not garang tak tentu pasal!

Worst case scenario get some guy that can be easily manilpulated!

Whatever it is a very interesting period for the ARMY..what happens now have mighty implications in the very near future!

The ARMY has a bit less screw up than the other 2 sister service, the smaller scale screw up still there...but the public does not know much!

HELICOPTERS,Weststar Trucks!

Some others that have been silenced.

SO good luck to all the LT GEN all three or four of them, five of them if we take the current TPTD into account! That is if he does not make it to the chair himself!

Yes a lot of "kuda's" are trembling and fear for the worst, if the horse collapse the jockey dies!

Those days the saying is to ride on the right horse! Now I say it is the jockey which one must pick, not the horse. "A good jockey can ride on any horse!"

In cadet days they say "horse on jockey GO?" Wonder how a horse can ride a jockey? Folks did I hear it wrong or that was the right phrase way back then which we as good soldiers never ever questioned our instructors!


FMZam said...

boxtophDear Dato',

I better not spoil everyone's guess who's going to be who but out of those four, two of them are out in my elimination round. That two, one of them I have named him many times in my previous comments and the other one was exposed (with big photo alongside Aziz Zainal and Mael Polin) couple of years ago by Wira Damai Blog, I hope we must not easily forget him (Melayu mudah lupa right? but elephants never forget).

I think you can smell it yourself who are those other two that are OK for the post of TPTD. Whatever you think please do not forget that bloody Mael Polin is always prepared to slot in his cronies into the succession line. Never, never forget that!

Anyway whatever we say here will not make the Army influenced in making the right or wrong choice and nothing much we can do about it and who are we to meddle into their business. Afterall as usual, the Army can always make mistake now and still have time to change it later or make the no mistake now and change to make the mistake later....that's the style of our Army's office politic.

FMZam said...

Dear askarsusu,

Have your say but always remember "one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter". As you may have high regard on one particular general, anyone of us may come with proof that general of your choice is his villain.....even with a small proof that happened many years ago, that general better be prepared to be sure of himself before he can talk about cleaning the army just because he wants to be the TPTD!

And remember when you dare to name a general here, you must be prepared to take bad comments from others as well with open mind. Otherwise you better don't name names here.

askarsusu said...

I am willing to accept any open comments... my wish is just for the betterment of the organization..if u said Wira comment bcoz it is a childish blog n it's full of revenges... anyway my nobel intention is to see the army being respect by the politician.. i always doa the right jeneral to lead us out of the influence of the politicians n politician contractors... nor doubts the two are Org PERAK... but from my sincere view it is the best what we choice are for TPTD Jen Hasbullah, Jen Zul Zainal, Jen Al Latiff, Jen ZZ and Jen Rajas..not to forget DMI is trying to get in the slot to be COA as well.. but if u ask me sincere Zul zainal is better of then ZZ.. tq bro wsalam..

askarsusu said...

dato, i think this is the best forum to get feedback from the service memberS n the retired pers of the army to choose what we want... now this is transparency right? Just tell what u know about the jeneral. I believe that u n i know most of the jeneral n i believe most of us even had worked with most of the jeneralS... So say ur piece in this blog... Dato well done u had make an open forum... Hehehe... TAAT SETIA & BERLAJAR UNTUK BERKHIDMAT....

FMZam said...

bro askarsusu,

I respect your honesty and I do not wish to hunt down corrupt generals like Simon Weisenthal hunting down the Nazis. I hope you are right about ZZA and likewise I hope Wira Damai is not an all avenging blog for that blog has proven its allegation was mostly correct except that it did not dare to make official report maybe lacking proof.

I too do not wish to take on another effort to unearth another corrupt general in thinking of his career just because I have a material proof unless I see he is a real bad one like Mael Polin. It is just that I hope he repented and shows changes in realising his past skeletons.

In a situation of hopelessness where in general concensus none of our generals are deemed as trustworthy and honest, any effort to expose one bad general will not stop another bad general to come up on top. It is like shooting down "a bird of the birds of the same feathers".

komando said...

OOPsss I did not realize that the ARMY had so many Lt Generals?

^ altogether 7 *

Wow must be all very smart & clever ones!

5 holding tri-service jobs

1. AF HQ
2. MAB
4. DMI
5. Dir of Medical Svc!

b. Army Fd Command

What is the RMAF and RMN doing, aren't there any good & bright officers within their service?

Or only the RAMD have good brains - all five from the RAMD, luckily the DMI is a born Intel Corp officer.Unlike all previous DMI all were from the RAMD also.

If they had their way the Dir Of Med could well be from RAMD as well!

There will be folks who is going to knock me in the head again !

Who ever is going to make it or break it we shall see, in just a matter of days to come...some will cry and some will laugh...many will jump into the sea...others will jump off the 20th floor of MINDEF I guess !


komando said...

FMZ - nowadays bird without feather more expensive lor !su

Malaysian said...

It's sad that we don't have much choices to select somebody that's honorable to lead the army. Has the veteran organization ever openly voice their up their discontent with the current corrupt practices in the military? Maybe with the ordinary Malaysian and veteran we can pressure the government to stop the corrupt practices in the military.

Hopefully, one day we can truly find somebody as good as Dwight Eisenhower. Maybe Dato can run for MP as an independent for 2011 general election? Being an MP, he can definitely ask military corruption problem in the parliament.

FMZam said...

Bro Malaysian,

Again with Veterans?...ha..ha..ha..
I don't know lah bro, you see lah with a 2 star general at the helm still cannot handle a pension matter of one poor soldier who had to go to the newspaper to get his long overdue pension slack by a general had caused an ex soldier the schooling of all his children gone

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Malaysian,

If only I was 30 years younger, I would have contested. But at this late age, I do not think I could withstand the political onslaught.

FMZam said...

You are not as old as Mahathir my dear Dato' I'm sure you still pack more firepower than that old scumbag who never say never to politics.

maurice said...

I believe the best will be pomoted to fill the two top posts in the Army.

Their leadership will be tested to the full as the Nation expects the Army to play its role as the main deterrence force in national and regional security.

The new military leadership will have to do their job with what they have, coupled with limited resources which means realiance in creative thinking in war fighting strategies, military plans, training and logistics.

Negative work culture need to be thrown out of the window if the new military leadership is serious about its role in domestic and regional security (create a well trained Army for the purpose of achieving credible military deterrence).

synchonocity said...

Any one of this "monkeys"can be the candidate for all I care. It does not matter, simply because that politician will control them, like a puppet on a string. What concerns me most is the next generation of generals will come in with "no combat experience". Then we will have the perfect desktop, peacetime army.Kawad all day and shout at people all along. Mati loh, kalau perang.

askarsusu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EAGLE said...

Dato', Salam.....
Pandang kiri pandang kanan.... Pandang depan pandang belakang so everyone of them are worried of their own shadow. All of them are of the same kind, it doesn't really matter and does it make any different if any of them being selected. As they were lead by the incompetent so the incompetency will continue may be until we suffer in any future wars if there is any and I doubt it!!!
Is CDF capable of giving the guideline as to the quality of leaders that need to be in the Armed Forces? Zilch!!! As he himself is a non-starter, no credential himself-so poor Armed Forces.
Will the minister make the right choice- not likely unless the name is table for public scrutiny or at least by the Parliament oversight committee as a way forward or else say what we like as at the end of the day someone will say I am the boss and surely you know the famous song "My Way"!!!
Alahai!!!!! Angkatan tentera Malaysia... Can the people trust you!!! Pray to ALLAH that the nation will continue to have peace, Insy'ALLAH!!!
May God bless you and with good health Dato'.

Malaysian said...


You're right about the onslaught you'll face if you run for office. Nevertheless, if you do plan to run I'll definitely volunteer to campaign for you!

Also, Dwight Eishenhower ran for office at the age of 61 and Ronald Reagan at the age of 69. So, age is not a problem.

Hang Jebat said...

Salam Dato,

I am still in service. If this is going to be my last rank, I still have another 14 years to my compulsory retirement age of 55.

Believe me, Dato.. the retirement of the present COA, will be JOY among the officers’ corps! There will be NO tears wailing in our eyes! September is so very far away.. I wish September comes after January..hehe

I believe ZZ will be COA. There will be a tussle between the other 3 for Deputy COA. ZZ will not stay long as COA. We all knew that. The Deputy COA will take over hardly a year later. For that, I (and many of my brother officers)choose ZZA.

FMZam, I name names and I am open for critics. Shoot me...

Komando, sir..DMI is NOT a born Intel Corp officer. He was from the Svc Corp.

Synchonocity, mind your words! Damn you!

Mej. A R Ramachandran (Retired) said...

For King and Country, I hope the leadership transition shall spur the Army to greater heights. We must also not forget to thank the predecessors, who played their part to make us what we are today.

askarsusu said...

Bro rama, some times we have to be cruel in order to make people reliase..... too much politic n budi bahasa will make we been pulling ears by the minister and so call the YB yg bengong tu... Ur statement as fols..

"We must also not forget to thank the predecessors, who played their part to make us what we are today"

yes in a way, but what has the PTD done to the service in order for us to get the well being and welfare in terms of logistic???? nothings?? the loreng is still in confuse situation.. the kawad dress is still uncertain, the rifle is still bengong.. basic standard of the soldiers still not enough... don't be suprise kertas pun tak cukup tau... of all they know... bila nak menang main golf lagi aje.. bila kalah bad mood... kalo dapat hadiah konon2 bagi org, tapi duit yg masuk kocek masa betting tak bagi org lak collect lagi ada, suruh adc collect lagi.... even in the office the computer is not enough nanti cakap pasal system P4 marah lak org, yet they trying to talk about 2 10 plus 10... it's sound like betting golf aje... or contractor jargon... it's meant i give u contract we give 2 (between us) 10% for u and 10% for me... hehehe... tak tau ah... saya mungkin salah tapi nampak mcm main2 tapi itu lah yang berlaku.. so bro rama??? perlu ke kita hargai what have they done.. after all they had collected all their perks while in the service... kan?? minta maaf... hehehe... ampun.. TAAT SETIA & BELAJAR UNTUK BERKHIDMAT....

FMZam said...

Hang Jebat,

14 more years of your service is a very long time and anything can happen to your rank and promotion, you will at least climb one step up the career ladder I am sure you know that. Even at this time there are officers in the Army who have only just one year left to serve but will be promoted to one-star by the next MAT. So don't tell me with that good 14 years left you cannot make it to the top that you have to vouch for ZZA to help you climb up the ladder?

I hope MAT will listen to you and your brother officers' wish instead of listening to someone else and someone else's brother officers' wishes if that is how MAT makes decision?

Lets see how many of us here will vouch for ZZA probably I would learn the good thing about this bloke when everyone talks good of him so maybe that can change my perception and the perception of many other people about ZZA?

Please don't get angry at anyone who talks not in favour of your view, OK Hang Jebat.

askarsusu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FMZam said...

bro askarsusu,

I see now you are bold bro, be bold with that kind of talk for there is nothing to be afraid of, to talk bad about bad thing instead of to be talking nice on bad thing. Why should we talk nice on people who do bad things....just blast them because have all those nice talking to bad generals make them any good to the Army?

maurice said...

In my view the biggest challenge to the upcoming Army leaders is how to transform the Army into an effective fighting force with its present assets.

To my mind such transformation is only possible if the new leaders are willing to do the unthinkable which are: reorganize the field formations, reorganize the field logistic support system, introduce new war fighting strategies/tactics and develop national mobilization plans to support the Army in times of interstate conflicts.

Who would like to step forward to take these challenges?

komando said...

Dear Folks, do I blame all of you and even myself for having wishful thinking at times!?

Think positive they always optimistic, be sure footed, be forward looking, it is always not that BAD!

Well, we are trying to be realistic here and I am one guy who says we will see what happens, do not get our hopes too high and at the end become very disappointed.

The potential enemies that we have may be laughing their heads off, reading the stuff we reveal in the cyberspace! Sometimes I think we are also a bit overboard!

Anyway, who ever makes it, hope he changes from better to become the best, for the sake of our home-land, mother land or tanahair!

The ATM has had a short history, we are hardly 100 years old.

We need to be more serious in becoming professional soldiers and not politicians and become puppets of the powers that be!

Otherwise we are just a piece of dirt to be kick around. Look at US Generals, they can become leaders of Nations, some African Generals also made it ( not necessary good ones)Mid East also.

Gen Colin Powell could well be the first black President well before Obama was ever heard, he turned it down! Reasons best known to himself!

So if all our GENERALS behave and do not take crap & shit from the morons we will have a credible force with credible leaders.


If and only if this happens in the very near future we are all going to face a similar scenario again and go back to SQUARE ONE!

So all aspiring Generals, tepuk dada dan tanya selera, mana letaknya IMAN anda...?

komando said...

Dear Hang Jebat, thanks for the mistake...about the current DMI...anyway is he aspiring to be the next PTD?

That would be a world record..a SVC CORP officer becoming TPTD or PTD!

pendita said...

Dear Dato,

Please correct the fact that the current DMI is from Int Corp.

Dato', you could be misled by Hang Jebat and Komando.What a pety!!!.
With 14 years to go, you have to learn more!!!

FMZam said...

bro komando,

Do not give that kind of excuse that our army is young when all other young nations around us don't wait for time to get matured, they go with time while we wait for time and time never wait for us. Which one nation in this region is not young? And which young nation gets matured faster than older nations in this region?

To say we are young, where do we start our youngness to compare with other nations in this region, let alone the developed nations who have conquered all the nations of this region and the world?

To say Malaysia is a young nation please also say all other nations of this regions are young nations, then start comparing what is the meaning of a young nation we are. We have heard our politicians said that "we are a young nation" 20, 30 years ago, we cannot go on listening to this again now to mean to me are we still not matured that we need 100 years to be matured?

Just how fast the world military systems has changed in within 100 years since the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 to think about maturity in our army of 50 years is young that we cannot even build a single weapon system?

All we build is a good corruption system in our military!

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Pendita,

In the first instant, I did not include the DMI as a possible candidate for the Deputy COA or COA. It is unlikely that he will ever be considered. Should that happen, clearly the Army is in serious problem, regardless of whether the DMI was previously from the combat arm or combat support arm officer.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear All,

I have had many calls, both from those in service and those who have retired. They all agree that the best combination to lead the army in the near future would be Lt Jen Dato Pahlawan Hj. Zulkifli Zainal Abidin and Lt Jen Dato Ahmad Hasbullah Nawawi. I tend to agree with this combination.

FMZam said...

Dear Dato',

I like it when Synchonocity said this "Any one of this "monkeys"can be the candidate for all I care." Now I too say "Of all those monkeys but not ZZA". Mind my word.

komando said...

FMZ - my dearest Field Marshall.

Maybe Jebat spoil my mood, Hang Tuah came and saved the world....rather my world...I was sure DMI was a true blooded Int boy from day one...

ANYWAY..Sometimes as one gets older we have lapse of Gigabites in the RAM!

Let the games begin....huffing, puffing,,,,juggling..till the day breaks...When the KING signs the document off, we are all guessing only what.

FMZ - the ATM it is still young, we need the older boys to lead...ahem!

If the picture comes true we may have some light at the end of the tunnel, provided their noses do not get pricked and screwed!

If they have wrong or erred in the past we have the benefit of the doubt given to them to repent and do GOOD!

Otherwise my dear friend we will have no more monkies to pick and choose from !

Who is going to run the show?
It must go on!

Don't tell you, me and Dato Pak Chad and our merry buddies here in the cyber-world don back our torn fatigues and soldier on!

Lutut tidak kuat OH !