Monday, March 8, 2010


I am drawn to the speech delivered by the Chief of Army at the Army Day parade recently, and subsequently to the news report in Utusan Online dated March 2nd 2010 titled ’30 kem tentera dibina semula’. Personally, I think this is about the ‘sweetest’ statement coming out from the army boss, but a mere statement delivered at an auspicious Army Day parade in the presence of hundreds of soldiers and retired senior army officers, would mean nothing if it fails to be put into action.

As recent as March 25, 2009 and April 11, 2009, I had posted articles concerning the dilapidated state of Sg. Udang Camp, Malacca and the Army Combat Training Centre (PULADA); two renowned army camps built during the colonial era that had long served its purpose. I do not know if the Other Rank (OR) married quarters at Sg. Udang Camp is the same two rooms married quarters (popularly known as Gurkha quarters), or has it been replaced. The same can also be said of Kem Batu Tiga, Kluang, Johore, and some OR married quarters at Taiping, Perak built at about the same time as Sg. Udang Camp, and it was at the former camp that I first began my career in the army.

With regards to PULADA, I remembered having viewed the proposed master plan for the reconstruction of the entire camp, and that was several years ago. When I last visited PULADA (refer to my article dated April 11, 2009), I did not observe much changes to the camp with black painted wooden structured buildings dominating the camp. It would appear to me that the once famous British Jungle Warfare Training Centre where even the late President of Uganda, Idi Amin Dada once attended an army course, is left to remain in its original form, despite us being in the 20th Century.

Talks of rebuilding new camps and OR married quarters has been in the air for quite a while, but somehow slow in its implementation. I am appalled at the delays in the completion of new camps and amenities (somehow delays are quite common for projects instituted by Mindef) with some even taking more than a decade to complete. The new officers married quarters and the new Transit Camp at Mindef are examples to cite. I wonder what sort of contractors are awarded the contracts, and it would appear to me that the longer the delay, the better.

Let’s us hope that the announcement made by the army boss relating to the construction of new camps, during his interview with the press following the Army Day parade will to be executed by his successor when he retires this year. Let there be some truth in what is being said, rather than just mere rhetoric. And let’s not talk anymore about buying a 3rd Regiment worth of MLRS. Rather, let’s talk about what the worth of a MLRS regiment can do to build more camps and better homes for our soldiers.



Capt's Longhouse said...


,,,indeed,things don't turn up in this world until somebody turns them up !.
,,,the welfare of our troops will not improve if nothing is done about it. its timely to take such initiative, to make things happen !.
,,,your concern in highlighting of such issue is most timely too.


WIRA said...

Dear Dato',
How to build more camps when procurement of arms like Frigates, Fighter aircraft and MLRS draws far larger kick-backs. Fat chance Dato'. Sorry, the Army personnel from camps you mentioned will continue occupying sub-standard quarters for a much longer period of time. Indeed, camps will be given lower priority by Mindef planners unless of course another private company is willing to build quarters in exchange for Army Land like what happened with the jln Ampang transit camp. Everybody knows that Kausar Bhd, chaired by a former CAFS took some 10 years to complete the project.. Other than this development approach, sorrylah Pak Chad.
The govt is more likely to embark on projects like the non-viable alternate north-south highway estimated to cost up to RM 6 bil from which half of the cost would be kick-backs. The ones that are likely to suffer would be the concession holder who will have to bear huge losses due to the low volume of traffic using the road. Of course, at the end of the day the govt will have to bail them out, again using our money. In the mean-time those decision makers and the people that were partty to giving the go ahead to the project would still have 'RM 2 1/2 bil' in their pockets..and the common folks would be non the wiser.
This is a common modus operanti of corrupt govts when they need money. They follow a very simple but almost foolproof cheating doctrine..
If you steal RM 100 from one person, he will instantly notice it and make noise. However, if you steal 10 sen from 1000 people, none of them will notice it. Bottom line- the thief still gets RM 100.
But beware, when the govt starts to embark on such grand projects, it is very likely that General Elections is drawing near....
Taking about politics Dato', I heard you had a tete-a-tete with Minister Zahid recently.
What about? Ceritalah sikit.

komando said...

The Army is third class citizen, the Navy is First, the Air force 2nd!
Army generals are all brain dead