Saturday, June 26, 2010


I am sadden by the death of Mohamed Naim Mustaqim Mohamed Sobri, a 16 year old student of the Royal Military College (RMC) in Sg. Besi, Kuala Lumpur, reportedly from being bullied and physically abused by his seniors on Wednesday, 24th June. I could feel the ordeal that Mohamed Naim had to suffer that caused him his life, and the shock and disbelief that his parents have to endure at the loss of their beloved son.

Now, nothing can bring back Mohamed Naim, but this unfortunate incident brings to question the need to seriously review the relevancy of RMC as a secondary boarding institution established in the early 50’s whose charter is ‘to prepare young Malaysians to take their places as officers in the Armed Forces of the Federation, in the higher divisions of the Public Service and as leaders in the professional, commercial and industrial life of the country’

No doubt, the Boys Wing as it was previously known have produced a number of luminaries in all sectors of the Malaysian society, and it will continue to do so in keeping with the charter of RMC. But with the establishment of many other secondary boarding institution; both private and public, the stated charter for which RMC was established has somewhat been ‘diluted’. And to now say that only the cream of the country’s secondary students are taken into RMC may no longer be true.

The Boys Wing that we know of in the past has been a stiff competitor of academic excellence and sports to the likes of MCKK, STAR and probably VI. Today, with the rise of MRSM and other controlled public schools, there are now greater choices for secondary school students to be recruited into the best schools, besides other private institutions that offer similar academic and sporting facilities par excellence. In other words, RMC has now lost its competitiveness and attractiveness as one of the country’s best secondary boarding school, and is now made worse by the unfortunate death of Mohamed Naim.

Many questions will be asked into the causes of this unfortunate incident and hopefully nothing will be left unturned. For those involved, they will have to accept their fate but more importantly, RMC will have to device means and measures to avoid a similar incident from occurring, if RMC is desirous of remaining relevant and true to its charter.


Friday, June 25, 2010


It has been a long time since I last traveled to Singapore, a place where I had onces served. Back in the 60's when Singapore was still part of Malaya and subsequently Malaysia, I think the army had a Brigade HQ located at Fort Canning, two SIR Infantry Battalions at Ulu Pandan, a RMR Battalion at Temasek Camp, Logistics Units at Bukit Timah, and an Independent Recce Squadron at Tanah Merah.

Sembawang Camp to which the 6th Battalion RMR was to be located as a non family station, was built around the mid 60's. The battalion was initially accommodated in tents, while a semi-permanent camp was being constructed. I remembered that besides the camp was a pig farm that emits an unbearable smell that caused a lot of discomfort to most of us. The smell becomes even more unbearable during the rainy season. Besides the smell, the rains would also cause a nuisance to all of us, as some of the tents would leak, and the walk ways flooded. Living under tents for more than 6 months was a misery to most of us, for we had to bear the blistering afternoon heat, dust and with no proper lighting, bathing and toilet facilities.

The Sembawang landscape has now changed tremendously, and one could no longer recognize the existence formerly of an old army camp in that vicinity. Traveling along Holland Road and the neighboring areas, I could still see some old double storey bungalows that I believe were built as quarters for senior British military officers. These bungalows resembled those built at Port Dickson military camps that still exist till this day.

What strikes me most about Singapore is the cleanliness of the city center and the disciplined society, especially of its bus and taxi drivers. Traveling around the city keeps me wondering as to how could the local authorities up-keep the maintenance of all the buildings (HDB Flats in particular) and structures in such a perfect state. I could not see a single dilapidated and unkempt building. All are well painted and most HDB Flats have huge numbers painted high up on its walls that can be viewed from afar by impending visitors.

I could not see cars being parked indiscriminately besides roads in the city center, and this makes traveling in the city center easy, despite the heavy traffic and with no policemen to monitor the traffic flow. I decided to hitch a taxi ride back to my place of residence, and I do not have to wait long at the taxi stand for a taxi. I was greeted by the driver even before I could get into the taxi, and the ride was in a comfortable and clean Korean built Hyundai blue colored taxi. This is in vast contrast to the taxis that we get in this country that are small, and the rude treatment that passengers sometimes get from its drivers. Now, with the introduction of the Proton Saga, our taxis are getting even smaller and less comfortable. Passengers comfort, seems the last in the minds of our taxi service providers.

There are many more things that I saw in Singapore city that could serve a useful lesson to our local authorities, especially to the local councils, as well as KL City Hall. I believe the difference lies in the attitude, training, professionalism and dedication of the people involved that is severely lacking in our people and if such attitude does not changed, we will soon see our cities being in league with some of the worse among the underdeveloped countries.

I believe, we have been sending a number of our officers from the local authorities and City Hall for study visits abroad. I am told too that even parliamentarians and state councilors are send abroad on study tours, but what happened upon their return is everyone guess. Was it really a meaningful study tour, or was it merely a leisure tour? But I suppose, having been a fully paid overseas tour at public expense, it does not really matter whether it was to be a study tour or a leisure tour. Both are one and the same thing.

And having seen the latest of Singapore, one does not need to go to Europe, USA, Japan or Korea to do a study tour. The thing that needs to be learned by our local authorities in the management of a city is just a few miles south of Johore Bahru.


Thursday, June 24, 2010


I have been on a brief holiday in Singapore recently and have not been monitoring my blog. I did received calls regarding the responses to my last write-up, and the anger that I had caused among some of my readers.And while in Singapore, it was raining 'cats and dogs', but was fortunate not to be caught in the flash floods at Orchard Road.

Honestly, I am not hurt by what people say about me, because I believe that everyone is born different. I hold by what my late father had once said to me, “that if you are angry about something, just keep quiet. Venting your anger at someone will only expose you to your weaknesses”. And throughout the whole of my service, I have lost my temper only twice, and I regretted every moment of it.

For anyone not to believe in the reasons for the establishment of RAFOC, this should not cause a stir and a reason for venting personal grudges at the establishment and the people that are involved with it. If one does not believe in RAFOC, so be it. There is absolutely no compulsion in joining, and joining is only for those who believe that friendship does not end upon one leaving the service; rather it continues until the last day of our lives.

I know that there are disappointment and discontentment while in the service, and because of this one develops a dislike for someone. I too had the same feeling, but said to myself that I cannot go on disliking people over some disagreements in the past. And the people that I have had some disagreement and had caused me some discomfort while in the service, are today my greatest friends. And believe me, even if we were to talk of the past and our disagreements, it is merely to strengthened and enlivened our relationship.

For me, age has made me a much wiser person in my relationship with people. And for those who still harbors ill feelings against someone because of the past, my sincere advice to them to think again whether to harbor such ill feelings will make them a better person.

And I have just been reminded by someone not to forget to attend the RAFOC AGM this Saturday, June 26th 2010 at AFSC Haigate beginning 1400 hrs. See you there.


Sunday, June 13, 2010


I sense that there is a tendency among retired military officers to harbor a misconception about the revival of the Retired Armed Forces Officers Club (RAFOC) that I had posted in my weblog on June 2nd 2010. The misconception appears to be centered on the argument as described by one of my readers, that the ‘legacy of class separation’ and the practice of ‘rigid social etiquettes’ is still obvious among some officers.

While I agree with some of the comments made by my readers in my earlier posting, I would say that if at all there was ‘class separation’ and ‘rigid social etiquettes’ at any function were senior military officers are involved, then I’d say that it wasn’t done deliberately by the organizers’; rather it was done as a show respect to the senior ones.

I certainly would not like to see, say a retired CDF being left on his own to find his own seat, or walk around aimlessly looking for a conversation. I think the onus lies in the junior who must willingly approach the retired CDF or seniors, and to show them their seat, or to begin a casual conversation with them. I don’t think this is too bothersome for anyone to do; rather it will only show true comradeship and an undiminished loyalty to someone our senior, despite all of us being retirees. And isn’t this being taught to us by our parents when we were small i.e. to respect those who are elder? It certainly doesn’t hurt to be respectful, even if that person is younger than you. It only shows your dignified and honorable upbringing.

As a 12 year old retiree, I do meet my seniors and juniors often at functions, and meeting them gives me a great feeling. It was only last night where I was seated besides my former boss who was a three star general at a wedding reception, and we talked like old friends. I did not feel like a subordinate, and he too did not show signs that he was still the boss. It was just a talk among old friends, and nothing more. And when I am being approached by a junior, it gives me the feeling that I am still being accepted as their friend. I supposed that same feeling will be felt by my seniors, if I were to approach them first.

While I understand that the primary objective of RAFOC is ‘to bring together retired officers by way of social and other activities so that the good fellowship, espirit-de-corps and spirit of caring in the military community does not extinguish’, I have also interjected a proposal in my posting that RAFOC can further its role as a ‘voice of reason’ in matters affecting defence and security of the nation, as well as those affecting the Armed Forces. I personally do not know how the members will response to this proposal, and most certainly RAFOC should remain apolitical.

To do the above, RAFOC must have the numbers, and by setting aside our little differences while in the service, and to look forward to the positive aspects of RAFOC, we certainly can be that ‘voice of reason’. Being retirees too, we are at a different level of our life, in which friends have a great influence in filling the gap in the remaining years of our life.

I am quite sure RAFOC can play that role in filling the gap in the remaining years of our life, and it is for this reason that I would like to appeal to all retirees of the Armed Forces (regardless of rank) to be with us at RAFOC. And for those who have not received any notice, please call the Honorary Secretary, Lt Kol Dato Nawawi bin Mat Desa (Retired) at 019-3139895 and hope to see all of you at our AGM on Saturday, 26th June 2010 at 1400 hrs at Dewan Hikmat, Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College.


Saturday, June 12, 2010


Last Thursday night, I attended a wedding reception of the daughter of a colleague held at Felda Perdana. The host being a retired senior navy officer, would naturally see his guest be predominantly Armed Forces retirees; most of whom I could easily recognized. Several former Chief of Defence Forces and Service Chiefs were at the reception, and I think the most senior of the lot is Admiral Thanabalasingam, the first Chief of Malaysian navy who now walks aided with a walking stick.

An occasion like this gives me the opportunity to meet some long lost friends and to discuss a myriad of issues. Of course, issues relating the Armed Forces, past and present are never lost.

I was stuck by a conversation centered on the lack of interest among non-Bumis today to join the Armed Forces, particularly the army. I recall having written something concerning this matter in a posting dated November 14th 2008 following a statement made by the then Deputy Defence Minister Abu Seman Yusop when he argued that “seeking flexibility in the job and not low wages” being the reason why non-Bumis shy away from joining the Armed Forces; a statement that I do not fully subscribe.

If one looks back to the period of the late 50’s and early 60’s, there clearly was an attraction by non-Bumis to join the Armed Forces. Some reasoned that it was the schooling system then, where there was greater interaction among the various races (especially in urban schools); hence non-Bumis joining the Armed Forces which were predominantly Malays then, wasn’t any problem.

The other reason was because there were no racial and religious issues dominating the political landscape then, and everyone held a common belief that Malaya, and subsequently Malaysia was their home and country. I personally felt this when I was in school then, and where the issue of race and religion was kept silent. In other words, there was greater realization of a 1 Malaysia before, than it is today.

To support the above argument, I would like to list some figures showing the number of non-Bumis that joined the army cadets, against their Bumi counterparts in the later part of the 50’s and the early 60’s.

For instance, the 1st Regular Intake (1957) of army cadets had a total 54 cadets and of which 22 were non-Bumis. The 2nd Regular Intake (1958) of army cadets had a total of 37 cadets and of which 19 were non-Bumis. And in the early 60’s, the 7th Regular Intake (1963) of army cadets had a total of 36 cadets and of which 18 were non-Bumis. On an average, almost 50% of the intake of army cadets during the aforesaid periods mentioned was non-Bumis.

I am not privy to the actual figures of army cadets recruited over the last decade, but I think the number of non-Bumi army cadets recruited has dwindled to less than 10%, or it could be even less. This to me is an unhealthy development in a racially diverse society, as this gives the perception that it is only the Bumis that have shown interest in joining the Armed Forces, whereas defence and security is the responsibility of all able bodied citizens of the country. The increase dominance of Bumis in the Armed Forces will further reduce the likelihood of the non-Bumis joining because of the racial polarization created, that undoubtedly has its roots in our present day schooling system.

I do not know what plans are there to increase the intake of non-Bumis to join the army. The nation cannot allow the imbalance in racial composition to continue unabated as this unhealthy trend can lead to greater racial polarization that can cause a serious impediment to the development of a harmonious and a tolerant Malaysian society.

My belief is that unless serious and proactive measures are taken to redress the imbalance in the racial composition of the army and the Armed Forces in general, suspicion and mistrust among the various Malaysian races will continue to dominate the Malaysian political landscape.

To the 30 odd non-Bumis of my intake, I think we all share a common belief in the reason why we joined the Armed Forces.


Thursday, June 10, 2010


It is reported that PM Najib has announced the formation of a High Level Committee for Bumiputra Affairs, during the tabling of the 10th Malaysia Plan this morning (June 10th). This committee will be chaired by the PM himself whose purpose is to ‘plan, co-ordinate and monitor the implementation of the Bumiputra development agenda’.

I am of the view that this committee is redundant as it will duplicate UMNO’s role as the ‘custodian and protector of the Malay rights’ which the party have so vehemently defended. Or I am to believe that because the word Bumiputra is used, this then cannot be UMNO’s role; hence the establishment of the committee.

Whatever be the stated reason for the establishment of the committee, I do not see any usefulness of the committee. It is going to be another outfit like PERKASA, who is still unable to settle itself for what they precisely intend to do. There has been so much of talk that has not seen fruition to their demands. This committee will be the same, as PM Najib already has too many things in his hand, and by adding this one, I am afraid he will not have enough sleep, and will end up like the previous PM.

Now PERKASA’s boss Ibrahim Ali has suggested that the committee should comprised of TRUE MALAYS who understand Malay and Bumiputra issues. I cannot understand what and who are the TRUE MALAYS. Is this a new race that has just popped out from the sky? At least, what Ibrahim Ali can do to ease the confusion is to define what and who is a TRUE MALAY. And to let Ibrahim Ali know early, I certainly disqualify because I am the grandson of an immigrant from Padang, Sumatra. I am therefore a Minangkabau, not a TRUE MALAY. Certainly, this race called TRUE MALAY cannot be found in our constitution.

Now, let us not create more confusion over the issue of race and religion. Just stick to the word that we are Malaysian ……..1 Malaysia as PM Najib has propagated. And let us not hear that there is also TRUE CHINESE and TRUE INDIANS.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010


At a time when the nation is struggling with its ‘book-keeping’, talks of relocating the Parliament House to Putra Jaya is abuzz that will cost the government an estimated RM800 million. At least Khairy Jamaludin is sensible enough to break ranks, and to disagree with the proposal which he says the money can be used for more beneficial purposes; I suppose that to mean people oriented purposes.

It puzzles me to hear the millions to be used, with zeroes keeps adding at every new project. Where on earth do we get the money now, and from what I gather from friends working in the various ministries, their operating expenditure has been drastically curtailed? I was told by a school teacher recently that even duplicating papers are running short with some teachers having to buy papers from their own pocket. Schools with a filthy rich PIBG will have no problem of course, but is this the responsibility of PIBG?

The existing Parliament House is a historical landmark with its fine and well manicured garden that is prominently perched on a hill overlooking the city and with lots of greenery around it. It also proudly displays its deer stock that roams freely within an enclosed compound. What is wrong if the parliament building is renovated to accommodate a larger gallery to cater for an anticipated increase in the number of MPs? All these renovation works will not take up RM800 million. And my other concern is the fondness of the government to change something that is working well, and several millions have been used up for major renovations works over the last few years; of course not forgetting for the leaking episode. And does building a new Parliament House got anything to do with this country being a developed nation by 2020?

Rather than move Parliament House, why not think of moving Mindef to Putra Jaya instead, and the present complex be taken up entirely by the Armed Forces, thus giving some breathing space for the Armed Forces. At the present moment the complex is not Mindef per se, but it is also the HQ of the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Joint Force HQ. And surely this will not take up RM800 million……….see you have some savings here.

I would like to suggest that given the tight financial constraint of the nation, let’s stop taking about grandeur projects for a moment. Think of creating smaller projects where more medium and small scale contractors can participate directly without having to take on sub contract works from the much larger contractors. More importantly, the project has a direct impact on the ordinary people.

I am told that the larger and costlier the project, the better it is for some because these super rich contractors being small in numbers, has a better chance of getting such contracts. It is the medium and small scale contractors who will be placed at the mercy of the super rich contractors.

And as I had mentioned earlier, it is the construction industry that is the most corrupt industry in this country. I just do not know how much of the RM800 million will go to grease the pockets of corrupt officials.


Monday, June 7, 2010


Someone has asked me why I have not changed the header of my blogweb. My straight answer to him is because I am an avid admirer of the person in the picture, and the picture reminds me of some fond memories of the man in the picture.

For those who do not know the man in the picture, he is Brig Gen ‘Jimmy’ Yusof Abu Bakar, the first Commander of HQ 6th Brigade based in Sg. Patani, Kedah. This picture was taken by Maj Gen Dato Paduka ‘Speedy’ Ghazali Ibrahim who was then G3 Operations of HQ 6th Brigade. I believe the picture was taken in 1970 during a Hari Raya gift distribution to troops operating in the Malaysia-Thai border areas. I cannot recall the unit the soldiers belong to, but I think it was a Police Field Force unit operating in the Kroh-Kelian Intan areas.

If one takes a closer look at the picture, one could see a feature of a lady in the background and that lady is the wife of the Commander, whom we refer to as Kak Comel, a pet name given by the husband himself. I never dared ask Gen ‘Jimmy’ Yusof how that name evolved, but I suppose it was because Kak Comel must have been a pretty lady during her youth, and she was still pretty and a graceful lady in the 70’s. The sad thing about Gen ‘Jimmy’ Yusof and Kak Comel are that they both are no longer with us, for Allah swt loves them more.

I certainly can write a lot about Gen ‘Jimmy’ Yusof and for one, he is an example of a Commander who loves all his officers and men. One striking trait of his leadership is that he does not show his temper when something goes wrong however bad, and the only thing that comes from him is the word ‘bisa’. And to all of us, we know that something is not right.

There was a time when I had to accompany Gen ‘Jimmy’ Yusof to his temporary rented bungalow at Harvard Estate, early during his time as the Commander. The HQ has yet to obtain an official approval for a government house for the Commander from the Kedah state government, through the District Office. During one of my duties as an accompanying officer, and having to stay with him is his rented bungalow, and in some private moments, Gen Jimmy Yusof would confide to me about his childhood life in Segamat, Johor, and the hardship he had to endure having to come from a relatively poor family. His father, I was told was just a ticket collector at one of the Cinema’s in Segamat.

He even told me that he feared losing Kak Comel during his courtship days because of his poor family background against the much wealthier family of Kak Comel, who hails from Muar, Johor. But fate has it that, that they were to be married happily and bore 5 beautiful daughters…………..just wonder where are they now. To remember Kak Comel by, I still have in my possession of a black kain songket that I bought from her at just the cost of RM50. That was the kain songket I used to wear with my black baju Melayu at official functions during my service days.

Certainly the days with Gen ‘Jimmy’ Yusof has a profound influence in my life, in the remaining years of my service with the army, and Kak Comel has been a wonderful Kakak to our families. Gen ‘Jimmy’ Yusof loves ‘briyani gam’, a Johor delicacy and my wife being from Johor had the pleasant opportunity to cook for Gen ‘Jimmy’ Yusof, his favourite food during a function at his official quarters.

Recently, I was told that the new army leadership has directed that all officers to go back to basic in their daily professional life as officers, and be more responsible to their men. I fully understand the reason why the COA has come out with such a directive, and I think such a directive could steer army back to its original form, purpose and priorities. Maybe in some postings later, I wish to share my thoughts on my understanding of the term ‘back to basics’ with samplings of my experiences with Gen ‘Jimmy’ Yusof


Sunday, June 6, 2010


Since Monday 31st May incident of the Israeli commando raid on MV Mavi Mamara that was part of a 6 vessels Gaza bound flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for the Palestinians entrapped in Gaza, the local mainstream media, both electronic and print, has been abuzz reporting almost minute by minute, the development surrounding the incident that have left 9 dead and 60 injured.

On board the MV Mavi Mamara were 12 Malaysian volunteers who represented various NGOs, besides a number of other international volunteers. There were also 6 other Malaysian volunteers on board MV Racheal Corrie that was seized by Israel, and all have since been released. The government had also dispatched the Foreign Minister to Jordan to ensure the safety of all Malaysian volunteers, this despite having an Ambassador in that Kingdom.

What caught my attention is the reaction of some Malaysians (politicians included) that I term as overzealous, relegating local thriving issues to the back burner. The nation is now hotly debating serious economic and social drawbacks that are likely to impact the well being of the Malaysian population in the new future, but this issue somehow does not appeal to the mainstream media. Even the unsettling ‘prediction’ by Senator Idris Jala recently that this country will go bankrupt in less than a decade from today, is not well received by some from within the government itself. His prediction they say is off tangent to reality.

And setting aside the massive financial debacle by some large corporation like the PKFZ and more recently Sime Darby, the government finds it expedient to shove up the issue of the Israeli raiding incident as a prominent national issue that overrides the economic and social woes that Malaysian will be expecting. Even UMNO Youth leader Khairy who had completed a month stint with the army territorial is ready to fight to save Palestine from the marauding Israeli commandos. I just wonder if the one month army stint was enough for Khairy to shoot straight with his rifle.

I had just read that the returning Malaysian volunteers will be received by DPM Muhyidin Yassin at KLIA, and I am sure he will be accompanied by a motorcade of ministers, deputy ministers and senior government officials, besides the car load of UMNO supporters (Puteri UMNO likely to be included) with welcoming banners to add colour to the fiesta. And the welcoming party does not end there. The volunteers will then be driven to meet the PM presumably for a cup of tea, but hopefully not to the garlanded and be officially accorded national heroes.

In my 34 years in the army, I am yet to see any returning component of the military that had successfully served with distinction on UN Peacekeeping missions all over the world, returning home to be received with such exuberance, pomp and splendor on a scale accorded to the returning Malaysian volunteers. When I returned from UN Peacekeeping mission in Cambodia on July 4th 1993, after 15 months duty, my returning troops was received by the 7th Brigade Commander, Brig Gen Abdullah Ghani only.

We were not at all disappointed. At least we had a Brigade Commander who cared.



45 years have passed since I first reported for duty to 6th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment (6 RMR) as a young officer, then based in Kluang, Johore. That was in February 1966, the year when Elvis Priestly, The Beatles, Cliff Richard and the unforgettable Matt Munro were my favourites at the time. But having joined the army, I had to leave stacks of records of my favourite singers at my mom’s home, and never to see the records again.

Arriving by train at Kluang railway station from Kuala Lumpur in the early chilly morning and stepping out off the train for the first time in Kluang, and not knowing what to expect on arrival at the battalion, made me a nervous wreck. I was all alone, and my course mate 2Lt Hanafi Hassan (opted for early retirement in the rank of Capt) was to arrive on a different train schedule.

The battalion had arranged a vehicle to pick me up, since I had written to the Adjutant about my date and time of arrival. The battalion was located 3 miles from Kluang town along the Kluang-Jamaluang road, and that’s how the camp derives its name i.e. Kem Batu 3, Kluang, Johor. Although it was just a 3 short mile drive to the camp, I felt that the drive took hours, and all the while my thoughts were on what awaits me upon arriving at the officers’ mess.

I think it was a Sunday morning when I arrived at the officers’ mess. It was still dark that morning, and there was no one to be seen. When I got into the officers’ mess, I was greeted by Pak Dollah, the mess waiter who was expecting my arrival. He then showed me my room which was a fairly large room for a new arrival like me. I was told that the officers’ mess was a British legacy, and looking at the entire building structure, it was certainly built for comfort. The main visitors hall and the adjacent dining hall were exceptionally large, well ventilated and with high ceilings. It also had a cloak room, unheard of in today’s modern officers’ mess. The officers’ mess also had a dedicated billiard room and a little cozy bar at its side. The corridors on either side of the main mess building were spacious, and serve as a place where officers could laze around for their evening tea after games.

My fear of being bullied by my seniors as a new entrant to the officers’ mess somewhat faded when I was welcomed by the other living-in young officers at breakfast. I wasn’t shouted at, nor was I ordered to perform some ‘extraordinary stunts’ to entertain my seniors. There was nothing of that sort, but it was a gentleman’s welcome that I was to receive.

The following day being a Monday, was my first day in the newly tailored green cotton uniform as a young army officer, adorning the rank of a 2Lt. I had to report to the Orderly Room that morning to be interviewed by the Adjutant, and subsequently the Commanding Officer (CO) whose office is at one extreme end of the Orderly Room. I was marched in by the RSM to be interviewed by the Adjutant, and subsequently the CO.

During the interviews, I was told that I was to report to B Company as the Platoon Commander of 8th Platoon; the first appointment assigned for a newly commissioned officer of the RMR. Upon reporting to B Company, I found out that my Officer Commanding (OC) was on a course and Lt Badaruddin Yassin, the Company Second-in-Command was officiating OC, and 2Lt Aziz Mansor was the Platoon Commander of 5th Platoon. Number 6th and 7th Platoon were without a Platoon Commander at the time, but was later assigned to 2Lt Zaini Hashim and 2Lt Syed Haider Syed Ahmad respectively. Battalions then were organized into three rifle companies of four platoons each.

Here, I would like to pay a special tribute to some key officers of the battalion at the time of joining the battalion, and they are as under:

1. Lt Col (John) Mokhti Jabar (deceased) - CO
2. Maj Syed Hamzah - Battalion Second-in-Command
3. Maj Abu Hassan (deceased) - OC A Company
4. Maj Dahalan Sulaiman - OC B Company
5. Maj Musa Mohamed (deceased) - OC C Company
6. Maj Isa Mohamed (deceased) - OC HQ Company
7. Capt Jaafar Yusof - Adjutant

I could recall a total of 60 officers served the battalion over the period that I was in the battalion i.e. Feb 1966 till Nov 1969, and of which only one rose to became the Chief of Army i.e. General Dato Ismail Hassan who was the Mortar Commander at the time. Several others have risen to become Generals as follows:

1. Maj Dahalan Sulaiman - retired in the rank of Maj Gen
2. Maj Syed Hamzah - retired in the rank of Brig Gen
3. Capt Jaafar Yusof - retired in the rank of Brig Jen
4. Capt Raja Ibrahim - retired in the rank of Maj Gen
5. 2Lt Aziz Mansor - retired in the rank of Maj Gen
6. 2Lt Jusoh Daud - retired in the rank of Brig Gen
7. 2Lt Hashim Karim - retired in the rank of Brig Gen
8. Lt Hussein Suffian - retired in the rank of Brig Gen in the RMAF
9. Capt Jailani Asmawi (deceased) - retired in the rank of Maj Gen
10. Lt Kol Shah Mohd Amin - retired in the rank of Maj Gen
11. 2Lt Muslim Yusof - retired in the rank of Brig Gen
12. Capt Sulaiman Kudus - retired in the rank of Maj Gen

My tenure with the battalion ended in Nov 1969 when I was then posted to Sg. Patani, Kedah to help raise the newly established HQ 6th Infantry Brigade (read my posting dated May 23rd 2009). I was told about my posting while playing tennis by the Adjutant, and there was no option given to me, except to accept the posting.

I was then courting my present wife, a Kluang lass that I had known for about a year. And on hindsight, the posting help hastened my marriage, and by the time I packed my bags to leave Kluang for Sg. Patani, I had a young wife to take along, and this time I wasn’t alone reporting to a new unit.


Saturday, June 5, 2010


I had on June 3rd 2010 posted an article titled, ‘Army War Game Simulation System – A Retender Exercise’ in which I had named a local bidding company i.e. Softlabs Technology Sdn Bhd, (hereinafter referred to as ‘the company’), had been awarded the LOI after having been successful in their product presentation to the Tender Board and Penal of Evaluators, against all other competitors. For some unknown reason, the LOI offered to the aforesaid company had to be withdrawn reportedly, because of a protest made against the company, believe to be a competitor.

I was told that even the ACA (now MACC) was called in to carrying out an investigation on the company, supposedly for alleged corrupt practices in the tendering process, only to find that there is no substantive evidence to prosecute the company. Hence, one does sense the malicious intent of the protesting company. This incident occurred in 2008.

I have recently been approached by several people who are in the know about the on goings that resulted in the withdrawal of the LOI from the company, which urged me out of sheer curiously, to further investigate the truth behind the failure to award the company the contract. Having spoken to several people who are closely associated with the project, I now believe that there was an element of sabotage by someone who was not satisfied that the company had won the contract.

I am also convinced that the company has the capacity and know-how to develop an indigenous software and associated system to fully operate and optimize the War Game Simulation System. I fully acknowledge that software development for war game simulation system is a tedious process. However, we are left with no other option, but to develop in-house for reason of security, and I am informed that this is where the strength of the company lies.

I also wish to state that I have erroneously mentioned that the military officer appointed as a member to the recent Tender Board has links to the previous army leadership. I have inadvertently erred in this regards, since the appointment was made by the newly appointed leadership; thus the appointment has no barring whatsoever to the previous leadership.

My revelations above may be construed by some as having ‘dubious hindsight dealings’ with the company, which I vehemently deny. Truth is what I seek, and the truth shall prevail. A compulsive liar is not what I want to be known.

As I have said in some early postings, I claim full responsibility for what I write, but at the same time, I also wish to be corrected if I have erred in facts.

I am glad that many of my friends have come forward to correct the errors of my previous writings, and to those that have been hurt, I extend to them my most humble apology. And as the saying goes…..’to err is human; to forgive is divine’.


Friday, June 4, 2010


The Royal Malay Regiment Officers’ Club will hold its 17th AGM at the Royal Malay Regiment Officers Mess, Port Dickson on Saturday, July 17th 2010 starting at 10.30hrs.

Besides the AGM, the club has organized several other activities as follows:
1. 0900hrs – Visit to the RMR cemetery.
2. 1500hrs – a. Shooting practice
b. Visit to Army Museum
c. Golf
3. 2000hrs – Dinner at RMR Officers Mess

Club members who have yet to receive this official notice from the club, and wish to attend the AGM, please contact Brig Jen Dato Roslan Abdul Rashid (R) at 019-2395112 or Mej Nordin Hassan (R) at 019-3113404 for further details.

The club can also be reachable via email as under:

Thursday, June 3, 2010


“Two fifths of civil servants suspected of graft”, says CUEPECS President Omar Osman. In terms of numbers, this would be about 418,000 civil servants, or 41% of the 1.2 million that is alleged to be involved in graft. This number is indeed alarming, and if one is to calculate the amount of money involved, it will surely be a frightening figure. Yet, in measures to cut subsidies that are currently being hotly debated, little is said about dealing with this scourge. I would say that the major cause of this country likely to go bankrupt is undeniably because of CORRUPTION, and this scourge can be extremely cancerous if the attitude of the relevant authorities to fight it to the very core is lackluster.

High profile cases of abuse and corruption has been reported many times, but the end result is somewhat predictable i.e. insufficient evidence, hence the case cannot be pursued any further. These are multi million ringgit cases, not the few ringgit that is so commonly reported done by our policeman, or some lowly rated enforcement officials. These multi million ringgit cases involved people in high places carrying multiple honorific titles against their name, and until we see such people being locked up in the prison cells, corruption among the lower ranks of the civil service can never cease; on the contrary, it can get even bolder.

Every year we read the Auditor General’s report which cites numerous cases of abuse and corruption in the purchase of items, equipments etc. by various ministries and agencies of the government. These are glaringly acts of abuse and corruption, and what actions taken to punish the offenders are seldom revealed. For as long as there are no punitive actions taken, abuse and corruption will continue to linger.

I believe there are fears among many of the so-called bosses to act against their subordinates for offence of abuse and corruption. They fear that their action will cause them to lose popularity and the resultant hardship that the offender’s family is likely to suffer. Such a mentality is common among Malay bosses, and I think this is partly the reason why Malays form the largest number that is involved in corruption. Shame though we are, but this is the reality that no one can deny. And going by the exposure made by Omar Osman, it is not surprising that a large portion of corrupt civil servants are those of my race. The same can also be said of the Armed Forces.

The fear of the Almighty’s wrath in the hereafter seems so remote among the Malays, and this is alarming. To say that the Malays have not had any religious grounding during their formative years is not true. Like all Malay parents, an early exposure of their children to religion is a must. Even my grandson had his exposure to the Koran at a tender age of 5, and is still attending Koran reading and religious classes till now, and I am hopeful that his early religious groundings will safeguard him from the evils and vices of this modern society.

But what I have observed happening today is certainly not what I have desired the Malays to be. For those mired in corruption, I do not really know whether their regular 5 times a day prayers means anything to them. Or are they just making a show that they are the true followers of their religion? I am not going to preach the good moral values that Islam propagates, for I am not anything close to being a preacher, but merely to voice my concern of the moral decay that is so rampant among my race today.

The army had taught me extremely good values that have guided me through life; hence my deep concern for the military that is now being seen to be no better than any other profession. Hence, I started my weblog and my persistent critical writings about abuse and corruption in the military, and how much it has riddled the honorable military profession. I blame this occurrence on some of its leaders who are themselves dishonorable and lacking in integrity, and can be easily swayed by money by some unscrupulous businessman. They have all been overcome by greed, and greed knows no limit.

Integrity is one sacred quality that all military officers must possess; without it, he/she is nothing more than a scum. I have said this before, and I will never cease saying it again, and many time more. For any military officer to be involved in corruption as a uniformed servant of the King and country, is a betrayal of trust that has been entrusted upon them by King and country, and my only hope is that this is well understood by all serving officers of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

And a final word, never fall prey to the temptations of money offered by some unscrupulous businessman. Remain steadfast as an honourable gentleman of the Malaysian Armed Forces.



I had in August 2009 posted an article concerning the intended purchase of the Army War Game Simulation System (AWGSS) for the Army War Game Training Center being built at Gemas Camp that drew lots of flak from readers. This purchase has been mooted since the 80’s, but till today army has yet to have a system. Even getting an army officer to develop a computerized war game system jointly with USM in 1988, and subsequently with UTM was to end in failure.

I was informed that in 2005, Army decided to purchase the AWGSS outright from a reliable OEM through an open tender bidding. A tender bid was called in 2006, and a local company i.e. Softlab Technology Sdn Bhd won the bidding and the company was later issued with an LOI. Soon after the issuance of the LOI, Army decided not to proceed with the purchase due to reports of alleged abuse and corruption in the award of tender. I am told that a case has been filed and pending in the courts against some officials involved in this particular tender exercise for alleged abuse and corruption.

Early this year, a retender exercise was called and the closing date for tender submission was April 19th 2010. From the tender bidding list displayed at Mindef’s Procurement Division on 28th May 2010, there were a total of 12 bidders, and the bidding price ranges from RM73 million to RM35 million; the former being the highest bidding price and the latter being the lowest.

Now, there is already a talk in the market that this latest tender exercise is riddled with suspicion, because the officer heading the tender evaluation is an alleged crony with links to the previous army leadership. If this allegation is true, then they say that the winning bidder will most likely be the same company that had won the bid in 2006. Allegation like this does not auger well for the new army leadership and as such, it should not be taken too lightly, if army is indeed serious in wanting to eradicate abuse and corruption. Previous records of army purchases are said to be mired in alleged abuses of cronyism, favoritism and corruption, and this has angered many local businessman.

As I have suggested in some previous postings, in order for the new army leadership to rid itself of the stigma of abuses and corruption said to have been caused by the previous leadership, then drastic changes has to be made to replace those officers that are known to be cronies that are still lingering in the corridors of power at Army Headquarters. These officers are known to many, but many are just too afraid to spill the beans for fear of retaliation against their career.

I trust the new army leadership is one that is determined to shake off the bad legacies and poor perception left behind by the previous leadership. Integrity among some officers is badly tarnished and this has to be rectified. I am also pleased to hear that the new Army Chief has given specific instructions to his commanders and staffs recently on some restrictions with regards to the game of golf, among others, one that disallows officers to be accompanied by businessman in their casual round of golf.

There are certainly many ways to curb abuse and corruption in the army. Maybe it time that army device a system of check and balance in its tender processes, and including some form of due diligence be conducted on officers selected to be members of the Tender Board, as well as the Tender Evaluation Team to ensure that they are officers of the highest integrity. Surely, such officers are not too difficult to find.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I believe many retired officers of the Armed Forces like me have received a letter from the Retired Armed Forces Officers' Club (RAFOC) informing them that the club have been revived, and have invited all retired military officers (regardless of their armed service) to join the club. I personally do not know the number of military officers that have now retired, but I think the number is phenomenal, and is continually growing.

RAFOC was formally registered as a club on 9th September 1987 whose objective among others is to enable retired military officers to hold and organise various activities that are of mutual interest, besides to be kept abreast of each other's well being, and to continually nature a relationship that has been built by the years of togetherness in the military service. Some years ago, the club became inactive due to some foreseeable reason, and on the insistence of some former members, the club activities was revived late last year.

On a personal note, I think the club's activities should not be restricted to the aforesaid social activities only. I think, RAFOC can act as an 'external voice' to represent the Armed Forces, besides having a say on matters relating to the nations' defence and security. I do know that some of our retired senior military officers, particularly those that have held the position of Service Chiefs (SC) or the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) do maintain a close rapport with their counterparts (particularly that of the ASEAN countries) who though have themselves retired, are still actively involved with the administration and government of their countries. I do not know if ever any of our retired senior officers have been invited to play a role in enhancing bi-lateral ties affecting the defence and security of our country, vis-a-vis that of our ASEAN neighbours. If the government have ignored our retired senior military officers, then I can only conclude by saying that the government has lost the professional service of some experts in defence and security issues.

I also believe that RAFOC can also act as a voice to counter any misrepresentation on the roles and responsibilities of the Armed Forces in national defence and security. It was only recently that a politician have cited that the army will be used, should another May 13 occur in this country. Such a statement should not have been uttered by the politician concern, as it is likened to a statement of threat to innocent citizens. The Armed Forces is neither a threat to the ordinary citizens, nor should it be seen as a political instrument that can be manipulated by politicians or anyone. The deployment of the Armed Forces can only be decided by the Armed Forces Chiefs Committee (Jawatankuasa Panglima Panglima). I would have liked that the Armed Forces comes forward to dispel the statement made by the politician, but such a statement however was not forthcoming. Neither has the Ex-Servicemen Association said anything to dispel the statement made by the politician.

I am also of the view that RAFOC should remain staunchly apolitical club, that does not serve the political interest of any political party or individual. But that does not mean that RAFOC should remain mute if there are transgressions made by anyone to disregard and be disrespectful to the avowed roles and responsibilities of the Armed Forces to King and the nation. If the present Armed Forces leadership or the Ex-Servicemen Association for reasons of their own, cannot check-mate any transgression made by anyone that is seen to be disrespectful of the Armed Forces, then I think RAFOC should rightfully be the entity to come forward to counter or dispel such transgressions.

I do not know whether RAFOC will willingly undertake the additional roles that I have argued above, or will such roles transgress the objectives of the club. It is merely a thought that I would like to offer to RAFOC, as I see that the club can still play an active role on issues relating to defence and security and the Armed Forces well being in general; because defence and security is a matter of concern to every single citizen (retired military officers included) of this country

Finally, I see the full benefit of RAFOC and the causes for which the club was formed. I would therefore like to appeal to all retired military officers who have received the letter from RAFOC to join the club and to attend the AGM scheduled on Saturday, 26th June 2010 at a place to be notified later. With numbers the club can be a force to be reckon with; never as force in politics, but a serious voice of reason.