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.



Hughsen said...


Do you think jawantankuasa panglima2 will not listen to the govt of the day or civilian master? i bet they will not. r we not blind to see the reality as history had evidently showed - military r just a tool.

we all know the fact that the military must remain apolitical and must always observe, hold sacred the principle of civilian control of the military. We only execute policy - does the job, once the decision is made by our civilian master

Do you think our generals can disobey our political master?

Do you think our generals would risk being dismissed and replaced for not following an order?

How do you think our generals can balance and remain a neutral instrument of national power; apolitical in all that we do and mindful of psafeguarding the national interests of malaysia?

FMZam said...

Dear Dato' Arshad,

Pardon me sir if I say that this club is opened only for invited membership, which is why not all of us have received the invitation. Anyway this is only a club and a club membership is exclusive I don't blame it if they are selective and club's objective, more often than not, is for RECREATIONAL nature.

To go for what you've idealized, a club is not designed for that, unless it's an association or an NGO or a political party (as in WaliMuar's posting). I don't think RAFOC would want to take up that role to be the first "fighting club" of all the clubs in the world. A club will always remain a club and if it were to change, it will change to any kind of club including Night Club.

If RAFOC has been registered in 1987, it must have all the reasons why it has been so unheard of or non-existent to many of us ex-officers and now made a comeback after 23 years, why? Because it has been a club as a club should be where it is well known only to members.

If RAFOC change to RAFOA (Association) or RAFOO (Organization) or RAFOP (Party) then probably all your ideals would certainly be delivered with impact.

WIRA said...

Saudara FMZam, you have definitely hit the nail on the head in as far as your view on RAFOC is concerned. To my mind, call it by any other name, as long as the club's objs remain hazy and ill-defined, then the club will be as obscure as it is unappealing to most of us.
Do we actually need a club just to talk shop or reminisce over old soldier's tales and escapades? Hardly, we have far too many teh-tarek shops to do it in.
If we don't already know that this is the push factor, then we are still dreaming.
To begin with most of us old soldiers have grown weary of our rigid social etiquettes and structures. Our stance in this regard is ee have been there, we have seen and done it.
Do we need it more of it?
As former officers, we must be realistic and adopt an egalitarian approach in our dealings with others, especially to our former soldiers}. Only then will such an association be attractive appealing.
Sadly, this legacy of class separation is still very much in evidence as was the case during the last social at Felda Perdana. I would like to ask here is rank still RAFOC's order of the day. Must we all be seated segregatedly by rank
To me, RANK is a neccessary means during active service but should not continue to be an invisible curtain separating people.
Of course, due respect must be accorded to ranks and titles, but should we carry it as far as what is practiced whilst in active service?
I know that several people including Lt Kol Zainal Che Dan (ret)and Lt Kol Dato' Nawi (Ret)and their pro-tem committee have worked tirelessly to get the club running, unfortunately, there are still many sceptics among us who are still holding on to our application forms. I do hope by now they can figure out the reason behind this apparent feet dragging.
My best wishes to Dato' Nawi and Kol Zainal. Despite everything that has been said, we appreciate your effort.


Dear Pak Chad,

A Club is a recreational outlet where members flock together for social events. Just a place for us to hang around while catching up with current news and gossips. It is not suppose to role-play as a lobbyist or pressure group. I was involved with an NGO (TANGKAS)which was meant to associate all ex-senior military and police officers together. We had both ex-IGP and ex-PAT in the helms of its management hierarchy. The organization was seen as a powerful third force by some sister organizations, thus the politicians had reluctantly to give morale support it.

muhammad arshad raji said...

Dear Wira,

It saddens me to know that you adverse to the formation of RAFOC, which I thought is a excellent 'get-together forum' for us retirees. And I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my time during the the gathering held at Felda Perdana.

You have mentioned Lt Kol Zainal Che Dan in your comment,a person that I know too well. For your information, Lt Kol Zainal was in fact one of the founding member of RAFOC, but he wasn't at all involved in the reactivation of RAFOC, nor is he listed as a committee member in the revived RAFOC. If at all he was seen in the circle of the current RAFOC members, it is only Lt Kol Zainal's good nature that he always like to be among old friends.