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.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION