Friday, August 26, 2011


I would like to share with my readers a comment from a senior colleague of mine regarding the highly ‘controversial statement’ made by the Chief of Defence Forces recently, concerning the revelation made by four ex-servicemen on postal voting that they claimed were mired in abuses. Let it be known that whatever comments made by my colleague and I in this posting is not intended to belittle or to ridicule the Generals of the AF. It is merely a voice to remind the AF leadership that the retirees are still mindful of what goes on in the AF today, and that the AF remains true to their avowed profession i.e. as defenders of the nation.

LT KOL IDRIS BIN HASSAN (Retired) wrote:

I refer to “The army is apolitical” (The Star, Aug 19) with Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Zulkifeli Mohd Zain refuting claims by four ex-soldiers that they were ordered to cast postal votes for other officers and their wives while they were in service. The General went on to rebuke the public by saying “people need to show their support for the army’s role in the country, and asking, “How can we be loyal to you when you are disloyal to us?”

With due respect, the CDF needs to be reminded that we as a nation were able to successfully defeat the Japanese during World War 2 when they occupied our country, repel the enemy forces during the Indonesian Confrontation, and rout the communist terrorist during the Emergency largely because the rakyat supported the army by giving vital information on enemy movements.

Many joined vigilante corps like the Home Guard and fought alongside the army. Thousands of them lost their lives in reprisal action by the enemy. The public has always supported, and will continue to support the army to protect our beloved homeland. To say the public is disloyal is perhaps not the best choice of words.

The army is the combatant arm of the nation. Its duty is to defend the country and the way of life the nation has chosen for itself. The army’s foremost duty is loyalty to King and country and of obedience to the orders of the government of the day. It remains a political and owes no allegiance whatsoever to any political party. It is for this very reason that soldiers are required to abstain from taking part in politics, directly or indirectly. The intention is to keep the army from conflicting currents so that it may retain the team spirit which is so vital for its success.

The restrictions, however do not bar soldiers from holding opinions on matter that concern them as citizens, but from expressing such as are likely to jeopardize the trust the nation and the people have placed in them. Our Generals too are at times to be blame when the impartiality of our army is questioned.

I remember reading in an English language tabloid, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”, RMAF Chief tells personnel. The action of the outgoing RMAF Chief was most inappropriate when he said that “those who wear the uniform by right should vote for the existing government, as we have benefitted from the present administration”.

The General was probably trying to score some brownie points in the hope of earning a lucrative appointment in retirement which is usually the case. Sadly, such statements from a very senior officer and a service chief at that do not augur well for the impartiality of the army.

At this level, the CDF is not only a soldier but also a diplomat; he should not display combatant body language when appearing on national TV. This is also no longer a time when a mere denial would suffice and the problem would go away. Perhaps the CDF needs to check the present system of postal voting in all military establishments and suggest changes if necessary.



Faizul said...

Dear Sir,

Well said and written by Lt Kol Idris. His thoughts are exactly the same as mine.

Pak Oncu said...

Salam Pak Chat,, PAT tu dah kena cucuk hidung, dia dah jadi BaNggang[BN] yg penting pangkat dan kedudukan kan, bukan nya rakyat,,,

Anonymous said...


Terima kasih to both your goodself and Lt Kol Idris for speaking out about the impropriety of General Zulkifeli's words.

I think that there is nothing like respected officers speaking up about a matter which involves a senior officer.

Civilians, however much they may try to be knowledgeable about armed forces matters, are still civilians. Yes, that may offer the advantage of a different viewpoint at times, but military personnel speaking abouty one their own does usually carry additional weight born of having shared the same hardships and dangers.

Certainly I think military personnel are likely to listen more to words from one of their own.

Which means the CDF's words, though wrong in many's view, may have been accepted by many of those in the armed forces and veterans.

And there is nothing better to counter that than rebuttals from other military men.

Do keep up the efforts, Sirs!

EAGLE said...

Still not finish with this Zul PAT?
Being in the forces before surely you know how someone reach to that position and what it takes to be at that. Surely you know the way to move around as the choice to do it but it is just against what is inside to some people.
So do you think we need brain to be the CDF of Malaysia?
Categorically the answer is NO! brain is not required. So forget him and his gangs as they are not worthy of the trust of the Malaysians population.
If there is a war be ready to fight your own battle rather than depending on this type of character.
Selamat Menyambut AidulFitri maaf zahir batin. Salam...

tiongsinwee said...

"Which means the CDF's words, though wrong in many's view, may have been accepted by many of those in the Armed forces and veterans'...... said Leithaisor!
A very well-said statement and i am all agreeable to the points raised.
It wasn't long ago that i told one "ketua cawangan"....saying that his AJK are like lembu(s)...being pulled by a rope through their noses. To my astonishment or rather delight, he totally agreed with my point.
The Ketua Cawangan went further to say that most veterans, having served numerous years in the Armed Forces, are 'pak turut'.
To my veteran guys are no more in the service. You don't have to blindly follow orders. Have your say in both the PBTM and JHEV. Do call a spade a spade!

Arunzab said...

I am glad that that among the main stream media The Star allows dissenting views such as expressed by Lt Col Idris to be published.Dato' you are to be praised for using your blog to give such views an even wider coverage and at the same time giving your readers an opportunity to give their views.

Selamat Menyambut Aidilfitri maaf zahir batin.


Salam Pak Chat,
The real Patriotism in the army normally comes after experiencing wars. Generals were promoted due to their commanding performances in battles. Battle honours were given to genuine valour acts in the face of enemy. The soldiers pride themselves with the number of campaigns they'd participated and survived. The rakyat were very proud of them and paid the utmost respects. The organization is fully run by true professional who expect no nonsense from anyone. Generals, soldiers and rakyat bounded together for the sake of love and sovereignty of the nation. Alas, do you see those things happening in our army now? How do they get promoted and those medals on their chests, are they really worth as they were?
Still the rakyat (veteran included) accepted them as they are worth of. But calling some veterans 'traitors' just bcoz they thought it was appropriate to reveal wrong doings in the army, I think it's too much. It was not a pride of the armed forces to see a general chiding veterans on an issue; not related to the security or sovereignty, seen by the public as a political stooge, instead.

komando said...

They have a saying there are WAR Veterans....CHEST FULL OF CAMPAIGN RIBBONS & MEDALS

There are War Generals- SEEN ACTION


SOLDIERS GENERAL -- he loves the men under his command & the men loves him obviously.

and lastly there are "PAPER TIGER GENERALS"


Arunzab said...

Kolonel Jihad does have a point as there was a time when the army was involved in several military campaign's against the enemy and the then slogan was "Askar dan Rakyat berpisah tiada" But how to berpisah tiada now when the man on the very top calls our veterans 'traitors' and chills the public as being disloyal to the army.Those in positions of higher command have to be very careful with their choice of words for words once spoken cannot be retrieved and the harm is done.

As far as as those medals on the the chests of our generals which reflect more like billboards. What can we stay, we live in a country which has fourteen issuing houses and the medal tally keeps adding up each year. I remember one CDF now a Diplomat, boasting about in the print media of "sibling rivaliry" by saying he has now nine 'Datukships' while his brother a civil servant has only four. Besok jadi macham general dari North Korea.