Does Paroi Camp, Seremban that was home to ‘T’ Battery LLAD rings a bell to officers and men of the Royal Artillery Corps? I remembered the camp well because it was first occupied by a newly raised Royal Malay Regiment battalion around the late 70’s, before it was handed over to an artillery unit. I think it was the 13th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment. It was an old British Camp though with a short airstrip and the hanger became the army boxing team training center. Well, in those days the Artillery Corps had excellent boxers and I do not really know the reason why. I suppose their soldiers were the hardy type having built their muscle and strength from lifting the heavy bombs and guns. Names like Lt Kol Maskan Katan and Mej Maniam (both artillery officers) comes to mind as they were the officers’ charged with managing the army boxing team.
Sometimes in the 80’s, the Negeri Sembilan state government wanted to build a stadium at Paroi, on grounds that army were ‘technically squatters’, so says the state government then. I may be wrong in my presumption, but if the land was state property, I think Mindef wouldn’t have succumbed easily to the demand by the state government. But on second thought, and upon knowing the ill fated decision to sell off the historical Sg. Besi Air Force Base, I think Mindef would still give away Paroi Camp anyhow, in keeping with the well tested Malaysia Boleh slogan. And did we not see how a portion of Majidee army camp, Johor Baru was sold off to some developer without any thought given towards preserving the historical camp i.e. the birth place of the Malaysian Special Service Unit (MSSU) in the 60’s, or the Commandos as it is popularly known now. Colorful personalities that were the pioneers of the MSSU, e.g. Mej Sidek, Mej Abu Hassan, Lt Ghazali Ibrahim, Lt Ramli Ismail, Lt Sarjit Singh and Lt Hussein Awang Senik are now merely names in the pages of the Malaysian commandos history (if there is one).
After the eviction of ‘T’ Battery LLAD from Paroi to Segenting Camp, Port Dickson that was to become the Artillery School, the stadium was eventually built. However, a large tract of the camp area that was supposed to be developed by the state was left unattended for some unknown reason. I am told that the piece of unattended land has now become private property, with a notice board prominently displayed as such. One can hazard a guess as to who had acquired the land (the notice board says it is Property Development Sdn Bhd), and who do you think are the beneficiaries from the sale of the land. One wonders who the Menteri Besar was then when the sale of the land was transacted and at what price. I doubt details of the transaction will ever be made public because such a transaction is usually categorized as ‘OSA’.
The question that many would ask now is why dispose off a piece of state property that could have been developed by the state to cater for public interest, and at the same time the property remain in the hands of the state government. Such piece of property is priceless and if I were the Menteri Besar, I would have put the area to better use i.e. like turning it into a recreation center, building a school or a hospital or any other public amenities that could benefit the people. Since the property remains in the hands of the state, I would not be getting a cent.
Well, selling off state property in the name of development is the usual argument by most state governments. But why the haste in evicting the army unit out, when it is only now that the reason for the eviction has become obvious i.e. to dispose it to a private concern. What a cleaver way to hoodwink the army.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION