Monday, September 5, 2011

THE MAKING OF A HERO OUT OF OUR OWN STUPIDITY

I received this distressing email from a colleague regarding the death of Bernama’s cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor who was shot while on UMNO Putra’s humanitarian mission in famine stricken Somalia. For those Malaysian soldiers that had served Somalia during the troubled period of the early 90’s would know the dangers fronting them, and UMNO Putra’s humanitarian mission in that god forsaken failed state is to my mind a total waste of time and effort. Noramfaizul’s death was in vain and there is no denying this, and to declare Noramfaizul’s a hero now is the making of UMNO Putra’s own stupidity.


DEATH OF BERNAMA CAMERAMAN by a retired soldier


I write with two emotions – one of sadness and the other of anger. I was just watching the news and am taken aback at this sad episode. One life – a father, a husband, a son an employee and a citizen just gone……….like that.


Now, allow me to point out a few things. I am well aware of being in an environment of civil war, or a state of anarchy. I served at the UNPF HQ during the Balkan War. I have a few questions:

1. Why were our media people travelling with a Somali government military vehicle? The Somali government military is one party to the warring factions and is surely subject to military attacks by the rebels.
2. Were they wearing bullet proof vests and clearly identifiable as media representatives?
3. Were our media people adequately briefed, trained and deployed with safety and security as uppermost principles?


I ask all these questions simply because I notice recently, political parties behaving like NGOs and political personalities behaving like kampong heroes, and of course wanting maximum media coverage at home. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE TO PUT THIS POOR CAMERAMAN IN HARM’S WAY?


We (the Malaysian soldiers) were different – as we were operating under the auspices of the UN and we were simply duty bound to the MAF. There were adequate training sessions and preparations for us to fit the assigned role.


I was a desk officer for Sarajevo and had to go in and out of that place very often. I insisted on being unarmed, kept faithfully my helmet and flak jacket and always anticipated the situation and made no sudden moves whatsoever. All these came with training and understanding our position and role. There was always “fear” in my mind and I am not ashamed to admit this as a soldier. This fear was not one of cowardice, but a sense of rational thinking that keeps one alive. Correct reaction to every situation is critical for survival.


I am not accusing this poor victim of stray bullets in a firefight of anything. I am accusing the organizers, the government and any other agency that contributed to this sad episode. If the Putra fellows went in with the Somali government, then they did it wrong as a humanitarian agency. You simply tie yourself to other “INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED AGENCIES” who are experienced, logistically well supported and have the legitimacy to exist in the war zone for example, UNHCR, MSF, ICRC etc.


Our politicians are a bunch of fools!!!!!!!!. I was watching on TV how this Azeeeeeez fellow demanded from a Somali (official I suppose) that the President of Somalia should initiate a thorough investigation and report to our Prime Minister. Helloooooo Azeeeeez! Firefights and sniper forces are a norm in war zones and the Somali military is subject to attack by rebel forces. What arrogance and lack of understanding of international protocols! These goons are responsible, and now I want to watch the drama of “situating the appreciation” and how these UMNO boys will absolve themselves of responsibilities by spinning stories of how the poor cameraman died for “Bangsa, Agama dan Negara”. What a pathetic lot.


Finally, my heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased; may God bless his soul.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

26 comments:

Pak Oncu said...

n3 yg tersangat baik Dato.. apa pun selamat hari raya aidil fitri Dato,,,

zulfatah said...

salam, selamat hari raya n selamat sejahtera to dato n all..
well put dato.takziah to d family of the deceased.in my opinion he was just a mangsa keadaan.wrong place at the wrong time n circumstances.though he just followed orders from from his employer.
This sad incident was tragedy waiting to happened.This NGO n this fella azeez have no business whatsoever walking around handing out goodies with all blinking camera n newsperson on tow in the war zone! what was he tried to prove? u do it in malaysia,u gain ur political mileage.But u did it in Somalia?.... as a result of this showboating,a person was killed.(the pakistanis troop got slaughtered,the Blackhawk Down happened there,our Malbatt also suffered casualties...mind u these were trained n professional outfits).n yet he dared to demand n explanation from the Somalis Govt? he wasted no time to excuse himself from shouldering the responsibility. Everyone knows that somali govt is weak.what protection can they provide? surely riding with somali govt vehicles made them a legitimate target in the eyes of warring parties.Didn't they took any risk assesment n planning.well 'nasi dah jadi bubur'
i agree with dato, pls they should not spin this poor fellows demise as a hero negara...or jihad or something in that line to cover up some people's fault n arrogance.though it was unfortunate,but pls,spare the pingat PGB's or SP's.not now...i think the arwah's family had suffered enough.don't bcoz of kegelojohan pihak2 berkepentingan,the family will suffer even more.if any party have n overwhelming urge to give aid,let say we hulurkan to the poor fakir n unfortunates in Malaysia,shall we?

comatramd said...

Dato,

Saya terpanggil untuk memberi gambaran apa yang sebenarnya berlaku di Mogadisyu semasa peristiwa Bakara Market (Black Hawk Down). Saya dimaklumkan akan cerita ini oleh seorang ustaz yang berada di Somalia semasa kejadian ini. Ustaz ini telah pun bersara dan beliau sedia untuk memberi gambaran sebenar sekiranya ditemuduga oleh manax wartawan. Kisah sebenar sentiasa dispinning oleh pihak-pihak yang berada di tempat kejadian untuk mengambarkan kehebatan pemimpinx.

Sebenarnya kompeni Malbatt yang terlibat di ketika itu adalah sebagai Pasukan QRF di bawah Force Hq UN. Pasukan ini diarah berkumpul (RV) di pelabuhan Mogadisyu untuk menunggu arahan operasi daripada UN Hq untuk operasi. Pada mulanya tentera US hanya ingin meminjam APC Condor sahaja untuk operasi menyelamat Delta Force mereka tetapi mereka sukar untuk mengendali APC tersebut kerana masalah teknikal. Jadi mereka meminjam pemandu sahaja. Masalah komunikasi bahasa pula timbul, jadi terpaksalah menggunakan pegawai sebagai Ketua APC. Dengan itu Ketua Kereta dan pemandu adalah tentera Malaysia dan pasukan penyelamat di dalamm APC terdiri daripada tentera US.

Malbatt Hq yang berada di Airport Camp Mogadisyu tidak tahu menahupun akan penglibatan kompeni ini untuk menyelamat tentera US. Selepas kejadian yang melibatkan anggota tentera Malaysia terkorban dan cedera maka mulalah episod spinning. Bilik Gerakan Malbatt berkeadaan sunyi dan sepi, malahan tiada aktiviti langsung. Semua petugas samada pegawai dan LLP tidak tahu pun akan operasi tersebut. Komander dan kuncux nya sedang bergembira di khemah mereka samada menonton, berhibur atau tidor. Apabila berita kejadian tersebar barulah Komander dan yang lain mula kecoh dan berlakon seolah-olah operasi tersebut dikawal dan diperhatikan oleh Malbatt.

Keadaan pasukan Malbatt selepas kejadian itu amatlah rendah moral mereka dan hampirx berlaku penderhakaan semasa lawatan Panglima Medan. Hampir 80% anggota Malbatt ingin menceritakan keadaan sebenar kepada VIP ini. Tetapi berkat usaha pujukan beberapa pegawai dan PTT Kanan berjaya membendung penderhakaan ini.

Kepada anggota yang terkorban dan cedera amatlah tinggi jasa dan pengorbanan mereka. Mereka memang layak untuk menerima anugerah dan ganjaran yang telah diberikan. Tetapi kepada pemimpin yang spinning untuk mengambarkan kehebatan mereka hanya Allah yang maha mengetahuinya.

KOLONEL JIHAD said...

This is a typical Malaysian politics. For the sake of political mileage in publicity stunts will do everything including taking unnecessary risk that ended up the lost of a precious live. They were too arrogant, of course being ignorant, took a humanitarian works in war zone as a club vacation. This Azeez is really an idiot, who cares nothing except his own political ambition and the UMNO's. Now, instead him taking stock to what he'd done wrong, he was so arrogantly blaming the Somalian government, demanding an investigation. Who the hell are you in their eyes? Do you think your meager aids and a bunch of exhibitionist lunatics Putera would bate their concern at all? Blame on yourself for being idiots and thick-headed, egoistic morons!

TAG said...

Dear Dato

Retired Soldier said it well.The UMNO Putra goons and the Government are responsible.
This is what happen when the 'niat' of the UMNO Putera to run this mission is tainted with politics.

It appears that they were excited at the opportunity of political mileage presented by the famine in Somalia. That explains the rush into Somalia, ill prepared without a good appreciation of the situation.

I would like to add another question to retired soldier's list of questions:

"What SUSTAINABLE benefits would Somalia gets by UMNO Putra going in with some food and medical aid that are shortlasting?".

The fact that this 'donation'( it does not qualify as aid) was accompanied by a big contigent of media people is evident enough that the 'niat' is not honourable.

Ownership of the mission rests with a political party but yet funded and facilitated by Government resources owned by all Malaysians.

Hence this mission embarked without the blessings (some went further to curse it) of millions of Malaysians. I for one viewed it with contempt when I read about UMNO Putera 'adventure'.

International Humanitarian Missions from this country should have the face of Malaysia where each and every citizen will have ownership to it no matter what political divide they belong to.

Mercy Malaysia is one such organisation where all Malaysians will be proud to be associated with. UMNO Puteras should stick to what they are good at; brandishing posters with fanciful statements!

Hussein abdul Hamid said...

Pak my sentiments exactly..was just about to write about it when I came across your posting - could not do better so I posted it on my blog (maaf without asking you first!). Salam.

Mohd Arshad Raji said...

Pak Hussein,

My pleasure and keep writing.

komando said...

What do you expect from 2ND HAND CAR DEALER TURNED POLITICAL ANIMAL called Azeeez?

pakteh adam said...

Assalamualaikum.

Kenapa kepada kita kita semua, setelah bersara baru berani menyatakan kononnya"KEBENARAN".

Adakah kerana wang ehsan dan pencen?

Kalau tak ada amanah semasa kerja,... wang gaji dan pencen tersebut sama ajer macam makan daging ****.

Kalau betul betul menegakkan keadlian dan kebenaran, .. resign... cari besi buruk dan tanam pisang kat kampung.

Tak mau lah kita ikut semangat Ustaz ustaz kat surau yang sampai kering kerongkong menyampaikan ceramah tentang kebaikan, tapi bila ulur tabung derma.... banyak alasan.

untuk makluman saya dah 14 tahun resigned sukarela kerana tak nak berkempromi.


pikir pikirkanlah

Frankie said...

Dear Dato,

I salute you for not mincing your words by calling Somalia a god forsaken failed state. A life is lost because of UMNO's inflated ego. How many more lives will UMNO go on to destroy in their quest for publicity and false supremacy.

First we have the idiot of an UMNO youth chief going on a "humanitarian" mission to Palestine and got shot at by the Israelis. Then this Azeeeeeeez fella also want his fair share of fame and glory went one step further to Somalia. My only regret is that this Azeeeeeez fella should have been the victim instead of the late Noramfaizul. At least let UMNO then "martyr" him a hero for his foresaken party, bangsa, agama dan negara. I'm sure there would not be many shed tears for this Azeeeeeez fella if he came home in a coffin.

EAGLE said...

Dato selamat hari raya.
This Azeez is an idiot. He has been doing things just to project his image and for political mileage using government resources.
The only way to stop him is to hang him or put him in front of the firing squad and to be thrown into the dustbin.
Real garbage idiot politician!

Hussin said...

Sallam Dato',
I have been following your blog for sometime and am very impressed with your arguments on most matters. I hope more of your colleagues will follow you in becoming society's critics regardless of their political leanings.
I am proud that I can claim to know your family though not you personally. I am the son in law of the late Dr. Abbas. In fact my wife, me and my sister in law visited your mother in Datok Keramat last weekend.
Keep on writing Dato'

Mohd Arshad Raji said...

Dear Husin,

Thanks for the kind words. I know you but have not met you. I sure know your better half and her siblings. Sad to know that their brother is no longer with us. Please call me at 0123876061.

bob villa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bob villa said...

Dato , thank you for your honest views on the matter.
The title is also appropriate for another subject of interest to a militaryman ,who had answered the countrys call in her hour of need and put his life on the line.
Care to comment Mat Sabo recent choice of hero worship.
No disrespect intended to you,who is known for calling a spade a spade.
Just would like too seek view from ex-military man.
hope to see your views soon.Thnks

SiamangBukit said...

I thouhgt the deceased was shot by Afrikan Union soldier not by a Somalian.
I guess your argument is still short of explaining the stupidity since AU is supposed to be a friendly party.

Capt's Longhouse said...

Bodoh sombong type that Aeeeeez fellow and so arrogance beyond imagination !. Our PM has also made many foolish statements that shows his stupidity and unsafe mentality.

Leithaisor said...

I remember this Azeez fellow for reports of certain business deals and his claim for have done is MBA at Preston University in 2002 (Google "Preston University degree mill" and see what I mean), and such.

In the context of the disastrous Somali aid effort, I am thinking of Azeez's "Mat Cemerlang" re-branding of Mat Rempits in 2007, ostentatiously with the claim that re-branding the Rempits will turn them into shining social assets.

I actually supported Azeez'z move. Being involved with some kids at that time who were being lured into Rempit groups, I actually figured that even if Azeez's effort was politically motivated, it still could contribute positively to stemming the Rempit problem.

Sadly, aside from some attention grabbing stunts like the North Pole jump, things seem to have lost steam. All the money and noise seems to have come to nought.

Where the Somali aid effort was concerned, I had also been willing to give Azeez & his Putera 1Malaysia gang the maximum benefit of the doubt. People are dying of hunger in Somalia every day, and even if Azeez had ulterior motives, I had figured that at least some good may come out of it if some famished people get food.

But, it appears that Azeez did not manage the aid effort properly, and Noramfaizul lost his life.

And so far, all of the many excuses and propaganda statements tendered simply do not wash.

As if that was not bad enough, Najib had the gall to say, "Even international journalists get killed... If you don't want to become a journalist, stay at home". What a crass, insensitive and taunting statement!

And by the way, I was saddeneed to read a report in the Guardian quoting Médecins Sans Frontières that "helping the worst-affected people is almost impossible". Appranelt most of the most needy people will not get whatever aid that is channeled into Somalia.

TheCorruptiouslyObnoxiousSumanSumbing said...

Who's a hero, and who's not? Part I

Dato',

It's a question oft-queried in the net universe of late, and since it's a relative issue, also dependent upon which side one is on, I would just brush questions like these aside as being nothing more than threads in a never-ending quagmire of conflicts. In fact I had said something in this article here about an issue being propped up and defended not on the basis of its own truth and sanctity, but based on WHO brings it up in the first place. So an issue may be absolutely reprehensible, but since it's been brought about by one's own political friend, and opposed by one's own political enemy, suddenly the reprehensibility disappears.

And suddenly, Tuan general, sodomy seems acceptable, sex videos involving politicians (which, had it been in any other country especially America been catalysts for political deaths) seem tameably allowable and praising communists and sneering national martyrs seem to be the politically correct thing to do. Namewee's desecration of everything we find as a nation find honourable is no more an act of political vandalism. And all this come about because, as I pointed out, a case of The Enemy of my Enemy being my Friend and whatever my friend says is, after all, correct. Now my Annoying Poet cousin Leman here, further says that this is all the case of gaining an applause or two at the expense of your own sanctity but you understand very well that me and my cousin never meet eye to eye on any issues at all.

But this issue of the death of a local reporter brought up by you, Dato', should jolt all of us Malaysians into attention simply because it is highlighted by none other than our old retired, loyal General himself who undoubtedly had utilised his entire life fighting those very types of people and types of ideologies amongst which had resulted in the killing of the reporter in the first place. For who dare say anything as regards to what is loyalty and what is not, what is patriotism and what is not, other than those amongst our retired armed forces personel, whether they be ranked or not? Truly again, I would not now bother to even comment on your cajolers who egg you on, inveigle you through, to keep on "not mincing your words" to criticise the powers that be, or to the powers that sent the reporter in the first place, for let's still have the applauds on for entertainment values.

But then, the question is still to be answered. Was the reporter onto a heroic deed when was shot? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But he certainly was on a different mission than, say, peacekeeping forces that we often hear about and for which I am sure Tuan General himself in his heydays had experienced such missions: be it Korea, Congo, etc etc.

But Noramfaizal wasn't on such a mission. He didn't carry arms. He carried a laptop and a camera, and a few bundles of foodstuff for a people whose entire month's supply of food would be less than an officer's breakfast in Sungai Besi's camp mess. Who would spend days and weeks on end not even seeing a loaf of bread, whose taste buds had become atrophied due to the dearth of taste on anything culinary. He armed himself with a camera to try to coax the world into having a little bit of compassion and compunction towards his fellow human beings, irrespective of where they are.

TheCorruptiouslyObnoxiousSumanSumbing said...

Who's a hero, and who's not? Part II

Is Noramfaizal a hero? Not in the same measure of peace-keeping forces to which our Tuan General had involved himself before. Are their actions one of Stupidity? One would conclude so, going by Tuan General's writings here. Fools, wasn't it? Wasn't that the word used?

But truth is, we will never know for sure whether he was or wasn't a hero. Stupid or Rash. Martyr or Sartyr. Should then a stray bullet, a leaping ricochet be the one to define what a person is and what he is not? What if he were to live till now, would he be stupid still? And with the kind of information and Samaritan deeds the groups performed, would they be fools still? In fact, had our dear General been killed in any peacekeeping missions that he had undergone, I am sure that martyrdom and heroism would be the least thing conferred to Dato', not withstanding the fact that we all would be most disadvantaged by our Dato's writings, or the absence thereof.

But you know I think the real hero is? It's the wife!

Now as was demonstrated umpteen times before, whenever things like these happen, people in the legal profession in Malaysia would swarm in like vultures trying to "work for" the bereaved spouse into suing the bedevil out of the perceived "guilty" party (i.e. the "Fools" as pointed out by Dato'). But now with an additional factor of Enemy-of-my-Enemy politics the legal struggle suddenly takes on a newer, fresher vigor. Suddenly it's not about money anymore. It's about "Truth, Dignity, Justice" etc ec... the usual. It 's about, in actuality, a clear, unobstructable chance at getting at ... the Government, the Object of Hatred! The TBH case had it's share with the entire Legal Machinery and Bar Council scavenging in for the kill (disguised, of course, as "Justice for TBH" slogans). The "Murtad" case was a breeding ground for the legal vermints, especially the non-muslim ones, to advocate. No sooner had news of the 12 church-fed, church-sponsored ibu tunggals been called by JAWI for interview and questionings, than a host of these magpies arrive to offer their legal services for these poor souls. All for free, of course!

But not so with Noramfaizal's wife. The earth on the husband's grave was still quite wet when some of these legal vermins came over to offer their "services" to ...err... sue the Bejesus out of the Government---the "Fools" as Dato' aptly put it---all on behalf of the grieving widow, you understand :-) But the honorable widow is not one who got lost in the forest because of the trees. She sees the late husband's efforts and sacrifices on a more wholesome ground. Nobility was not to be measured by a few pieces of silver. So she turns them down, thereby forever closing that part of the window, that chance, for the legal-eagles-cum-closet-DAPs to get at anything governmental as far as capitalizing on deaths and accidents are concerned.

But seriously, our Dato' General is the one more in the know about all this hero issue. I would not hesitate for one minute to rush back to him to determine whether Mat Sabu was right in labeling the Bukit Kepong attackers as heroes while the policemen who defended the premises then were, after all, Mati Katak. I am sure Tuan General himself have a slew of compatriots who got slain while fighting against these "heroes" in the jungles in the 60's and 70's. And those policemen, and breeds like them, who safeguard our properties, who were the first people we'd call should we be threatened by a robber or two, should our daughters go missing, should our cars get stolen---to think and call THESE people as penderhaka and REAL ENEMIES, irrespective of whether they lose their lives in doing so, I would just leave it to our magnanimous General to clarify once and for all. And I would listen to him.

Suman Sumbing.

sang kancil said...

Unfortunately for the rakyat, these dUMNO LIARS THIEVES and SCUMBAGS do not value the lives of the RAKYAT. We are being used abused and discarded.

mask topeng said...

Woiiii Suman Sumbing, what the rubbish are you talking... tak pergi sekolah kah???

azmi said...

Dear Dato',
Dalam masa berita tberlaku tembakan terhadap media kita di Somalia belum dapat disahkan oleh kebanyakan media,berita awal sudah keluar di internet.Tiba2 bila ianya sudah disahkan tidak sampai sejam kemudiannya dgn nama2 mangsa, Shahrizat sudah jump the gun dgn memaklumkan esoknya bahawa anak2 aruah akan dijaga.Kalau saya tak silap, the Somalia trip is a Bakti and 1Putra one, tapi kenapa Rosmah tak awal2 membuat kenyataan tetapi sibok buat raya greetings dlm tv yg tak pernah dibuat oleh mana2 isteri PM sebelum ini.Azeez as expected is very defensive di Subang airport sebab tengah cuba cari idea menyusun kata2 sesuai kpd pihak media dgn bantuan penasihat2 dia di KL.Alasan that the goods delivered tak sampai kpd kumpulan sasar bukan hak Bakti dan 1Putra to meddle but the rights of the government of Somalia dan kalau rebels menghalang penghantaran, so be it.Azeez bukannya ada kuasa apa2 di Somalia utk pastikan semua bahan bantuan sampai kpd tiap ceruk di sana.Tak perlu juga nak bawa balik anak2 dari Somalia tinggal di Malaysia as itu sudah lari dari agenda asal dan membebankan pembayar cukai di Malaysia.Azeez, the 15 humanitarium trips you made before does not make you into a better human but made you more arrogance.Siapa lagi mangsa selepas ini?

9w2msg said...

Well said, Sir..

bob villa said...

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komando said...

AQzzez wants to be the 2nd MAMAK to become PM lah ...please do not disturb his AGENDA!