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Monday, August 31, 2009

Satu Bodevac Menjadi Dua Bodevac

Coretan dari seorang xnurilot se-era dengan saya - Lt Zainal Piee TUDM....'as is where is'.

Sebelum saya cerita, nak beritahu apa bodevac tu. Bodevac (body evacuation) adalah tugas mengeluarkan mayat anggota tentera atau musoh yang terbunuh dari hutan dengan menggunakan pesawat.Kali ini pesawat Nuri di gunakan.

Pada suatu hari tahun 1979, saya juruterbang Nuri telah di arahkan membuat tugas bodevac di kawsan hutan Ipoh.Lebeh kurang jam 2 petang saya bertolak dari TUDM Butterworth ke padang 2 brigade di Ipoh.Setelah mendarat, saya dapati ramai bapak-bapak,ibu-ibu dan anak-anak berhimpun di tepi padang tersebut.Mereka kelihatan sedih dan ada yang menagis.

Saya terus pergi ke bilek gerakan untuk mendapatkan taklimat operasi tentang apa yang harus saya lakukan nanti.Semasa taklimat saya di beritahu yang sekarang ini operasi mengejar (hot pursuit) Pengganas Kominis (PK) sedang berjalan di satu kawasan tidak jauh dari brigade ini.Maklumat terkini seorang anggota tentera telah terbunuh dan saya di tugaskan mengambil nya bila operasi selesai.

Barulah saya tahu mereka yang menangis tadi mungkin sedang menantikan berita siapa kah anggota tentera yang terbunuh tu..Saya di fahamkan nama anggota yang terbunuh akan di beritahu setelah operasi selesai.

Sementara mununggu, saya berehat di dalam pesawt Nuri..Saya tak sampai hati nak berjumpa ibu-ibu dan anak-anak yang dalam ksedihan di tepi padang tersebut.

. Beberapa ketika kemudian, saya perhatikan lebeh ramai lagi orang datang berhimpun di tepi padang tu.Baik bapak-bapak,ibu-ibu dan anak-anak semuanya kelihatan cemas dan sedih.Saya pun ikut rasa sedih. Tidak berapa lama kemudian, Pegawai Bertugas datang menemui saya dan menyatakan satu lagi anggota tentera dah terkorban akibat di tembak PK.Berita itu tersebar kepada orang-orang yang berhimpun itu.Sunggoh sedih dan pilu hati saya melihat ramai yang menangis terutamanya anak-anak.

Sedang saya berbaring dalam pesawat, Pegawai Bertugas datang lagi dan memberitahu saya bahawa operasi dah selesai dan sah dua anggota tentera telah terkorban.Kelihatan di tepi padang tangisan ibu-ibu dan anakanak bertambah kuat lagi.Saya juga lihat ada ibu-ibu yang terpaksa di papah menaiki kereta dan beredar.Tentu lah mereka dah di beritahu suami siapa kah yang dah terkorban tadi.

Saya pun bersiap lah untuk menghidupkan injin pesawat Nuri.Ketika baru nak menghidupkan injin pesawat, saya terdengar suara azan dengan nyaring nya.Saya terdiam seketika dan tiba2 hati saya rasa sebak dan sedih teramat sangat.Dalam fikiran saya siapa lah yang telah menjadi balu dan anak siapa pulak yang dah jadi anak yatim.Ya Tuhan ku berikan lah mereka yang kehilangan suami/bapa kekuatan dan kesenangan untuk terus hidup.

Selepas azan, saya pun terbang ke kawasan yang bertanda dengan belon berwarna (Marker balloon) untuk mengambil kedua dua anggota yang terkorban tu.Kaedah ‘winching’ di gunakan untuk mengambil kedua-dua mayat tersebut Di dalam pesawat saya lihat kedua- dua badan mayat tu terdapat banyak lubang-lubang kecil di sebbabkan peluru musoh.Mereka masih muda dalam lingkungan umor tiga pulhan.Tiba di padang 4 bigade dua buah ambulan sedang menunggu dan tiada lagi kelihatan ibu-ibu dan anak-anak di tepi padang tu.

Selepas tu saya pun terbang pulang ke TUDM Butterworth dan tiba waktu nya hampir maghrib.Setelah mematikan injin dan sebelum meninggalkan pesawat, saya biasa nya akan berkata bersendirian.’Selamat beristirehat wahai Nuri,esok kita akan bertugas besama sama lagi’. Saya pun terus pulang ke Mes Pegawai (masa tu bujang terang tang tang lagi) dengan rasa teramat sedih dan pilu mengenangkan kedua dua pahlawan yang telah gugor demi keamanan negara kita.

MERDEKA! MERDEKA! MERDEKA!

Cerita dari

LT Zainal Piee TUDM

Bertahan Sehari Sahaja.......

'Tuan......dari pejabat PTU, tuan dikehendaki mengikuti kursus komando pada ...........1983 (dah lupa tarikhnya)'. Itu adalah panggilan talipon dari Bilik Operasi (BO) TUDM Labuan.

Kursus asas komando.....saya? Betul ke ni? Apa 'dosa' yang telah saya lakukan sehingga menerima 'penghormatan' dari PTU sendiri mengarahkan saya mengikuti kursus tersebut?

Kebiasaannya, DTU (Departmen Tentera Udara) akan menghantar mesej memaklum seseorang anggota TUDM yang beliau dipilih untuk menghadiri sesuatu kursus. Ini tidak.....pejabat PTU sendiri telah menghubungi BO untuk memaklumkan kepada saya! Apa-apa komunikasi dengan BO mesti dicatat dalam Buku Log.

Umur dah 34 tahun......diarah ke Sg Udang untuk mengikuti kursus 3 bulan Asas Komando! Saya telah merayu kepada Pangwilud 2 (Panglima Wilayah Udara 2) semasa lawatan beliau ke Labuan agar saya dikecualikan dari mengikuti kursus tersebut. 'Saya tak boleh buat apa-apa', katanya, 'Itu arahan dari PTU sendiri'. Apa hendak dikatakan......dengan berat hati, tempah 'seat' dengan penerbangan berjadual  C130 Hercules ke Kuala Lumpur.

Saya ada meluahkan perasaan ini kepada seorang kawan dan menceritakan penerbangan saya dengan PTU. Pada 28 Februari, 1983, saya menjemput PTU di Brunei untuk ke Labuan. Beliau sendiri menerbangkan nuri bersama saya. Setiba di Pengkalan Labuan, beliau bertanya 'How's my flying?'. Jawapan saya....'Dengan ASE (automatic stabilization equipment) on, apa masalahnya. Cuba ASE off?'. Terdiam PTU! .......'Padan muka kau. Celupar sangat mulut tu. Puji le sikit...dia tu PTU'...ketawa kawan saya. Mungkin penyebab tak rasmi!

Saya bukan keseorangan... 3 Lt Kol TUDM turut hadir. Mereka ialah Pegawai Memerintah (PM) TUDM Kluang, Penasihat Tentera (PT) kepada PTU, dan Pegawai Turus 1 (PT1) DTU. Kesemua kami adalah mantan pegawai TDM. Dari mereka, saya diberitahu bahawa PTU bercadang kami ditukar ke HANDAU (pasukan khas TUDM) apabila tamat kursus nanti . Jawapan rasmi.

Setibanya di kem komando, kami di tempatkan di Mes Pegawai.  Keesokan hari, kami dibawa ke  'Point Batutu' - dalam kompleks Kem Sg Udang. Bukannya ada berek - kawasan lapang dikelilingi pokok-pokok dan anak sungai. Memang bersih. Biasalah, taklimat mengenai peraturan, apa yang boleh/tidak boleh dibuat, kemudahan-kemudahan, pembahagian 'buddy'. Buddy saya ialah seorang prebet dari RAMD. Ini bermakna kami akan bantu-membantu menyediakan khemah dengan 'ponco' untuk tidur. Bangun tidur, masukkan ponco dalam haversack. Bersihkan kawasan khemah.

Selepas taklimat saja, segala 'rambut'  di badan dicukur - bulu roma tidaklah. Seterusnya arahan untuk membersih senjata M16. Saya tidak begitu mahir membuka/memasang M16. Semasa di MTD, kami mengguna SLR. Dalam TUDM pula, bukannya ada M16 persendirian untuk dibersihkan. Mujurlah ada buddy....beliau mengajar  saya. Kemudahan? Satu kolah air untuk lebih kurang 100 orang. Buang air besar? Papan-papan diletak merentasi anak sungai.....macam manalah sungai tak tercemar!  Terus terbantut.....seumur hidup saya tak pernah b#%^k  dalam 'single file'. Segala peralatan yang bersinar hendaklah dibalut dengan plaster hitam.

Tiba masa makan. Berlarilah beberapa pelatih kerumah masak untuk membawa makanan. Kami dikecualikan dari tugas ini. Dari pemerhatian saya,  dalam kem komando tidak boleh berjalan....jalan macam itek pulang petang apa tah lagi....lari...lari...! Sebelum makan, pemeriksaan kuku - mesti bersih. Nak makan pula, mesti ambil secukup mana yang anda boleh makan - tidak lebih tidak kurang. Kalau terlebih ambil, paksalah diri menghabiskannya; kalau kurang, kelaparanlah anda.

Apakah rasional arahan sebegini? Kebersihan tempat khemah dan tiada lebihan makanan - untuk tidak memberi gambaran kepada musuh yang anda telah berada disitu. Cukur segala rambut - untuk mengelak dari jangkitan penyakit. Ingat, komando beroperasi dengan anggota yang minima. Sekiranya anda berpenyakit, ini akan menjejaskan operasi. Cuci senjata - matilah kalau senjata 'jam' semasa berhadapan dengan pengganas komunis! Menggelapkan sinaran peralatan bagi mengelakkan PK mengesan kedudukan anda. Kemudahan b#%^k - tak tahu. Mungkin  t^*i akan mengalir dibawa arus sungai..he...he.

Keesokan harinya...Pembukaan rasmi oleh Ketua Jurulatih (KJ). Kami, lebih kurang 100 orang dengan kelengkapan penuh - haversack, M16 - berhimpun di padang kawad. Rumusan apa yang diperkatakannya ialah lebihkurang '...anda dijemput tidak, dihalau tidak'! Habis sahaja, kami dibawa dengan trak-trak ke tepi pantai, mungkin 10 km dari kem. Berlari balek ke kem....! Sungguh seksa. Disini lagi saya melihat apa maknanya 'setiakawan'. Mereka membantu saya - ada yang mengambil M16, ada yang menggalas haversack. Sampai di kem, cuci senjata.

Sebelum makan tengah hari, dikehendaki panjat tali yang tergantung di pokok. Dari kami berempat, hanya saya tidak boleh panjat sehingga mencecah dahan. Tak sangka saya sungguh 'unfit' .....Sebagai denda, makan nasi dengan kuah tanpa lauk dan sayor sehingga saya boleh cecah dahan! Kawan-kawan dilarang memberi lauk/sayor mereka kepada saya.

Engkaulah apa kau fikirkan
Terkandung dalam pemikiran
Kau fikir boleh melakukan
Fikirkan boleh

Kerana lapar dan 'fikirkan boleh', saya akhir BERJAYA mencecah dahan. Makan malam berlauk.....wow!

Malam.......main bola di padang kawad - dalam gelap! Kami bernasib baik...kami ditugas untuk mengawal kem. Jurulatih kesihan melihat kami. Saya terlampau letih....buddy saya menolong memasang khemah. Solat qada zuhur, asar dan magrib pada tengah malam.

Tak malu saya katakan...... keesokan harinya saya mengangkat bendera putih dan memberitahu jurulatih yang saya mahu di RTU - return to unit! Bertahan 1 hari sahaja......! PT dan PT1 pula menerima 'arahan'  balik atas alasan peribadi untuk beberapa hari. Tinggallah PM keseorangan untuk mempertahankan maruah TUDM. Terus saya menempah seat terbang balik ke Labuan. Malam itu menginap  di Mes Pegawai TUDM Kuala Lumpur. Kebetulan ada tayangan filem 'Tarzan'  yang dibintangi Bo Derek. Tengah seronok menonton Bo Derek, PT menalipon memberitahu bahawa PTU mengarahkan kami semua kembali ke Sg Udang. Beliau akan mengambil saya di Mes keesokan hari. Terduduk dibuatnya......Tarzan kemana.....Bo Derek hentah kemana...!

Ketawa besar PM melihat kami semula. Walaubagaimana pun, Komandan Pusat Latihan Komando, Kol Hasbullah (arwah terkorban berpangkat Brig Jen dalam nahas nuri dalam sungai di Sarawak) mengarahkan kami RTU selepas seminggu di sana. Arwah memberitahu kami yang PTU mahu beliau membenarkan kami terus mengikuti kursus sehingga tamat, walaupun kami tidak layak menerima Pisau dan Lanyard biru. Beliau bertegas dengan keputusannya menghantar kami RTU. Kami menjemput beliau makan tengah hari sebelum balik ke KL dengan teksi.

Diimbas kembali, dalam masa seminggu, banyak pengalaman yang tak dapat saya lupakan. Ada juga yang melucukan. Semasa latihan 'section battle drill', sebagai section commander - koperal - saya telah memberi arahan lebih kurang berikut '.....section, musuh jam tiga setengah....(kedudukan musuh di arah kanan -permukaan jam pukul 3). Jurulatih menjerit '.....hoi, mana ada jam 'tiga setengah'....ketawa besar yang lain-lain. Saya difahamkan, daripada 100 orang, yang berjaya sehingga tamat kursus hanyalah lebih kurang 30 orang sahaja.

Kesan kepada saya sekembali ke Labuan? Kesian anak
 buah saya. Hari Sabtu sahaja......Ketua Skn sendiri
mengetuai anggota skn berlari 5 km dan selepas itu panjat tali.

Pembaca, saya tabik warga RGK - komando. Kekuatan physical dan mental mereka sungguh mengagumkan saya. Ingat lagi anggota komando yang terkorban di Bt Jenalik, Perak? Semangat beliau sungguh kental. Bukan semua boleh menganggotai pasukan komando. Malang sekali, kepewiraan mereka tidak dipaparkan kepada orang awam. Sebaliknya, rakyat Malaysia memuja  keberanian hero-hero seperti Rambo.

Terpampang di Bilik Pengawal Kem Sg Udang - SIAPA RAGU-RAGU, PULANG.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wanted....Dead Or Alive



WANTED
DEAD OR ALIVE
REWARD RM3,000



The talk of the day now is non other than the magic ‘MERDEKA’ as 31 August is fast approaching. To see the Father of Malaysia shouting ‘MERDEKA! MERDEKA! MERDEKA!’ on tv is a nostalgic experience. Of course, this leads me to reminisce my small contribution in making this beloved country of mine free from communist threats.

Nuri pilots.....we should be honoured and flattered that the communist terrorists (CTs) had put a price on our heads during counter insurgency warfare (CIW) those days! Just like the cowboy films in the wild wild west then. The difference was that we, the heroes, were on the wanted list of the crooks, not the other way round. Why the CTs went all out to incapacitate the pilots, even willing to give monetary rewards? Simply because we were NURI pilots...!

To the CTs, the nuri helicopter was the CRITICAL CAPABILITY (CC). CC is defined as a characteristic or key element of a force that if destroyed, captured or neutralised will significantly undermined the fighting capability of the force (your guess is right....it’s too academic and of course, not mine, OK). That explains why the CTs were always trying very hard to shoot down the nuri during the CIW. The nuri was the life line to the Army. Without the nuri, their mobility while conducting operations in the jungle, would be greatly hampered, if not jeopardized. They depended on us, the nuri pilots, for their food, movement, casualty and medical evacuation, etc, etc. Because of these critical roles of the nuri, these faithful workhorses of the RMAF became the No 1 target of the CTs. Of course, this threat put the lives of these daring young pilots in danger (masuk bakul angkat sendirilah....).

How did we know of the CTs' mission? Well, a friend of the same era e-mailed me reminding that the CTs distributed leaflets in Kroh offering RM3,000 rewards for a pilot's life. As for me, I still remember seeing a leaflet showing sketches of the CT aiming specifically at the pilot, not at the nuri itself, while approaching to land at the LP.

I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody or any organisation, but my perception was that 27 April, 1976 was the blackest day for the RMAF (I hope they share my sentiments). On that day the CTs were successful in bringing down one nuri. I mentioned this incident in my second blog – Pengalaman Ke 2. Now I’m able to furnish you with the complete list of those heroes. They were:

• Kapt (U) Choo YB - 7 Skn
• Kapt (U) Mustapa Kamal - 7 Skn
• Lt (U) Chang MT - 10 Skn
• Lt (U) Wan Munsiff - 10 Skn
• Sjn Leong (AQM) - 10 Skn
• Mej Haris Rejab - RAMD
• Kapt Sulaiman - RAMD
• Lt Ibrahim - RAMD
• Sjn Kamis - RAMD
• L/KPL Kamarulzaman - RGK*
• L/KPL Suandi - RGK*

I was then undergoing a nuri captaincy conversion course at No 10 Sqn; no operational flying for me. If my memory doesn't fail me, nuri support for the CIW operations were temporarily halted for a few days. Most of the nuri were deployed for the funeral arrangements.

For the benefit of the current nuri pilots, the feeling of being shot then was always in our heads. We were sort of waiting when our nuri would be shot whenever we carried out our duties in providing air support to the ground forces, especially at the Malaysian/Thai border. To know more, read my blogs under 'Unforgetable Flying Experiences'.

The nation recognised our sacrifices by conferring bravery awards, namely PGB, PTU and KPK. Yours truly was awarded PTU in 1979; few received posthumously, eg, PGB for the late Capt (U) Choo YB and PTU for the late Lt (U) Chung MT.

It’s a real pity that the recipients of PTU and KPK medals do not receive monthly allowance as their SP and PGB counterparts. The proposal by MINDEF in supporting that we, too be given allowance was rejected by the government recently (see my blog entitled ‘Pengiktirafan Negara....Nyawa Atau Nama’).

To the young Malaysians especially, I'm proud to say that our sacrifices, loyalty and dedication in defending this beloved country of ours contribute to the prosperity you are enjoying now.

Dedicated to my colleagues, the nuri pilots. Remember my friends...... we are a special breed of patriots. OUR PATRIOTISM IS BEYOND DOUBTS!

Note: * The two heroes were from RGK - not from RAMD as posted earlier. The mistake was brought to my attention by 'Abah' who was at the CTs' camp when the nuri was shot. Thank you Abah.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Golfers - The Eccentric

Golfers are really religious people, I mean Muslim golfers! 'Zikir' all the time...!Why? When his tee-off or his fairway shots goes haywire, the word that automatically comes out is ‘Allah’. Or when his putt misses the ‘par’ – Allah. Golfers, true or not? But, when his shot is good or the ball rolls into the hole during putting –‘wow’. He’s no longer pious! Golfers, don’t ever try to deny it, OK? He...he...

However, there is also a non-religious category. This group normally the rookies – new to the game. He will swear and curse from the start till the end (not me, of course). Why? The fairway is so beautiful and wide, yet his ball seems to fly either to the right or left but not centre! On a positive note, they swear at themselves. So unlike other games, eg, rugby, where they'll try to maim their opponents....jangan marah rugby players. Now, I don’t blame the youngsters who love swearing. They’re just following their elders – eldership by example.

Miss Par.....you’re one lucky girl. They’re thousand of golfers who really adore you. And, they’re not silent admirers at that; they make it known openly that they miss you. Don't believe me? They'll be shouting your name whenever they miss the par putt – miss par!

But Miss Par, don’t be over flattered that you’ve so many admirers. My sincere advice to you is that you better insist your potential golfer-suitor to go for a medical check first before the lifetime commitment. You see, most of the golfers are sick people. I'm serious, you know! Why not accompany him in his golf trip. Pay attention to what he utters when his ball misses the target '.....aduuuuh’! For no apparent reasons he fall sick. This is what I call ‘Sakit Tanpa Kesakitan’.

Whatever it is, Miss Par, I can understand why you can't avoid admiring him.Golfers think that they're the most perfect God-created creatures! They're too perfect to make mistakes. Bad swings, shots, putting or whatever - they never blame themselves. It's because of the clubs, wind, drizzle, even the contrails of the aircraft at 33,000 ft which distract them, etc, etc. Their favourite and the most over used word? 'IF/KALAU'. If only I use #7 iron, if only the wind stops blowing...if..if..if..!

Well, marriage is in the hands of Almighty Allah. You fall in love with a golfer and marry him. Both of you are blessed for being a very fertile couple, and within a span of 9 months you’ll be expecting your first baby boy (scanning confirm it’s a boy). No point arguing with him about naming the baby... ..he has the name already in mind for the Malaysian-Tiger Woods in-the-making – PARMAN.

Talking about hypocrisy....readers, you're yet to know how hypocrite the golfers are! You want to know what their answer when asked why they participate in golf tournaments, even in the club's monthly medal? 'Just for fun ....'. How can you play for fun when you've to pay to play with total strangers? To me, fun is when I play with my golf buddies where I really enjoy their company. And, when asked how's their game. The response..OK lah. Meaning...tough luck to you. The championship is mine.

Whatever it is, I've my wife to thank for encouraging me to take up golf since mid '90's. It keeps me occupied in my twilight years.

For potential golfers, don't think golf is an elite and expensive game. Expensive if you want it to be expensive. Initial costs may be on the high side,however, nowadays, you can get good used sets through e-bay. You can view my golf paraphernalia below.


Readers...please don't take literally my description of the Golfers. Basically, we are gentlemen...he...he. Golfers, jangan marah. Now is the season to 'forgive and forget'.

'SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI'            

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pergi Tanpa Penghormatan

Masihkah kau ingat....(Kopratasa)

• Kapt (U) Choo YB - 7 Skn
• Kapt (U) Mustapa Kamal - 7 Skn
• Lt (U) Chang MT - 10 Skn
• Lt (U) Wan Munsiff - 10 Skn
• Sjn Leong (AQM) - 10 Skn
• Mej Haris Rejab - RAMD
• Kapt Sulaiman - RAMD
• Lt Ibrahim - RAMD
• Sjn Kamis - RAMD
• L/KPL Kamarulzaman - RGK*
• L/KPL Suandi - RGK*


Pada 27 Apr 1976, pengganas komunis (PK) telah menembak jatuh sebuah helikopter NURI TUDM di Hutan Simpan Ulu Muda, Gubir, Kedah. Kesemua anggota tentera telah terkorban. Pada saya, lima anggota TUDM terbabit adalah wira TUDM; hanya mereka sahaja yang sebenar-benarnya terkorban ‘KIA – Killed In Action’. Ramai anggota TUDM terkorban kerana ‘nahas/kemalangan’ pesawat terbang, bukan KIA.

Di mana hendak mendapatkan maklumat ini? Tak lain tak bukan........”Tentera Darat 1933 – 2008”, BUKANNYA “RMAF - 50 Glorious Years Of Safeguarding The Nation” – buku yang ditulis sempena 50 tahun penubuhan TUDM! Terkejut? Ini adalah kenyataan. Saya difahamkan tiada sebaris ayat pun tercatat tentang pengorbanan mereka di dalam buku itu.........sungguh mengecewakan!!!! Tentera Darat, terima kasih kerana anda telah merekod peristiwa hitam tersebut. Tanpa catatan anda, berkuburlah kisah ini.

Jika 'terlupa' mencatatkan di dalam buku, apakah pula pengiktirafan TUDM kepada wira-wira yang terkorban ini? Adakah nama mereka diabadikan, sekurang-kurangnya di Pengkalan terakhir mereka bertugas? Sebagai contoh, adakah Jalan Kapt Mustapa Kamal, Jalan Choo YB atau Mes Sjn Leong? Diperhatikan terdapat nama jalan-jalan di Pengkalan tertentu mengabadikan mereka yang terkorban dalam kemalangan pesawat!

Kerajaan Malaysia telah menganugerah PGB untuk Kapt (U) Choo YB – warga TUDM kedua menerima pingat ini dan PTU kepada Lt Chung MT. Maaf, saya tidak pasti sama ada tiga yang lain menerima sebarang anugerah.

PTU?........Bukan Panglima Tentera Udara, tetapi Pingat Tentera Udara. Saya pasti ramai warga TUDM sendiri tidak mengetahui kewujudan pingat ini. Untuk makluman, Kerajaan telah mewujudkan 5 pingat keberanian, iaitu, Seri Pahlawan (SP), Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB), Jasa Perkasa Persekutuan (JPP), Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU), dan Kepujian Perutusan Keberanian (KPK).

Warga TUDM seharusnya berbangga kerana Kerajaan telah memberi satu penghormatan kepada mereka dengan mewartakan PTU semenjak 1968 lagi. Tiada PTD atau PTL – yang ada hanyalah Panglima Tentera Darat dan Panglima Tentera Laut! Perbetulkan saya....saya percaya sehingga kini penerima pingat ini mungkin tidak melebihi 30 orang. Dan saya adalah salah seorang daripada mereka dan berbangga dengan penganugerahan ini.

Secara jujur, adakah TUDM bangga dengan penghormatan ini? Siapakah penerimanya? Di mana nama mereka di catatkan? Masih hidup lagi ke? Sudah pasti, tiada satu baris pun didalam buku TUDM tersebut. Berbeza dengan TDM. Penerima-penerima SP dan PGB dibukukan.

Saya telah berjaya ‘menghidupkan’ semula cadangan KEMENTAH agar Kerajaan turut memberi elaun kepada penerima JPP, PTU dan KPK. Sepertimana kebanyakan anda sedia maklum, mulai Julai 2009, penerima-penerima SP menerima RM2,000 dan PGB RM1,500 sebulan. Cadangan tersebut telah dimajukan ke JPM tetapi sedih sekali......TIDAK BERJAYA! Lihat e-mel dari KSU kepada saya di bawah:

RE: Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU)
Dato' Hj Abu Bakar bin Abdullah
ViewThursday, August 20, 2009 12:31:38 PM
To:nor ibrahim sulaiman ;
Cc:Tan Sri Mohd Sidek b. Hassan ; Zureen bin Zubir

Assalamualaikum tuan,

Dengan hormatnya ingin saya memaklumkan bahawa cadangan untuk mewujudkan elaun kenangan dan bayaran bagi penerima posthumous untuk Pingat Jasa Perkasa Persekutuan (J.P.P), Pingat Tentera Udara (P.T.U) dan Kepujian Perutusan Persekutuan (K.P.K) tidak dapat dipertimbangkan. Ini adalah kerana nilai pengiktirafan yang diberikan oleh Kerajaan terhadap penerima Darjah Kebesaran atau Bintang/Pingat Persekutuan mempunyai nilai prestij dan martabatnya yang tersendiri.

Sekian, untuk makluman tuan.

Terima kasih.

ABU BAKAR HAJI ABDULLAH
Ketua Setiausaha
Kementerian Pertahanan


Apa yang hendak dikatakan - menyumbang pingat perak Olympic layak mendapat RM3,000 sebulan sehingga akhir hayat. Berkorban demi untuk mempertahankan kedaulantan negara (kecuali SP dan PGB) mendapat...........! Yang manakah kerajaan memberi pengiktirafan - NYAWA ATAU NAMA?

Saya berbangga sebagai seorang pesara TUDM. Status pesara melayakkan saya menegur sekiranya pada pandangan saya terdapat sebarang kepincangan dalam perlakuan TUDM.

TUDM, di mana silapnya? Mungkin DTU akan terus melobi.....! Fikir-fikirkanlah.

Nota: * - 18 Sep 2009. Pembetulan fakta olih 'Abah', anggota X Sqn, RGK. Beliau berada di kem PK dan terdengar tembakan PK terhadap pesawat nuri tersebut. Abah, terima kasih.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bad Weather Challenge........

Talking about flying in bad weather......scary! But first, let's see what the Nuri SOP has to say on 'minimal weather condition':

- Forward visibility of 1 nm
- Cloud base of not less than 300 ft above tree top level
- Insight of land or water

Preamble first. For the benefit of those pilots who are unaware of their squadrons' background, here is a short account of history. Before the establishment of the current 'composite' squadrons, No 3 Sqn and No 5 Sqn were solely Allouette 3 helicopter squadrons. Whereas, No 7 Sqn and No 10 Sqn were Nuri S61A-4 helicopter squadrons. I think it was some time in the later part of 1976 or early 1977 when the current composite squadrons were established. Aircrew and aircraft were then reshuffled; I was posted to No 3 Sqn from No 10 Sqn .

During the precomposite squadrons, No 10 Sqn covered the whole of Peninsular and No 7Sqn covered Sarawak and Sabah. No 10 Sqn occasionally had one nuri on a weekly detachment at RMAF Butterworth - depending on the operational requirements. Since my wife was not staying with me then, I volunteered to go for the detachment most of the time. That was how I could accumulate so many hours.

Why the above preamble? The reasons are simple, firstly, to enlighten the readers on why nuri pilots fly low level most of the time whenever they see clouds in front of them. We, the nuri pilots, were/are IFR pilots - I Follow Road/River. And secondly, you will understand why we had to fly all over Peninsular Malaysia.

The adventures I'm about to tell took place during my tour at No 10 Sqn before the establishment of the composite squadrons.

Episode 1 - 22 September, 1974

The Ops Ukor task at the Perlis/Thai border was completed. You know, the CTs didn't restrict killing members of security forces only....they even killed those surveyors too! My captain who was also the Flight Commander (FC) wanted to fly back to Kuantan after a 3-day night stop at Butterworth Base. We were at Bt Keteri, Perlis then. It was a bit late and as a co-pilot, I told him that we would cross Brinchang at about 1930 hr. Well, he insisted to fly back. Co-pilot and the AQM had no say....yes sir.

From Ipoh, we could see the silhouette of Brinchang and flew over it at the estimated time and maintained 6,000 ft. The night was getting pitch black. Then, suddenly I realised we were flying in the clouds and heavy rain. The captain was concentrating on flying the nuri. Being an experienced captain, he didn't descend and at that height, we were clear of all the highest peaks along the route. There was a total silence except for my 'Ops Normal' call to Kuantan Base. After about 40 minutes, we saw the lighted runway and he ordered for 'landing check'. I called Kuantan Tower for landing instructions. We were on the final for landing when we realised that the 'runway' was the lighted road of Gambang. He executed an overshoot and climbed to 3,000 ft and requested radar vector.

We landed safely at about 2040 hr and it was still raining. There was a reception party waiting for us. Guess who? ...The Boss himself - OC Sqn. He directed the AQM and I to go home and the FC to see him in his office, now....!

Episode 2 - 14 July, 1976

Today was my first long flight as a 'D' 'cat' captain (something like 'P' driving licence) - no passengers except maintenance crew or as authorised. I got my cat on 8 July, 1976. The flight was a recovery sortie to Ipoh to recover an unserviceable nuri there. Departed Kuantan at about 1530 hr and should cross Brinchang at about 1630 hr. I saw thick clouds covering Brinchang.

In compliance with the SOP, automatically I started to descend to maintain visibility of the ground when I heard the AQM shouted to execute a spiral climb. I was actually disoriented and I saw the ground rushing towards me......! Immediately I executed a spiral climb to 6,000 ft and still in the clouds. Told the co-pilot to tune Ipoh radio and to request for 8,000 ft. Still in the clouds and Ipoh Tower kept on asking ETA Ipoh since the given ETA had lapsed. At 8,000 ft, I took a westerly heading and I knew I would be clear of the highest peak. After about 10 min at 8,000 ft ....those limestone hills of Ipoh were ...a beauty to behold!

I had to night stop in Ipoh and parked the nuri at the Ranger Camp, Jalan Tambun.

Episode 3 - 15 December, 1976

I got my 'C' cat captaincy on 10 December, 1976. Now, I'm a full fledged captain of the nuri....wow! My first operational task - Gading 252. A 3-day tasking of troops/freight lifts for 8 Bde; night stop at Pengkalan Chepa. The pick-up point was Batu Melintang (BM), Kelantan.

Today was the second day. The first few sorties to the LPs were uneventful. Then there was a resupply to one LP somewhere near Dabong. The weather was okay then. Once took off from BM, I saw thick clouds on my route. As you can expect, I descended into a valley with River Pergau flowing to Dabong - IFR (I follow river). The trouble was....I was caught in the rain and the visibility was extremely bad.

Oh...oh...not again! No way of turning back in that narrow valley or to execute a spiral climb due to poor visibility! My choice? Reduced speed to almost taxiing speed and directed the co-pilot to look for obstructions on the port side, I on the starboard and the AQM to look infront and monitor the 'Ts & Ps'. I was flying in that condition for about 10 minutes when I saw Dabong. For once in my flying career, the AQM suggested to me to stop at Dabong for a coffee break, which I obliged. Of course, I didn't ask why. After a cup of coffee at the stall, up..up and away...The task was completed successfully.

Dedicated to the late F/SGT HUA TEE BOON.

Readers, the current nuri pilots are highly trained when they pass out from Air Force College. They fly in IFR categorized trainers and flying in clouds is no big deal. But once they are converted to nuri flying....they become cloud phobia. The main culprit is .......the SOP itself. I Follow Road/River flying is embedded in their minds!

RMAF, food for thought. Don't you think it's high time to review the SOP?

Nuri...Oh Nuri....!


Gurindam oleh seorang kawan, ex-nuri pilot juga - tanpa edit. Sampai hati beliau mengkhianati 'The Faithful' nuri - the workhorse of the RMAF those days....! Jangan marah, my friend...he....he.

Nuri....oh nuri....
Walaupun tua masih lagi berkerja
Pilot lama dah bersara
Kini kau dipandu pilot muda
Badan mu sekarang terlalu tua
Terketar-ketar di angkasa raya
Pabila tempoh bad weather
Kau terbang tak tentu hala
Silap langkah pilot muda kau bawa bersama
Nuri....oh nuri....
Walaupun tua tetap berjasa

Pengiktirafan Negara.....Nyawa Atau Nama?

20 Ogos, 2009 - tarikh yang sungguh mengecewakan bagi saya......!

Saya sungguh berbangga kerana kerajaan Malaysia mengiktiraf peranan wira-wira negara dengan menaikkan kadar elaun bulanan untuk penerima-penerima Seri Pahlawan (SP) dan Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB). Mulai Julai, mereka menerima elaun bulanan berjumlah RM2,000 untuk SP dan RM1,500 untuk PGB. Pengumuman ini telah dibuat oleh Perdana Menteri sempena Hari Pahlawan pada 31 Julai, 2009.

Untuk makluman pembaca semua, kerajaan Malaysia telah mewujudkan 5 pingat keberanian, iaitu SP, PGB, Pingat Jasa Perkasa Persekutuan (JPP), Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU) dan Kepujian Perutusan Persekutuan (KPK).

Saya bukannya penerima SP atau PGB, sebaliknya penerima PTU. Penerima-penerima JPP, PTU dan KPK tidak mendapat sebarang imbuhan. Saya difahamkan KEMENTAH telah membuat cadangan agar semua penerima pingat keberanian turut diberi elaun yang setimpal. Dengan maklumat ini, saya telah menghantar emel kepada pihak berkenaan agar cadangan ini dipertimbangkan.

Untuk memendekkan cerita, emel saya ke KSN telah mendapat reaksi yang positif dari pihak berwajib. Silalah baca sebahagian daripada emel-emel diantara saya dengan Menteri Pertahanan, KSN dan KSU..

Bermulanya liku-liku.....

Emel saya kepada KSN setelah kecewa 2 emel kepada Menteri tiada mendapat sebarang respons......

From:nor ibrahim sulaiman nibsny@yahoo.com
Add Thursday, June 11, 2009 10:26:27 PM
To:sidek ksn sidek@pmo.gov.my

Assalamualaikum,

Pertama sekali, tahniah kerana perkhidmatan Tan Sri telah disambung setahun lagi.

Saya telah menghantar 2 email kepada Menteri Pertahanan berkenaan perkara tajuk. Yang pertama dihantar pada 3 Jun tetapi sedih sekali tidak mendapat sebarang respons dari pihak beliau. Hari ini, 11 Jun, sekali lagi saya mengemailnya melalui 'sekretariat' beliau. Sebelum ini saya turut menghantar email ke 1Malaysia; juga tiada respons.

Saya mengharapkan, melalui jasabaik Tan Sri, agar cadangan ini mendapat respons positif dari pihak kerajaan. Terima kasih.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: nor ibrahim sulaiman nibsny@yahoo.com
To: Dato' Zahid Hamidi ro.ppm@mod.gov.my
Cc: Mininter of Def sekretariat_dzh@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2009 6:28:21 PM
Subject: Fw: Elaun Untuk Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU)


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: nor ibrahim sulaiman nibsny@yahoo.com To: sekretariat_dzh@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2009 4:59:09 PM
Subject: Fw: Elaun Untuk Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU)

Alamat ro.ppm@mod.gov.my ini telah diberi oleh staf pejabat YB Dato'. Olehkerana tiada sebarang maklumbalas, saya telah diberi alamat baru oleh Setiausaha Akhbar. Diharap selepas ini saya akan menerima respons dari Dato'.

Saya membuat sedikit pindaan kepada teks asal.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: nor ibrahim sulaiman nibsny@yahoo.comTo: ro.ppm@mod.gov.my
Sent: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 7:15:13 PM
Subject: Elaun Untuk Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU)

Asssalamualaikum YB Dato',

Terima kasih. Itu saja yang boleh saya ucapkan apabila diberitahu yang Dato' akan mengumumkan kadar baru untuk penerima Sri Pahlawan (SP) dan Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB). Ini menunjukkan kerajaan mengiktiraf pengorbanan wira-wira ATM menentang pengganas komunis (PK). Saya bukanlah seorang penerima salahsatu anugerah tersebut.

Sepertimana yang Dato' sedia maklum, 100% penerima SP dan 99% PGB adalah dari pasukan Tentera Darat Malaysia (TDM). Seingat saya, hanya seorang pilot helikopter nuri TUDM (masih hidup) dianugerah PGB. Kemungkinan statistik saya kurang tepat tetapi pokoknya, SP dan PGB lebih memihak kepada TDM. Ini kerana sudah menjadi tugas utama mereka untuk memburu dan menghapus PK. Pertembungan mungkin juga disebabkan pasukan TDM diseranghendap.

Sebagai seorang mantan pilot nuri, saya turut terlibat secara langsung dalam operasi-operasi yang dilancarkan oleh ATM menentang PK. Semasa kemuncak 'Operasi Selamat Sawadee' helikopter nuri menjadi sasaran utama PK; 'we were the hunted, not the hunters'. Objektif mereka ialah untuk menembak pilot terutama semasa fasa 'approach, hovering' dan berada di LP (landing pad). PK menyedari kami adalah 'shooting duck' dan tidak berupaya melawan balik.

Sebelum ini, mereka hanya menjadikan nuri sebagai sasaran tidak mengambilkira fasa-fasa penerbangan. Dalam satu insiden, semasa dalam fasa penerbangan, lebih dari 40 tembakan telah mengena tangki minyak tetapi nuri tersebut telah selamat mendarat di Gubir. Dari banyak insiden tembakan terhadap nuri, hanya sebuah nuri sahaja telah berjaya dijatuhkan. Mungkin Dato' masih ingat sebuah nuri telah jatuh ditembak oleh PK di kawasan operasi Gubir semasa dalam penerbangan ke Gubir dari LP. Semua krew dan penumpang terkorban. Krew tersebut adalah rakan kenalan saya!

Olehkerana keadaan terlalu mengancam, arahan telah diberi supaya nuri di 'escort' dengan dua buah Alouette Gunship (GS) dikawasan operasi tertentu, dan sebuah GS di kawasan lain. Sebelum memasuki kawasan-kawasan tersebut, GS, dan adakalanya pesawat Tebuan/F5E, dikehendaki 'straff' kawasan tersebut dengan canon/roket. Namun demikian, kami mengguna budibicara membuat penerbangan tanpa sebarang escort sekiranya keperluan melibatkan hidupmati anggota keselamatan, seperti 'casevac' dan 'resupply', tidak kira siang atau malam.

Sebagai langkah keselamatan, semua pilot nuri diarah memakai vest kalis peluru dan membawa M16 dan pistol sebagai perlindungan sekiranya berlaku kemalangan di hutan belantara. Selain itu, seorang anggota komando ditempatkan disetiap nuri untuk membalas tembak sekiranya nuri ditembak. Pesawat pula dilengkapi dengan 'seat', lantai dan 'glass' di bahagian kaki pilot dengan bahan kalis peluru.

Rakan saya telah ditembak oleh PK dalam 2 insiden berasingan, dimana 2 anggota komando yang bertugas dalam nuri beliau, telah terkorban apabila mereka terkena tembakan tersebut semasa approach ke LP.

Saya sendiri pernah ditembak dengan 'grenade launcher' semasa berada di LP di kawasan Klian Intan, Perak. Tindakan saya telah menyelamatkan krew, penumpang dan juga pesawat itu sendiri. Insiden kedua semasa membuat 'troop lift'. Nuri saya telah ditembak dengan 'small arms' dan Kuatermaster Udara (KU) telah terkena tembakan tersebut. Beliau hanya cedera dibahagian kaki.

Saya telah dianugerah PTU pada tahun 1979. Umum mengetahui, penganugerahan ini tiada membawa sebarang imbuhan. Ianya hanya satu kenangan lama sahaja semasa berjumpa rakan seperjuangan.

Disini, saya memohon jasabaik Dato' mempertimbangkan agar penerima PTU turut diberi elaun yang setimpal. Saya tidak pasti samaada satu kertaskerja telah dibentang oleh pihak berkenaan. Sekiranya memang ada perbincangan, saya berharap dengan adanya campurtangan Dato', elaun ini diluluskan. Sungguh gembira sekiranya elaun ini termasuk dalam pengumuman Dato' nanti. Pada ingatan saya, penerima PTU tidak melebehi 30 anggota dan boleh dikatakan 90% telah lama bersara. Saya sendiri adalah pesara sepenuh masa.

Akhirkata, saya berdoa agar permohonan ini mendapat tindakan positif dan mengembirakan kami semua. Terima kasih.

MEJ (B) NOR IBRAHIM BIN SULAIMAN
(410316)

Respons dari Pejabat KSN yang memajukan emel dari KSU KEMENTAH......sungguh memberangsangkan......

RE: Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU)
Zureen bin Zubir zureen@pmo.gov.my
viewFriday, June 26, 2009 6:40:29 PM
To:Dato' Hj Abu Bakar bin Abdullah abubakar@mod.gov.my nibsny@yahoo.com

Y.Bhg. Dato’,

Terima kasih jua dan saya salinkan juga maklumat awal ini kepada Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Sulaiman untuk makluman beliau.

ZUREEN BIN ZUBIR
26 June 2009

Mulalah berangan dengan tambahan pencen RM1,500……wow!

From: Dato' Hj Abu Bakar bin Abdullah [mailto:abubakar@mod.gov.my]
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2009 6:16 PM
To: Zureen bin Zubir
Subject: Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU)

Assalamualaikum tuan,

Dengan hormatnya saya merujuk kepada percakapan talipon pada 25 Jun 2009 mengenai perkara di atas.

2. Adalah dimaklumkan bahawa Markas Angkatan Tentera Malaysia baru sahaja selesai melaksanakan kajian keatas status PTU dan telah mengemukakan kepada Bahagian Pengurusan Sumber Manusia KEMENTAH pada hari ini 26 Jun 2009 mencadangkan supaya penerima PTU dibayar elaun bulanan sebanyak RM1,500 sebulan sepertimana penerima Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB).

3. Saya akan mempastikan Bahagian berkenaan mengemukakan cadangan tersebut kepada JPM dengan kadar segera pada minggu hadapan untuk pertimbangan.

Sekian, untuk makluman tuan jua.

Terima kasih.

ABU BAKAR HJ ABDULLAH
KSU
KEMENTAH

Setelah letih menunggu tanpa berita, emel kepada KSU dan Pejabat KSN……

From: nor ibrahim sulaiman [mailto:nibsny@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 5:52 PM
To: KSU Indef;
Cc: Zureen bin Zubir
Subject: Re: Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU)

Assalamualaikum,

Apalah status perkara di atas agaknya! Sehingga kini tiada sebarang berita; berita terakhir pada 26 Jun '09. Bolehkah kami mengharapkan berita baik sempena Hari Angkatan Tentera pada 16 Sep '09 atau bertambahnya pencen menjelang Hari Raya Aidilfitri pada 20 Sep 09?

Saya mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan Selamat Berpuasa.

Terima kasih.

MEJ (B) NOR IBRAHIM BIN SULAIMAN

Jawapan yang dinanti pun tibalah, tapi......sungguh mengecewakan. Berkecai harapan!!

RE: Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU)
Dato' Hj Abu Bakar bin Abdullah abubakar@mod.gov.my .gov.my nibsny@yahoo.com
Cc:Tan Sri Mohd Sidek b. Hassan sidek@pmo.gov.my
Zureen bin Zubir zureen@pmo.gov.my

Assalamualaikum tuan,

Dengan hormatnya ingin saya memaklumkan bahawa cadangan untuk mewujudkan elaun kenangan dan bayaran bagi penerima posthumous untuk Pingat Jasa Perkasa Persekutuan (J.P.P), Pingat Tentera Udara (P.T.U) dan Kepujian Perutusan Persekutuan (K.P.K) tidak dapat dipertimbangkan. Ini adalah kerana nilai pengiktirafan yang diberikan oleh Kerajaan terhadap penerima Darjah Kebesaran atau Bintang/Pingat Persekutuan mempunyai nilai prestij dan martabatnya yang tersendiri.

Sekian, untuk makluman tuan.

Terima kasih.

ABU BAKAR HAJI ABDULLAH
Ketua Setiausaha
Kementerian Pertahanan

Respons dari Menteri Pertahanan melalui sms pada 20 Ogos, 2009. Berapa % harapan anda berikan? Saya? Tunggu dan lihat sajalah..........!

Itu belum muktamad. Insya-Allah saya akan usahakan dgn PM.

Mungkin emel terakhir......!

Re: Pingat Tentera Udara (PTU)
nor ibrahim sulaiman nibsny@yahoo.com
AddFriday, August 21, 2009 6:02:45 AM
To:Dato' Hj Abu Bakar bin Abdullah abubakar@mod.gov.my ; sidek ksn sidek@pmo.gov.my Cc:Zureen bin Zubir zureen@pmo.gov.my

Assalamulaikum tuan-tuan,

Berita yang sungguh mengecewakan menjelang bulan Ramadan esok. Walaubagaimana pun, saya ingin mengucapkan ribuan terima kasih kepada Tan Sri, Dato' dan En Zureen yang telah berusaha untuk mendapatkan elaun tersebut. Apa yang hendak dikatakan - sudah tiada rezeki. Sekurang-kurangnya saya telah mencuba, Allah menentukan.

Baru-baru ini saya ada menghantar surat ke Ketua Pengarah PLKN berkaitan menjemput penerima anugerah keberanian dan anggota tentera yang cedera untuk menceritakan pengalaman mereka. Sila rujuk emel kepada tuan-tuan sebelum ini. Seperti biasa, masih menunggu jawapan. PLKN tiada alamat emel?

Selamat berpuasa.

MEJ (U) NOR IBRAHIM BIN SULAIMAN

Tamat cerita........!

Khusus untuk KSN....Tan Sri, terima kasih diatas keperihatinan terhadap rentetan rakyat tanpa mengambil kira pangkat dan darjat. Saya ingin mengesyorkan agar semua kementerian dan agensi kerajaan tidak mengguna lagi jawapan 'stereo-type' '....perkara ini sedang dalam kajian dan pertimbangan Kerajaan'(bahan ketawa). Kalau diberi peluang untuk menilai KPI Tan Sri dari kaca mata pengguna, saya beri 10/10.

Ini yang dikata, pada saya, TAKDIR. Saya telah berusaha tetapi Allah yang menentukan; percaya kepada qada dan qadar. Apa yang hendak dikatakan - menyumbang pingat perak Olympic layak mendapat RM3,000 sebulan sehingga akhir hayat. Berkorban demi untuk mempertahankan kedaulantan negara (kecuali SP dan PGB)mendapat...........? Yang manakah kerajaan memberi pengiktirafan - NYAWA ATAU NAMA?

Apa pun, kesetiaan saya terhadap negara Malaysia tercinta ini tetap tidak luntur. Selamat Menyambut Hari Kemerdekaan Ke 52. MERDEKA....! MERDEKA....!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Golf Buddies


Left to right: Cikgu Khalid Dan (hc 24), Yours Truly (hc 21), Abang Tad (Mokhtar)(hc 17), Hamid (hc 24). Taken on 19 August, 2009 at hole #14, Par 3, Darulaman Golf & Country Club. Except for Cikgu who joined us in 2007, the 3 of us have been pulling the trolley since 2001.

From May this year, we played 9 holes only since the government suggested that the populace should reduce their outdoor activities due to the heat. Otherwise, it's 18 holes daily. Real loyal citizens we are. Golfers, if you're not mentally strong, stay away from us! 'Quiet' is alien to us - on tee-off, putting...it seems we never run short of topics to talk about. We discuss almost all sorts of issues which will benefit mankind. A real pity that PM never took us in his kitchen cabinet!

Abang Tad - the most senior, 65 years old. The P.Ramlee of the gang is an ex-DSP of PDRM and ex-manager of sugar factory at Padang Terap. He likes to experiment new techniques after watching golf competitions on tv. He loves to watch LPGA. Reason? According to him, at our age we can't hit like Tiger Woods but we can emulate Michelle Wie. Reading - his imagination can really run wild! His reading of the green is 1st class. The only smoker in the group - pipe, cigarattes and rokok daun. For his age, his driving and short game....wow! His favourite cliche - HARIHARI...MAU..Jangan marah Abang Tad.

Hamid - younger than me by 3 months. An ex-Maybank manager. His swing has style and he got the right technique but alas no strength. If I have his technique and with my strength, Malaysian Open trophy is mine by now...he...he. In June, he dropped a bombshell by suspending his membership because he complained of shoulder pain. The pain is gone now because he stops taking certain medication. Now, he's back with the gang. After playing with him all these years, I don't blame the youngsters of today for swearing a lot. Why? Tok Wan like him also swears when his ball needs a wash in the pond. He's a 'driver' golfer; tee-off, fairway shot - driver. His idol....Paula Creamer - the 'pink' golfer. Favourite cliche - GOLF NOT TEE-OFF ONLY....Jangan marah Hamid.

Cikgu Khalid - the rookie, only 58 years old. Former principal of Matriculation College, Arau. He is our 'golden goose' for quite a while before Hamid gave him a book on golf. After that, most of the time we become the geese. Of course, Hamid claims the credit. Being young, his tee-off .....wow. But not to worry, his short game is nowhere my standard...he...he. I suppose he has yet to read the chapter on 'How To Pitch'. His favourite - food. He loves to cook and eat. One day while we were having our coffee, he was talking about cooking over the phone. When we asked him whom he was talking to, he said it was his son in New Zealand. He was asking his father how to make curry...imagine that! I bought 5 quails and he?...20! His decription of food is mouth-watering. Favourite cliche - DOCTOR TO GIVE MEDICINE, NOT TO ADVICE ON WHAT NOT TO EAT... Jangan marah Cikgu.

Yours Truly - read my blog 'Golf! Golf!'.

The Contract. Our stake is high. To win, you must play to your handicap to get your drink. Drink only. The stake? Maximum liability - RM1.00 per person..he...he. So, if there's 1 winner and he orders the most expensive drink -iced lychee that costs RM1.80- the other 3 need to pay 0.60 cents each only. If there're 2 winners, well, it will cost the other 2 RM1.00 each. If 3 winners, they will get 0.33 cents each. Why is the price that competitive? Because we drink at Gymkhana Cafe, about 1 km away from the club. How about that? More often than not, we drink 'sdn bhd' - pay your own! WE CAN'T EVEN PLAY TO OUR HANDICAP!!

Well, we may look the typical kampung golf players, but mind you, Syukur Alhamdulillah, we're financially sound. And, that's the reason why we're enjoying our twilight years!

Moral of the story - plan for your retirement. Kita merancang, Allah menentukan. Kalau tidak merancang, sendiri tanggunglah.....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Anggota Tentera LLP.....21 Tahun Kemudian!

Coretan ini dituju khusus untuk segelintir kecil anggota Lain-Lain Pangkat (LLP) dari ketiga-tiga Perkhidmatan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM). Saya meminta maaf sekiranya anda menganggap siapakah saya untuk menunjuk pandai. Tujuan utama ialah saya akan berbangga sekiranya tiada lagi berita dalam media massa menceritakan kesusahan/kedaifan bekas tentera meraih bantuan dari masyarakat umum.

Pernahkah terfikir bagaimana agaknya kedudukan anda selepas tamat berkhidmat 21 tahun dalam ATM? Untuk makluman pembaca, terma perkhidmatan LLP bagi melayakkan mereka menikmati pencen ialah mereka mesti berkhidmat selama 21 tahun......bukannya sehingga umur 58 tahun!

Katakanlah anda mula berkhidmat pada umur 19 tahun. Diam tak diam, anda terkejut apabila diberitahu bidang apa yang anda minat untuk mengikuti Kursus Peralihan di PERHEBAT, Kem Sungai Buloh. Anda sudah berkhidmat selama 21 tahun dan umur baru 40 tahun....dah berstatus 'pesara'. Treler berderet di belakang, hutang sekeliling pinggang, RSAT jadi rumah kedua. Peningnya kepala!

Kerana hendak 'enjoy' dulu, anda kahwin agak lewat. Katakan semasa berumur 30 tahun baru sampai seru untuk berkahwin. Syukur Alhamdulillah, anda suami isteri diberikan Allah sungguh 'subur'. Selang 9 bulan, menimang anak. Anak pertama baru Tahun 5; 'Pekerjaan Bapa' - PESARA! Saya yakin anda mempunyai lebih dari seorang anak.

Anda bersara berpangkat 'sarjan'. Semasa berkerja, gaji bulanan termasuk elaun melebihi RM3,500. Jolok kad ATM pada 21hb setiap bulan, hanya RM1,400 sahaja yang dikreditkan dalam akaun. Ingat, pencen untuk LLP berlandaskan kepada separuh gaji pokok untuk perkhidmatan 21 tahun. Berbeza dengan kakitangan awam, separuh gaji pokok untuk 25 tahun perkhidmatan dan lebihkurang 60% untuk perkhidmatan 30 tahun dan lebih.

Mungkin buat setahun dua anda tidak merasa perbezaan alam persaraan kerana anda telah mengeluar wang simpanan LTAT - sekurang-kurang RM100,000. Boleh joli....tukar kereta, mungkin ada juga yang buka 'cawangan' baru, dan tak tahu apa lagilah. Masa ini jugalah anda terpegun yang anda mempunyai ramai sahabat handai. Mereka mempelawa anda untuk melabur dalam 'projek' mereka dengan pulangan yang sungguh menarik. Berhati-hatilah, silap langkah, melayanglah simpanan LTAT dan sahabat handai pun entah hilang kemana.

Kalau begitu keadaannya, apa yang sepatutnya anda lakukan? Anda tanya pandangan saya ke?

Pertama sekali, anda sepatutnya berterima kasih kerana anda dari kumpulan yang mengutamakan disiplin. Selain simpanan paksa dalam LTAT, saya syorkan agar anda melabur dalam ASB (jangan risau, saya bukan ejen PNB dan tidak mendapat sesen komisen pun). Pergi bank yang memberi pinjaman ASB dan pinjam jumlah yang termampu anda bayar ansuran bulanan untuk tempuh sehingga 20 tahun. Jangan keluarkan dividen walau RM1 selama 20 tahun.(Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan telah membuat fatwa - HARUS).

Andaikan dividen 8% setiap tahun dan anda pinjam RM50,000. 20 tahun kemudian....jumlah simpanan ialah RM233,050. Dividen sahaja RM18,644 setahun=
RM1,553 sebulan.Campur pencen RM1,400=RM2,953. Saya bukan jenis yang berani mengambil risiko. Jadi, saya akan laburkan kesemua simpanan LTAT dalam ASB. Nak pening kepala buat apa, ada pakar untuk menguruskan wang saya.

Selain simpanan, anda harus mempunyai kemahiran yang sentiasa diperlukan oleh orang ramai. Maksud saya, kemahiran seperti membaiki motor/kereta, alat eletrik/eletronik, paip air. Ikuti kursus sebegini semasa menjalani Kursus Peralihan. Anda tidak memerlukan modal yang banyak dan rumah boleh dijadikan pejabat/bengkel. Bayangkan, nak pasang kepala paip pun kena caj RM50, tidak termasuk kos kepala paip. Nak jadi jutawan agak susahlah sikit, tetapi bukan mustahil. Senang tu, InsyaAllah.

Saya sendiri ada bertanya dengan Polimas, Kolej Komuniti dan Giat Mara sama ada mereka mengendali kursus pendek membaiki alat eletrik/eletronik. Sekiranya ada, saya berminat untuk mengikuti kursus tersebut. Malangnya, tiada.

Anda juga sepatutnya bersyukur kerana diberi peluang melanjutkan pelajaran. Jangan buangkan peluang ini. Dengan adanya ijazah dan pengalaman, anda mempunyai kelebihan untuk mendapat pekerjaan. Juruteknik pesawat terbang TUDM juga dalam kumpulan bernasib baik kerana kepakaran mereka sangat diperlukan dalam industri penerbangan. Tetapi bukan semuanya bernasib baik.

Fikirlah sejenak apa yang saya membebelkan ini......mungkin anda akan tersentak dari mimpi dan kembali ke alam nyata!

Selamat Berpuasa.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

High Altitude Landing


Once I was asked to attend a meeting with the Sabah state officials. It was about the construction of a rest house at Gunung Kinabalu. The Army was represented by Maj Jamil of the Engineering Squadron. The proposed site was at about 10,000 feet, I think. The state wanted the nuri to airlift the building materials. The Army would provide the manpower.

Mawilud 11 (Markas Wilayah Udara), located at Kuching, Sarawak, directed me to do high altitude flying over Labuan in anticipation of performing this task. It arranged with C130 Hercules squadron to provide me with oxygen masks and cylinders. You see, nuri is not a pressurised aircraft and as a safety measure, we have to use oxygen masks when we fly 10,000 feet and above in case we experience hypoxia. No problem, I flew for 2 hours 45 minutes over the island. In fact, I didn’t use the equipment at all.

For planning purpose, the Park HQ (PHQ) at 5,000 ft, was proposed to be the pick-up and refuelling point. The designated landing point (LP) was about 10,000 ft. Before that, let me enrich your knowledge on the characteristics of the nuri. The rules of thumb are as follows:

- Weight (empty) - 12,500 lbs.
- Max operating wt – 19,500 lbs at sea level, including fuel.
- 400 lbs weight reduction for every 1,000 feet.
- Airspeed – 110 knots at 3,000 feet.
- 6 knots speed reduction for every 1,000 feet.
- Fuel consumption – 1,000 lbs per hour.
- Reserve fuel – 600 lbs for both tanks (300 lbs/tank).

The calculation for the maximum weight for landing at LP.

- Max operating wt @ sea level – 19,500 lbs
- Max operating wt @ LP - 15,500 lbs (19,500 lbs - 4,000 lbs)
- Less wt of empty aircraft - 12,500 lbs
- Less fuel, including reserve - 2,000 lbs
- Payload available - 1,000 lbs

I could not remember the estimated flight time from the PHQ to the LP and vice versa. I think it was about 30 min for the round trip. But it was not as simple as that; must consider loading, unloading, diversion in case of bad weather. The nearest landing area in case of bad weather would be Kundasang and if not accesible, then I would fly either to Kota Kinabalu or Ranau. One thing for sure, I knew the unpredictable weather there.

Based on the calculation, I could only take a maximum of 1,000 lbs of construction materials for every sortie. I had to refuel after every flight back to PHQ. I didn’t know what the total weight of the building materials would be. And the airspeed at that height was about 70 knots. I’m sure most nuri pilots would concur with me if I said that nuri's control is sloppy with height......just like driving a 3-ton army truck without power steering.

And now, come the day for the trial flight. Airborne Labuan for Gunung Kinabalu with the estimated weight of 15,500 lbs on landing. I planned to refuel at Kota Kinabalu airport. During the recce, there was no way of determining the wind direction – only solid rock. I saw a fuselage of a crashed Bell helicopter abandoned there. To me, the best approach was flying towards the mountain.

On coming to a hover, the nuri yawed clockwise (to the right). I fully applied left pedal but was still unable to stop the yaw. The cross wind from the left was too strong. The only option available was to dive the chasm and flew off. Well, with 3,000 hours on type, this was one scary experince that will be forever in my mind. I’m an old but not a bold pilot – and that’s how you’re able to read this article!

My recommendation to Mawilud 11 ? NOT FEASIBLE. The Panglima never questioned my decision. I was told that Sabah Air got the contract to fly the materials.

Nuri pilots, I tried to be as accurate as possible to the extent of calling 5 Sqn about nuri's data. If you observe inaccurate data, please accept my humble apologies. You must bear in mind that this episode took place in 1984....25 years ago!


3,000-hour reception at No 5 Sqn dispersal area upon landing from Terumbu Layang-Layang on 30 January, 1984.



Comments are most welcome.....

Monday, August 10, 2009

No 5 Squadron - My First And Last Command.....





From 1st January 1982 through 31st December 1984 I was posted as OC No 5 Sqn, RMAF Labuan upon completion of 1-year course at Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC), Mirpur Cantonment, Dacca, Bangladesh.

I was a pioneer of sorts - the first RMAF officer attending the course there and the only foreigner amongst 8 students in the Air Wing of DSCSC. The other Malaysian was Major Pakwan Chik Hashim of Malaysian Ranger in the Army Wing. I went there alone and he brought his family along.

For information, it was during this period when the late President Zia Ur Rahman was assassinated and I met the alleged conspirator, Maj Gen Manzur, I think, when the students visited his Division at Chittagong. Hari ini dalam sejarah.....


My first set of No 5 Squadron aircrew in 1982

Now back to Labuan. Well, it was a real shock for me! The flying duties here were so very contrasting to what I was used to. No gunship to straff the area before making the landing, LPs as big as football fields, no wearing of those heavy and smelly fragmentation vest, no weekly detachment and best of all...no CTs taking pot shots at you. Basically, the flights here involved 'communication' flights between towns, eg, from Labuan to Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, Sandakan. The only troop lift and/or resupply sorties that I could remember were to Terumbu Layang-Layang (TLL), also known as Station 5, and to Pulau Banggi.

It was cushy flying for these aircrew but for me, they missed the adventures I had gone through.....! My main concerns when operating here were the flight of 1 hour 30 minutes to TLL and the unpredictable weather. A write-up on the flight to TLL to follow later.

As for the weather, I never experienced this natural phenomena while operating in Peninsular Malaysia. From a clear sky, you suddenly see heavy rain and thick clouds especially when flying in the interior. I had experienced it myself. I took off from Labuan at about 1500hr to one location in the interior, Long Pasia, I think, to recover an unserviceable nuri there. The weather was perfect at Labuan and the mainland. However, when I wanted to cross the mountains, suddenly I was caught in the heavy rain and thick cloud. Visiblity was almost zero. The only way to escape from this situation was to execute a spiral climb to about 7000 feet - well cleared of the highest peaks there. Then I requested radar pick-up from Brunei Controller to vector me to Labuan. After about 10 minutes in the IMC condition....what a lovely sight....Labuan island, very clear! The sortie was aborted and the recovery was done the next day. Sometimes, at Labuan Base itself, half of the runway was under heavy rain whilst the other half bright and sunny!

Details of my last flight as a nuri captain:

Date: 22 October, 1984.
Airframe #: M23-37.
Crew: Lt (U) Roslan and Sgt Saifuddin.
Callsign: Harimau 621 Juliet.
Flight: Labuan - Tenom - Kota Kinabalu - Labuan.
Flight Time: 3 hours.


My set of aircrew as on 21 March, 1984

For the services rendered during my tour of duty in Labuan, I was bestowed 2 Sabah state awards - ADK (Ahli Darjah Kinabalu) and BSK (Bintang Setia Kinabalu). And the best of all...the state sponsored my wife and I to perform the Haj in 1983! Syukur Alhamdulillah, what a rezeki .....

In memory of those who had once served under me in 5 Sqn....hanya tinggal dalam kenangan....

Lt (U) Roslan
Lt (U) James Tinggom
Lt (U) Mohd Merejok
Lt (U) E H Tan
Lt (U) Idris Yusof



Good bye Nuri.....the most unforgettable memory!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Landing Pads (LPs)

I'm sure all of you know, or at least heard of nuri helicopter before. Well, it's big....how big? It can carry 30 passengers plus 3 crew, ie, the captain, co-pilot and the air quartermaster (AQM). Can visualise now?

The nuri was a real 'shooting duck' for CTs target practices. It's big, bulky and sloppy, unlike it's younger brother the Allouette 3, the 'mini cooper'. We were fortunate that the CTs were not Olympics-standard shooters, otherwise we were goners... Anyway, I'm very proud to fly nuri throughout my flying career.

Now back to Selamat Sawadee Ops......nuri detachment at Kroh (former name of Pengkalan Hulu).

After breakfast, the Intelligence Officer (IO) would brief us on the situation, including the radio frequency of the ground troops (GTs). Like most aircraft, nuri was then equipped with analogue HF, VHF and UHF radios. The GTs used HF radio. We would switch to GTs frequency whenever the need arose. The problem with HF was that it was too noisy.

Then, just wait..... Changeover of troops and resupply were preplanned. Casevacs at the disposal of the CTs - beyond the control of the GTs.

Geography lesson now. On the Malaysian side of the border near Kroh, the environmentalists should be happy to know that the mountains/hills/highlands were still covered with virgin jungle. Whereas on the Thai side, the terrains were almost clear of vegetation - no jungle at all! I didn't believe it myself. I suppose they cleared the jungle to plant rubber trees.

I was tasked to pick up a medivac - I think - on the Thai side. Just a routine sortie. Although the area was big enough, there was no space for nuri to land due to tree stumps. No choice but to hover for winching. While approaching to hover, my co-pilot switched to GTs' radio frequency and 'on' my HF radio. 'Alpha Charlie, Alpha Charlie...take off, take off' (AC meant aircraft). It was the GTs radio operator shouting for me to fly off. My immediate reaction was to execute an overshoot and climb for Kroh. Later, we were told that the GTs saw the CTs running to take position before taking pot shots at my nuri. I had to thank my co-pilot for switching to GTs frequency.

Then there was this task to resupply the RGK unit (commandos) on the Thai side. The tasking sheet stated to offload at marker, say 'T'. No big deal. When I reached the location there was no LP at all. Marker 'T', yes. LP? No. The 'T' was on steep slope. I contacted the officer, a captain I think, telling that I would have to hover and threw the rations. His response was if I did that, the rations would be destroyed and no food for them since they had run out of rations. Pity those guys.....Well, I landed with the starboard (right) landing gear on the slope whilst the port (left) landing gear and tail wheel hanging. I was praying to Almighty Allah hoping that the CTs were enjoying their R & R at Betong. Syukur Alhamdulillah, the sortie was completed successfully.

I could appreciate their problems - how could they construct an ideal LP as in the picture while on 'hot pursuit' mission?

I'm very proud to say that my colleagues and I were not rigidly rules-abiding pilots. We flew within our own and aircraft limitations. If we were to adhere strictly to the standard LP as stipulated in the official publication, the success of the ops might be hampered.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Kebersihan Makanan

'Kebersihan separuh daripada iman' - sunnah Rasulullah. Sebagai orang Islam adakah kebanyakan kita, terutama peniaga makanan - tidak kira restoran atau gerai (kategorikan kedai makan)- mempraktik sunnah ini? Secara jujur, saya sungguh sedih melihat tahap kebersihan kedai makan (KM) di kebanyakan lokasi yang pernah saya berkunjung. Coretan ini tidak bertumpu kepada kawasan tertentu tetapi pandangan secara menyeluruh.

Pertama sekali, saya bertanya kepada diri sendiri, mengapa KM, terutama gerai-gerai, didirikan berhampiran dengan parit/longkang? Masalahnya ialah saluran air sisa-sisa ini tidak mengalir dan mengeluarkan bau yang tidak menyenangkan. Memang lauk-pauknya nampak mengiurkan - ikan panggang, segala jenis ulam, sup 'gearbox' hingga 'torpedo', dan tak tahu lagilah. Tetapi bagaimana saya dapat menikmati kelazatan makanan tersebut sekiranya terpaksa berpakaian ala 'Zorro' tanpa topeng mata setiap kali mengunjung KM seperti ini?

Ada juga gerai-gerai dibina di tepi jalanraya dengan lalulintas tanpa henti. Untuk perokok tidak menjadi masalah kerana dapat menyedut karbon monoxide secara percuma. Tetapi, bagaimana dengan yang lain-lain? Pedulikan.....mereka yang datang dengan sukarela untuk menghirup kenikmatan udara!

Saya dan geng kerap melepak di sebuah gerai selepas bermain golf. Lokasi gerai memang menarik; bersebelahan tasik dan kuda-kuda berlarian. Suasananya sungguh nyaman. Masalahnya ialah kuih-muih tidak ditutup; diletak atas meja dengan lalat-lalat menjadikannya stesen perhentian. Saya pernah menyuarakan kepada tuanpunya gerai supaya mengguna tudung saji untuk menutup makanan. Tindakan yang diambil hanya menutup kuih-muih dengan pinggan-pinggan sahaja. Saya tidak pernah menjamah kuih-muih tersebut. Saya hanya minum dan makan masakan yang ditempah, sekiranya perlu. Janganlah hendak mengurangkan kos sehingga sanggup mendedahkan makanan kepada pencemaran yang akan menjejaskan kesihatan pelanggan!

PBT mengeluar ratusan ribu RM, mungkin jutaan, membina Medan Selera (MS) untuk peniaga-peniaga mencari rezeki halal. Kemudahan air, api dan yang paling mustahak - tong sampah - disediakan. Tetapi, parit/longkang tetap menjadi tempat buangan. Sekiranya berhampiran dengan sungai, hanyutlah sisa-sisa ke kuala.....! Lain pula MS Layang-Layang, Labuan, semasa saya bertugas di sana pada awal 80'an. Persekitarannya sungguh bersih dan saya berbangga membawa tetamu dari England untuk menikmati sate. Maaflah jika keadaan MS tersebut sekarang tidak sepertimana yang saya ceritakan, maklumlah cerita lama. Saya harap kebersihan masih diutamakan. Tak mungkin saya akan membawa tetamu saya, sekarang dah tak ada kawan 'mat saleh', ke MS di mana saya bermustautin sekarang.

Peringatan: MS yang saya cuba elakkan bukannya yang ada di kompleks beli-belah. Semasa tinggal di KL, MS yang paling kerap saya kunjung ialah di KLCC kerana nasi dagang.

Kebanyakan kita selalu beranggapan negatif apabila dikejutkan dengan kenaikan harga barang keperluan seperti gula, ayam, minyak masak, dll. Cuba lihat dari sudut positifnya pula. Hikmahnya ialah dapat mengelakkan penyakit, terutama kencing manis dan masalah jantung. Mana tidaknya, minum dan makan masakan rumah; kebersihan sudah pasti. Bawa makanan dari rumah ke pejabat. Apa yang hendak dimalukan. Dan, anda boleh berjimat...

Peniaga-peniaga, betulkanlah nawaitu anda, sekiranya belum. Carilah rezeki yang halal dan diberkati Allah. Tentukan makanan yang disediakan bersih, lazat dan harga berpatutan. Kos yang anda tanggung untuk ciri-ciri tersebut akan berbaloi, insyaAllah.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Patriotism 2



Patriotism - defined as love of and/or devotion to one's country (Wikepedia). I'm inspired to write this short article after reading the responses from the undergraduates of Social Science, USM (refer to the 1st two articles of 'Unforgetable Flying Experiences). And further fueled by my friend's article on 'Patriotism'(see Patriotism 1). Of course, those comments do not represent the majority of the populace. However, I can confidently conclude that the majority of the younger Malaysians are patriotic. Well, I'm entitled to my opinion, isn't it? Anyway, I’m flattered to know that I manage to enlighten them on the cruelty of the communist terrorists (CTs) - from my perspective, of course.

I'm here not to argue or debate whether you're patriotic or not. Only you can answer that. As for me, I consider myself a very patriotic person and extremely proud to be a Malaysian. I had my share of defending my beloved country, and very proud at it. I'm very fortunate indeed to be directly involved in the military operations against the CTs those days. Those flying adventures will forever be cherished in my mind.

How patriotic are you? As what my Colonel friend had said, is your patriotism as good as the Americans? Most of us Malaysians, idolise whatever American, be it food, clothing, education, cultures, etc, etc. I don’t blame you at all; to a certain extent it’s okay with me. After all, I like KFC; my ‘driver and hybrid’ clubs are American made although I know very well that the ‘head and shaft’ are made in China, only assembled in USA. But what about their patriotism? Are we ready to emulate them and why not?

What I mean is the very basic. I’m very sure you watch American footballs, baseballs, basketballs or whatever balls. The stadium is normally full to the brim. Don’t be too engrossed watching those lovely pom-pom girls’ antics but try to focus also on how the spectators and the players alike stand up and sing their national anthem with enthusiasm – the players with their hands clasping their caps to the chests! What about us, Malaysians? In my younger days, I loved to watch the movies at theaters – now cineplexes. Before the movie started, Negaraku would be played. I tell you, not even ¼ of the audiences stood up! Now I’m not sure whether Negaraku is being played before the start of the movie and what is the response like. I’m no longer a movie fanatic and I can’t remember when was the last time I went to the cineplexes.

My wife, an ex-teacher, told me that the way the students sang the national anthem during school assemblies was without vigour .....no umph whatsoever! I’m not in the least surprised if the majority of them, including most of us, 'conveniently' forget the lyrics.

Well, I don’t mean that you must join the Armed Forces just to prove your patriotism. To me, I’m very proud of Dato’ Nicol David and her prowess in squash. To see Jalur Gemilang flying atop the highest peak in the world. Or see Dato Dr Muzaffar floating in the ISS. For that matter, the generous Malaysians donating money to the needy. Golfers, aren’t you proud to see me holding Malaysian Open’s trophy....the first Malaysian champion? What a dream! Anyway, if you join the air force with the hope of becoming a hero like me, forget about it since those adventurous days were over......he....he.

On 3 August ’09 I sent an email to the Minister of Defence suggesting that all those gallantry award recipients and those maimed veterans due to operations against the CTs, be invited to tell their adventures to the public. For a start, let PLKN be the platform. But it must not be a one-time affair. I’m sure the impact would be great if, say the only living hero, WO1 Kanang, the recipient of both SP and PGB, relates his adventures to the students – first hand. I don’t know how the minister’s response would be. After all, who am I, just a veteran nuri pilot reminiscing those good old flying days! Anyway, I’m happy to hear that he had directed all the PLKN camps to show ‘Malaya 1957’. I hope he will include ‘Bukit Kepong’.

What about you?

Patriotism 1

I need a break. In the mean time, let me publish my friend's unedited article. Readers, are you ready to accept his call?

PATRIOTISM CAN ALSO BE ACHIEVED THROUGH RESERVE FORCE

How serious are we about the Reserve Force? How much are we concerned and committed to bringing the Reserve Force to the hoped-for levels of strength and effectiveness? In order to improve the Reserve Force, there should firstly be a political will to make commitment towards this objective.It seems that Malaysian is practically having no defense awareness as compared to some countries example like the United States and Singapore.Judging from the poor response of the public in joining the reserve,this may reflect that there is insufficient patriotic feeling in them.It may be that they feel that defense is not really their concern.Mind you, the future wars are likely to affect the whole nation and survival of the state itself.Hence, national defense today cannot be left entirely to the Armed Forces alone.
How about political will? Since we preach leadership by example, it would be timely and appropriate if the political masters themselves start enrolling in the Reserve Force.If the leaders lead the way by becoming members of the Reserve Force,they could definitely attract the other members of the public,especially the youngsters to join the Reserve Force.In this way, they would indirectly inculcate the feeling of patriotism in the heart of the citizen. Thank you

(ex-Nuri pilot)