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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Out Of Sight...Out Of Mind!


18 January 2010 at 0740 hour...I received an unedited sms from a good friend of mine '...Write on esprit de corp tudm should gather those xtudm around the base cal them for function'... I wonder why he said that. So, I called him. It seems when he attended a wedding reception of a daughter of an ex-senior RMAF officer the night before, not so many  faces that both of us are familiar with were there. His comments were that you're no longer relevant once you're out of the Service...out of sight...out of mind! Nobody cares about you anymore. Well said my friend...you're very right and I totally concur it!

My house is just a matter of about 5 km from Kolej Tentera Udara (Air Force College) at Kepala Batas. I pass the Base almost every day and I know a few of the serving officers. But not once do I get invited to the official functions in conjunction with the Air Force Day on 1st June  every year. That's not so bad... There is a private entity within the Base conducting courses for the servicemen. And...most of the teaching staff are ex-RMAF personnels. You know what? Even they are not invited for the functions. So, there's no ground for me to feel left out since I'm literally  outside the perimeter of the Base.

In my earlier postings, I have been expressing my disappointment on the 'refusal' of the Air Force to recognise their heroes. I'm sure by now, most of you readers still remember those aircrew who were Killed In Action (KIA) on 27 April 1976. A Nuri helicopter was shot down at Gubir Ops area by communist terrorists, killing all the 11 'POB' (persons on board), ie, 5 aircrew and 6 Army personnels. As far as I can remember, they were the only RMAF personnels literally KIA; others were killed in aircraft accidents. As a reminder, the fallen POB were...
  • Capt (U) Mustafa Kamal - #7 Sqn
  • Capt (U) Choo Yok Boon - #7 Sqn
  • Lt (U) Chung Ming Tat - #10 Sqn
  • Lt U) Wan Munsif - #10 Sqn
  • Sgt Leong (AQM) - #10 Sqn
  • Maj Haris Rejab - RAMD
  • Capt Sulaiman - RAMD
  • Lt Ibrahim - RAMD
  • Sgt Khamis - RAMD
  • L/Cpl Kamarulzaman - MSSR
  • L/Cpl Suandi - MSSR
Readers...I stand to be corrected. If my memory does not fail me, nowhere in the Air Force are the names of these KIA aircrew documented or displayed...not even in the RMAF Museum. Ironically...you can find them in the Army's "Tentera Darat 1933 - 2008"...NOT  in "RMAF - 50 Glorious Years Of Safeguarding The Nation"...Not even a sentence in honour of these heroes!! I'm sure the children will be proud to know that their fathers were heroes and sacrificed their lives for this beloved country of theirs - MALAYSIA. Army...Thank you for documenting these heroes...lest they would be forgotten forever!! 

And...how about the recipients of the Nation's Gallantry Awards, namely PGB, PTU and KPK? I mean Air Force recipients. For PGB holders (only 2), their names are documented in a book entitled "Pahlawan Tanahair" by Syed Othman. PTU? Surprise...surprise...Is it a medal awarded to the RMAF personnels by the Air Force Chief? That's how appreciative the Air Force is! I'm not surprised the new breed of personnel are not aware of such medal. By right they should be proud that the Nation recognises the sacrifices of their pilots by creating a gallantry award - Pingat Tentera Udara - as one of the 5 Gallantry medals. The least the RMAF can do is to have their names displayed in the museum. Am I asking too much?

So unlike the Army...to be specific...the individual Corp. Take RAJD (Rejimen Askar Jurutera DiRaja) for example. When I wrote in my blog, 1MALAYSIA, about a dilemma faced by a daughter of an ex-WO of the Sappers, an ex-officer informed the Chief Engineer (CE) at MINDEF of the story. Through Persatuan Ex-Sappers Wilayah Utara, the ex-WO was contacted and appropriate actions were taken to assist him. And the Corp keeps a record of all their personnel who were awarded with the nation's gallantry award; PGB (1 for sure), 2 JPP and 33 KPK. What an achievement...! Sappers... I salute you. Your esprit de corp remain intact even though when you're no longer in service...Out of sight...but still in mind! 

I'm proud to have served the RMAF. I am what  I am today because of the Air Force. For this I say thank you.  If the Army had LT ADNAN as their icon, why not CAPT (U) CHOO, CAPT (U) MUSTAFA, LT (U) CHUNG, LT(U) WAN MUNSIF AND SGT (U) LEONG for the Air Force? Am I wrong to be a bit sentimental?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry la Mej!!!
The RMAF has a bunch of clowns right now running the Air Force. Surely you know the quality of the current Air Force Chief? And surely you know the present PAT who was the XRMAF Chief?!!!
Alahai... Out of sight...Out of mind, begini lah nasib Wira Negara!!!Yang tinggal semua nya anai anai... habis lah reput!!!
Siapa kah yang sepatut nya menjaga welfare bekas anggota TUDM ni agak nya? Ada kot General yang punya tugas ini... out of office... out of touch... begitu lah agak nya Mej.
Sabar lah Yob while you can!!!

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Dear Anonymous,
At least we've a medium to express our feeling. I sincerely hope the 'engine affair' and, maybe, this frustration of mine will be a 'wake-up' call for the top management of the RMAF!!

Capt's Longhouse said...

nor,

,,,I have no comments and that shows something too !

,,,If I ever do, the sky will drop, believe me on that too !.

Anonymous said...

clown running the Air Force!!! Enjin jet pun boleh hilang. Sarjan pulak jadi kambing hitam.....These 'clowns' cover line themselves!!

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Dear Sharif,
Welcome back.

Capt's Longhouse said...

nor,
,,,as long as the dirty politicians are allowed to manipulate themselves within the MAF, the Chiefs can't do much from the way things are going.
,,,In fact, the 'corruption culture' breed by the existing War-Lords in UMNO has destroyed not only the MAF but also the nation.
,,,the MAF can play its part in the next GE13, by voting smartly and to elect honest/capable political leaders coz these are the guys that will rule the Nation next time round.
,,,Just get rid of the existing corrupted politicians nonsense via the ballot box. Our soldiers VOTE is key to winning or losing in final count down and the politicians are aware of it too.
,,,So perhaps, we should educate our servicemen accordingly and advise them who NOT to vote for ?.
,,,this is one option open to all of us that are more aware of the wrong/right doings of existing politicians from the outside that we can share with our servicemen !.
,,,In fact, just to 'unbrain wash' them after all these bloody years been cheated by unworthy corrupted politicians ?. The worthy ones we vote for them-lah. But hard to find them within the existing bunch of real pirates !

i rest my case

Anonymous said...

I got no qualms on what's happening in the air force currently. Could it've been better if the present set of leaders are a different set of people, say those who've retired earlier seeking better remunerations on the civvy street. It could be worse man! Corruption is so ingrained in our culture that it has become a culture by itself! No matter who is put in charge will not change anything.

Well so much about the present crop of leaders and let me touch a little bit on our exploits fighting Chin Peng & gang in th 70s and 80s. Yes, they are/were the heroes Choo, Chung and the rest. Not to forget the living heroes (PGBs and PTUs) for one the PGBs have been recognised and getting allowances while the PTUs are getting no recognition whatsoever as they're deemed unworthy of the said allowances. But I know of one other story, where a Nuri was being shot with a record number of bullet holes but alas the OC Sqn saw it fit to only recommend the Captain and the crewman (posthumous- he died later on Chung's aircraft)for the gallantry award. Maybe just because the copilot was just a green horn and did not deserve the award although he was seated next to the Captain and getting his butt shot at! So this unfairness thing occurred that many years ago and not many people know about ! (no qualms about the crewman getting it but isn't the co-pilot part of the crew?)It is still a sore point as far as the co-plot is concerned! Well, NIBS thank you for what you've been doing, allowing an avenue for people to pen their thoughts. Salam - Ex Nuri Pilot also.

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Dear X-Nuripilot,

I just don't know what to say! I knew about the incident where Murad's Nuri was shot at the never forgotten Gubir.