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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ragging...Whose Culture?

My heartfelt condolences to the family of arwah Mohamed Naim Mustaqim Bin Mohamed Sobri (23 June 2010)...Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmatNya ke atas roh beliau. Al-Fatihah.  


I'm very angry indeed with those who caused this loss of live. I'm extremely happy to note that Pak Menteri Pertahanan had made an announcement that the main culprit (still a mild term to use) was expelled from RMC with immediate effect and 4 others were suspended pending investigation. And he (the sadist) is likely to face a murder charge and the possibility of a civil suit. 

I really wonder what made a 17 year-old boy a sadist! I'm no psychoanalyst but as far as I'm concerned, it boils down to the upbringing. In other words, the main blame falls on the parents. Maybe the sadist wants to vent his frustration/angers and who has to bear the brunt if not the defenceless 'juniors'. 

I never had the experience of being 'ragged' during my school days because I was a 100% 'home-bred' student from the first day I enrolled in the primary school till Form 5. I was offered a place at Sekolah Dato' Abdul Razak (SDAR), then at Tanjung Malim, after passing the Lower Certificate of Education examinations (=PMR) but declined. Reasons? I love my mother's cooking, my 'Hercules' bicycle, the weekends' 'cheap matinee' at Carlton, Rex, Majestic theaters, 'Burmese' pool and of course, my friends. So, no hostel living for me and the word 'ragging' was never in my vocabulary. 

My first encounter with 'ragging' was when I first reported at RMC for cadets' training in April 1967. As junior cadets, we were shouted at, became 'alarm'clocks every morning, crooned popular songs, ran errants (to the canteen to buy sandwiches), ironed seniors' uniforms, etc, etc. Any mistake, press-ups but...NEVER EVER ANY MANHANDLING! The only songs that I knew the lyrics in full were 'Negaraku' and 'Yesterday'. With my Tom Jones' voice, I sang even the Negaraku out of tune, so, my seniors stopped me from singing every morning during the 'orientation' period. 

To avoid ironing a senior's uniforms (a rank holder), I would iron his uniforms when he went for his round checking on us, the juniors. I would spit on his uniform while ironing making sure that he noticed what I was doing to his uniforms. I could see the shock on his face before he yelled out at me '...What are you doing?' I told him matter-of-factly '...Ironing uniform, sir'. 'Whose uniforms?' My reply '...Yours, Sir'. That was the last time I saw his uniforms in my laundry basket.

What I did was nothing compared to what my classmate of KE VII days did to a senior. This classmate of mine was a SSC  Air Force cadet. One day, a senior asked him to clean his (senior) SLR rifle. What my friend did was he poured salt in the barrel and handed it to the armoury. That night, when the Duty Officer inspected the weapons, the barrel of the SLR in question had rusted. Well, the senior had to answer to the commandant...serve him right.

When I became a senior, admittedly I was a 'ragger' too. I did ask juniors to sing and wake me up in the morning...but it stopped there. My favourite singer was arwah Yahya Kosai who sang the Bee Gees "Massachusetts" beautifully. (He was drowned in a 'river-crossing' exercise during his senior year). Manhandling?...NEVER EVER.

That's why I simply couldn't understand why  these youngsters manhandled their juniors! It's not Islamic or a Malay culture...then whose culture is it? 

I received an e-mail from Lt Col Idris Hassan (R) regarding how the authority of Utter Pradesh, India,  handles ragging "...

1 2009, 01:58 hrs Lucknow: India Uttar Pradesh(UP) The UP Government passed a Government Order (GO) on March 26 imposing a complete ban on ragging in colleges and universities across the state. The order also mandates colleges and universities, including government-aided and private institutions, to include the information about the GO in their brochures or prospectus’.

Moreover, no interaction between freshers and seniors would be permitted after 9 pm for the first three months of an academic session.

Kamran Rizvi, Principal Secretary, Higher Education, said that there would be a state-wide awareness drive to put an end to ragging.

He said that students indulging in ragging would be barred from the college premises and would be expelled in the event of serious charges being proved.

The registration of the said institution would then be cancelled and all aid to it  immediately stopped."   
                                                                                                     
I fully support if the Malaysian Government were to take similar actions against any institutions that still discreetly practise ragging.

To all potential culprits...be accountable for your actions and never ever blame others for your 'misdeeds'. Sendiri buat...sendiri tanggung.
Lt Col Idris Hassan...Thank you.

8 comments:

FMZam said...

Salam tuan,

What had happened was when ragging became a TORTURE and a ragger became a TORMENTOR. We've heard that ragging was BANNED in RMC well before Mahathir was the PM but we also knew it that despite the ban, ragging went on in silence, unnoticed, unbothered, until it became so unchecked that some deaths had repeatedly occured to alert the authorities about taking serious measures to stop the MENACE only to make them forget it until another death made them "in check" again.

Simply said, no authority is really serious in checking ragging not in just RMC but in any training institution. The only moment that made the authorities serious about ragging was when there was a ragging death, and in most cases, the "deadly ragger" was awarded with nothing severe than the bereaved family of the dead was left with a lifelong question why his child's murderer was let to live with the blood on his hand and with no remorse and shame that any future ragger would want to do the same, BY EXAMPLE.

See how unserious was RMC or Mindef or the police or the authority that while the case should have been treated as murder, homicide or manslaughter, the culprits were set free by expelling them from RMC whereas the public wondered whether the procedure of a death investigation had ever being completed for the case to be brought to the court of law. The authority had been quick and serious only to protect the image of RMC from a prolonged exposure to public concern about the institution instead of a justice for the dead and his bereaved family.

And have we heard any "Voice of Concern" from any military and ex military organization like the so called RAFOC as mooted by Arshad Raji's Blog to become that "Voice of Concern" he so championed it in his blog?

I believe God has not wait long to show the new army leadership the moment of truth of its capability to act on a "small thing" where most "big men" tend to dismiss it as "kacang" and yet this kind of "kacang" is where they fail the most.

Tuan, I think you did more mileage in getting your "Voice of Concern" across to the authorities than other BIG TALK BLOGGERS, and you've got them acted upon SINGLEHANDEDLY!

Hansac said...

*(%&^%&*%^*&% lah.

Itu makian saya.

When I attended Potential Officers' Course in Puswatan, in Jan-Feb 2008, my head was knocked by Jurulatih (Sarjan Ahmad and Sarjan Mazlan), and was made to drink air liur concoction of oats by En. Saiful (KSM) and was made to do 200 star jumps by Kapten Azman Sallehudin (RMR, our JLK in that course). Puswatan Commandant at that time was Lt-Kol Zolkapli Rahmat, now a Brig-Gen.

Whose culture you ask? ATM culture! Alive and well, condoned and turned a blind eye by all commanders and commandants from Perlis to Sabah.

I sent letters on this to Najib, PAT, PTD, AP of Wataniah, and to my TK, and received no closure except two letters from Markas Latihan of Mindef, who said they hold no command of Puswatan.

I am now happily out of TA. Commission or no commission, ATM is one big messed up place. Good riddance.

Kamal Sanusi said...

Salam Tuan

Some would take their training as ragging and some would take it in different way. It very much depend on individual mental strength to define the word training and ragging.

Since the day I join ROTU (1993) in which the CI was Mej Mokhtar (RRD) and my Peg. Latih was Kapt Mohd Fadzillah (RAMD), we faced the same situation as what Hansac gone thru. However, thank GOD for giving us a strong mental, we took it as part of training towards preparing us to be an officer & a gentleman not as ragging.

After commission, being a 2nd Lt or Y.O, we attended many courses in PLAW namely
1. Kursus senjata bantuan
2. Kursus Ketua Platun
3. Kursus Ketua Kompeni
4. Etc... which has resulted many of us being promoted to higher rank.

1001 kind of so-called ragging being faced especially during some courses in PULADA Ulu Tiram a.k.a pusat latihan anjing darat which has turn us to be more caring among each other in pretext of esprit de corps.

I'm not against ragging nor I condone such act but it should be done smartly which I categorized it into two:
1. Ragging physically
2. Ragging mentally

Type 1 should not be condone at all under any circumstances but sometimes you need it in moderate way towards disciplining the members without body contact. Push-up, lari pusing padang kawad atau yg sekasta dengannya, okey la tu. Jgn dok pi sepak terajang sampai mati.

Type 2 is more advisable because it train your mental to be stronger than strongest. If your mental is weak, you cannot be a good officer to command your boy especially during critical moment. Not only in army life but in civilian as well namely in private sector. Macam Change parade... Memang tension giler but later on you'll find it funny.

Sadly, many people prefer to choose type 1 because they are in power and wanna show it.

Therefore, for those who wanna ragging others to show your power, hiding behind your rank, use type 2, safe! I'm happy to be in 513 and might move to PSS-TLDM to enhance my knowledge in maritime plak without losing my rank plak tu.

Kamal Sanusi said...

Salam Tuan

Some would take their training as ragging and some would take it different way depending on how strong the mental of said person.

For me there are 2 type of ragging.
1. Mental ragging.
2. Physical ragging.

During my ROTU training and various courses in PLAW and PULADA, I did face the same scenario as what Hansac had gone through. Alhamdullillah, semuanya bereh! Thanks to my ex-CI Mej Mokhtar (RRD) and Kapt Mohd Fadzillah (RAMD and other staff for making me what I am now despite your hard training. Likewise, entah aper nak jadi ngan saya, heheeheee...

Ragging type 1 normally happen to the whole platoon or company or members of the said course whereas, type 2 normally happen to an individual, one-to-one with body contact.

Type 1 is something which I can accepted like change parade, running around camp, side or forward roll or even helicopter.

As for type 2 need to check the root-cause of it, where there is possibility the junior is so arrogant just because he is VIP's son, not respecting the senior the way he supposed to and to make the thing worst, the officer incharge dok back-up dia despite reports lodged by the senior. So, cara nak mengajar adalah dgn bertumbuk sepak terajang jer lor.

I'm not against ragging nor I condone it but for me ragging should be done properly and be define accurately in pretext to discipline a person without giving any harm that is by using type 1.

I'm happy to be in 513 and looking forward for next rank, crown + ketui.

My view is my view, like it or not this is my view. Heheeheee...

Arunzab said...

Saudara Kamal Sanusi,
You are not suggesting by any means that Hansac was in any way less of an officier material than you or others who had 'strong mental'. The man stood up for what was clearly wrong and had the guts to speak up when it counted . He may not even have a 'ketui' let alone a crown to go with as you are expecting,but I have a lot of respect for him .

Salam

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

Dear Readers,

Thank you for your comments. If you remember a few years back when an Air Force cadet resigned from Kolej Tentera Udara because he could not bear the 'torture' by the seniors. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, a number of the seniors were sacked and charged in court.

One day I was playing golf with one of the instructors and asked him about this incident. He told me that the cadet was 'weak' and deserved to get the treatment. I told him that those cadets were not undergoing commando training and how would he take it if it were his own son who was treated like that? He just kept quiet.

Anonymous said...

maj!
Right from the minister and the top echelon leaderships in the ATM are incompetent and they need to be booted out.
Shame on you PAT!!! PTD. PTU and PTL konon nya ada Board of Governor but what they discuss may be just about golf and feeling great with stars on their shoulder, walking around look important.
Disgusting and imagine if the victim happen to be PAT son or any other top bras in this nation.You know la maj... what will happen.
Sicko leadership lead to sicko organization.

Kamal Sanusi said...

Salam Tuan

I don't live in denial syndrome. As I mentioned earlier, some would take it as ragging, some would against it and some would not bother about it.

Believe me, ragging comes in many way. Like it or not, we somehow or rather used to bully people without realizing it.


Kan kan kan...