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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah...3 Okt 1993

29 September 2010...Saya telah menghantar 2 e-mel berikut berkaitan dengan coretan ini.

Pertama:

Kepada PTD, PAT dan Pak Menteri, salinan kepada 'Whoever you may be (ruangan komen di sini)'...

Sekiranya terbolos saringan 'gate-keepers'...jengok-jengoklah'!

Kedua:


Kepada Arkib Negara Malaysia (ANM) dengan harapan insiden tersebut mempunyai 'merit' untuk disiarkan dalam program "Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah". Saya telah menalifon pegawai terbabit tetapi difahamkan beliau sedang mengikuti kursus...

Pertama sekali...SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI, MAAF ZAHIR & BATIN.

Bersama ini dikepilkan coretan saya berkenaan seorang wira negara, Korperal MAT AZNAN BIN AWANG SP, yang terkorban di Somalia ketika unit beliau,  19 RAMD Mekanis, membuat operasi untuk menyelamatkan krew helikopter 'Blackhawk' kepunyaan tentera Amerika Syarikat. (Hollywood telah memfilemkan cerita ini bertajuk "Blackhawk Down" tanpa menunjukkan pasukan sebenar yang menyelamatkan mereka). Kejadian ini berlaku pada 3 Oktober 1993. 

Arwah Kpl Mat Aznan telah dianugerahkan darjah tertinggi negara Malaysia tercinta ini - Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP). 

Sepertimana yang dicatatkan dalam coretan, kisah ini telah diceritakan dengan terperinci oleh Lt Kol Dr Syed Othman bin Syed Omar (B). Utusan Malaysia juga telah menyiarkan insiden tersebut dalam rencananya di http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2007&dt=1003&pub=utusan_malaysia&sec=Rencana&pg=re_02.htm&arc=hive.

Pada pandangan saya, pengorbanan arwah sepatutnya diingati kerana pasukan kita telah melaksanakan tugas dengan cemerlangnya dan sangat membanggakan  ketika berkhidmat di bawah panji-panji Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) 

Apa kata anda? Terima kasih.

Respons dari KEMENTAH?....Macamlah anda tak tahu! ANM?...Mungkin. Tak cuba...Tak tahu.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dilupa Jangan

Pembaca...Ketika seorang pegawai dari 6 RAMD datang ke rumah berkaitan pusara arwah Lt M Abd Hamid Bin Ismail dalam coretan di sini, beliau telah bertanya kepada saya sekiranya terdapat lagi pusara wira-wira di Kedah dan Perlis. Pada pemahaman saya, unit tersebut akan menyelenggara pusara penerima anugerah SP & PGB yang terkorban. Mereka ada senarai penerima anugerah tersebut tetapi kemungkinan tidak dapat mengesan pusara wira-wira berkenaan.

Beberapa hari kemudian, saya telah menghubungi mantanPW2 Mohsain, Trup Semboyan Skn Bantuan, RGK, bertanyakan di mana arwah Lt Kol Ahmad Rashid PGB disemadikan. Ketika berjumpa di sini, beliau memberitahu saya bahawa beliau mengenali arwah dan keluarganya sebelum berkhidmat dalam ATM lagi. Menurut Mohsain, arwah disimpan di Jitra tetapi tidak pasti di tanah perkuburan mana. Dengan maklumat ini, saya telah menghubungi pegawai terbabit untuk tindakan mereka selanjutnya.

Saya difahamkan arwah adalah satu-satunya penerima 2 anugerah PGB! Saya ada menceritakan berkenaan beliau di sini.

Ketika menciplak bahan coretan "Lagi Mangsa Jerangkap Samar" ini yang terdapat dalam buku '19 RAMD Mekanis Di Somalia", saya membaca kisah "TRAGEDI DI TIMUR PASAR BAKARA". Ia mengisahkan secara terperinci bagaimana tentera kita melancar operasi untuk menyelamat krew helikopter 'Blackhawk' kepunyaan tentera Amerika Syarikat yang ditembak jatuh...difilemkan "Blackhawk Down". Operasi ini telah mengorbankan seorang anggota Tentera Malaysia, Kpl Mat Aznan Bin Awang SP. 

Antara gambar-gambar penghormatan terakhir kepada arwah Kpl Mat Aznan...
Saya telah menghubungi pegawai 6 RAMD berkenaan dan memaklumkan kepada beliau lokasi pusara pahlawan tersebut. Saya tidak tahu bagaimana keadaan pusara arwah dan harapan saya agar pihak berwajib...jengok-jengoklah pusara pahlawan-pahlawan negara itu! Al-Fatihah....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lagi Mangsa Jerangkap Samar

Pembaca...Di bawah ini saya menciplak (dengan izin) cerita penulis "19 RAMD MEKANIS DI SOMALIA" (di sini), iaitu Lt Kol Dr Syed Othman bin Syed Omar PhD. Saya pasti ramai yang masih belum membacanya. Beliau menceritakan bagaimana beliau telah hilang pancaindera penglihatan kedua-dua matanya angkara jerangkap samar. Saya ada menulis kisah ringkas di sini.



            


Jerangkap samar...tidak mengenal kawan atau lawan. 
(Maaf kerana muka surat tidak tersusun). Buku ini boleh diperolehi dengan menghubungi beliau melalui nombor 0192356190.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Penerbangan Formasi

Pagi Ahad 26 September 2010...Ketika memandu ke Alor Setar, ternampak 3 buah helikopter Alouette 111 membuat penerbangan formasi di ruang angkasa Jitra/Kepala Batas. Ini mengingatkan saya gambar-gambar yang dihantar oleh Mej Jen Dato' Fauzi TUDM (B). Gambar-gambar ini memaparkan sebuah Nuri dan 4 Alouette membuat penerbangan formasi di Labuan sekitar 1970. Ketika itu, No 5 Skn adalah skuadron Aloutte 111 dan Nuri tersebut dari No 7 Skn, TUDM Kuching.




                                  
Dato'...Masih ingat ke 'event' hari tersebut? Terima kasih.
Nota: Hari ini 'Hari Raya' selepas berjaya melaksanakan 'puasa 6', Syukur Alhamdulillah. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rumah Terbuka XSappers

Pada 18 September 2010, saya terima e-mel berikut dari Lt Kol Basri Omar...

Salam Tuan!

Tak sat Dato'Jamil Tahir x CE..Penaung Sprs Wilayah Utara mohon saya cakap sikit di Hari Terbuka di Kelab Permaipura,Bedong pada 25 Sep nanti ...saya terus cadang mengundang Tuan ke Majlis tersebut,,,,Beliau setuju....

Tarikh: 25 Sep 2010
Masa: 1200-1600
Tempat: Kelab Permaipura,Bedong,Kedah

Moga di Majlis tu Tuan dapat berjumpa dan bertemu dgn XSprs yang terlibat dgn beberapa Ops terdahulu....TLL dan sbgainya.

Sekian,Wassalam
Basri bin Hj Omar 

Diikuti sms berikut dari EXSAPPERSWU pada 21 September 2010... 

SAMBUTAN A'FITRI EXSPRS UTARA. TARIKH 25.9.19. SABTU TEMPAT: PERMAIPURA GCC. BEDONG. MULAI JAM 1200H-1600H. TUAN & ISTERI DIJEMPUT HADIR. DRPD: SETIAUSAHA 019541XXXX TK.

Saya sungguh terharu menerima  jemputan ini dan menganggapnya  satu penghormatan. Mana tidaknya...Saya bukannya seorang warga Jurutera dan ahli persatuan yang saya kenal hanyalah Basri dan PW2 Krishnan (coretan ini). Isteri saya tidak dapat ikut bersama, justeru, saya bertanya  Krishnan sama ada beliau akan menghadiri majlis tersebut. Beliau menerima pelawaan untuk pergi bersama saya...Kami  bertolak dari rumah saya pada jam 1300.

Wow...Sungguh baik sekali sambutan dari veteran Jurutera. Mereka dari Taiping datang dengan bas. Syabas kepada penganjur yang berjaya membawa ahli mereka. Krishnan dapat bertemu dengan kenalan beliau. Yang saya kenal hanyalah  Basri tetapi kemesraan mereka menyebabkan saya tidak berasa terpinggir.  

Dua veteran di sebelah kanan saya merupa 'casevacs' jerangkap samar. Mereka menceritakan apa yang berlaku ketika operasi...di mana lagi kalau tak Gubir atau Kroh! Seorang pula (tiada dalam gambar) terlibat dalam Ops Terumbu Layang-Layang. 

Saya sebenarnya telah makan tengah hari sebelum bertolak ke sana. Tetapi kerana  Basri belum makan kerana menunggu ketibaan saya...apa lagi...saya pun temankan beliau...makan lagi! Persatuan turut memberi sumbangan kepada veteran-veteran yang tercedera angkara terkena jerangkap samar dan balu ahli-ahli yang telah kembali menemui Penciptanya.

Sementelah bersembang tentang jerangkap samar, saya telah menyarankan kepada Basri agar beliau menceritakan sedikit-sebanyak...apakah itu 'Jerangkap Samar?' Saya pasti perkataan ini terlalu asing bagi kebanyakan pembaca dewasa ini. Kalau ada '....vac' pun hanyalah'medivac', seperti dipatuk ular. Sebelum pulang ke jitra, Basri telah menghadiahkan buku ini kepada saya.

Lt Kol Basri, Mej Fauzi & Jawatankuasa XSappers Bahagian Utara...Terima kasih di atas jemputan anda. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Raya Special

It's been quite some time when I last wrote on golf. So when I received this e-mail from a reader, son of an ex ADC (Air Defence Centre) personnel '...Golf? Tell me about it.', I decided to write this entry.

Tuesday 21 September 2010...The 'Quartet' was back at the Darulaman Golf & Country Club for our routine weekday golfing after a long break. The day before, ie, 20 Sep, I was already at the club when there was a heavy downpour...had to cancel the game. So today was our first day together after Hari Raya. And I was poorer by 60 cents to Cikgu since he managed to play to his handicap. The 3 of us had to share RM1.80 to pay for his drink at our new haunt...'The Kembung'...so named by me because of its 'kari ikan kembung'...He...He...He (Gymkhana Cafe is closed after the contract had expired).


Wednesday 22 September...My 4th day of Puasa 6 and so I told the members that I was not playing for the drink. And guess what? I played to my handicap! After the game, the trio went to The Kembung whilst I took my wife for a drive to Pasar Nelayan, Kuala Kubang Rotan, somewhere near Kuala Kedah. This was our first trip after making Jitra our habitat for the last 10 years. I heard about it so much before, mainly for its fresh sea produce.


Oh yes...I can see fishermen coming with their boats to unload their catch. I came at the right time...about 1100 hour. Fresh? Yes. Choices? Frankly...not much. Kembung and tongkol...plentiful, senangin...1 or 2 only, kepah and other varities of fish. My comment is that the size of the kembung was of 'grandchildren' standard only...too small. How I wish the government would impose restrictions on the sizes of fish for my my 'kari ikan kembung'. Let the fish have the chance to mature and reproduce. No wonder our stocks of fish are depleting!

So unlike the countries around the North Sea and Bering Sea. Fishermen can only fish 'herring' in North Sea during certain period of the year. Ever see the program 'Deadliest Catch'? The 'crabermen' of those costly crabs of Bering Sea literally measure the crabs. Those that do not meet the specific measurement are thrown back into the sea.


Thursday 23 September...I decided not to play with my gang members. Instead I opted to play in the 'Raya Special' at Royal Kedah Club (RKC)...held from 23 through 25 Sep over 18 holes. Prize giving at 2000hr on 25 Sep by HH Sultan of Kedah. Hole-in-one for hole #4 & #7 was a Toyota each (see pic).  All members are charged RM80/year for 3 golf festivals - Raya, Pow Specials and Indian 'Festival'.  This amount is spread out throughout 12 months - about RM6+/month. OK lah tu...If I want to participate in one of the festivals, I need to pay an additional RM12.60 (inclusive of 5% tax) only.

Well...With my golf prowess, I told my gang members that I'll try to earn some income for our monthly outing. You see, normally RKC give vouchers as prizes. These are exchangeable for cash or contra the monthly bills...The prizes are not bad.


The game itself? First of all, hole-in-1. For me, it's just a dream. #4=210m. With all my brute strength, my tee-off distance was about 150m...couldn't even reach the green.  #7=145m, I used my hybrid and it landed in the bunker. Score? Double circle=double par=6! On completion the  1st 9, my score was 20 over=56 gross...so unlike me...! He...He...He. With this score, only a miracle could save me...I needed pars all the way in order to play to my 20 hc. So, I told my flight mates that I had to quit the game and let them have the chance to win with me out of contention. So unsporting of me. Well, at least the goodies were worth more than RM12.60...

So my friend...That's the quality of my golf, fit only to play with my gang members!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tuntut...Jangan Tak Tuntut

Siaran Ulangan ...Siapa kata Malaysia beribu kilometer dari China, Vietnam, Filipina dan Taiwan? Lihat jiran-jiran kita ini...


Terumbu yang diduduki oleh China...


Yang diduduki oleh Vietnam...


Yang menjadi sebahagian dari negara tercinta Malaysia...Swallow Reef  aka Terumbu Layang-Layang/Stesyen LIMA...


Kehadiran anggota Paskal telah mengurangkan pencerobohan nelayan dan kapal tentera laut negara asing seperti yang dilaporkan oleh Bernama ini.

Mengapa siaran ulangan ini? Kerana mungkin ramai rakyat jelata yang kurang peka terhadap perkembangan yang berlaku di sekeliling negara kita.  Pertikaian terhadap beberapa atol di Kepulauan Spratly masih belum selesai. Sila baca laporan ini. Malah, negara ASEAN yang menuntut kedaulautan terhadap terumbu tertentu ada menguar-uarkan agar Laut China Selatan ditukarkan kepada Laut Asia Tenggara. Tunggu sahaja kenyataan bersama di antara ASEAN & AS yang akan dikeluarkan dari Manila nanti. Serius sikit kali ni...He...He...He.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Satu Penghormatan

Pembaca... Berikut adalah e-mel Mej Ishak Isa (B) kepada saya pada 22 Ogos 2010... 

"Masih ingat kem Gubir?
Just to recall your memory...
Lt Col Harun pernah mengarahkan saya  membuat sebuah lukisan dinding. Tujuannya sebagai penghargaan kpd Pilot-pilot yg berjasa kpd kami.
Lukisan dinding itu saya buat di dinding officers Mess kem Gubir. Ukuran 15x10. Gambar nuri...."
(Gambar kanan: Ihsan Lt Kol Basri Omar (B))

Pada 19 September 2010, saya telah menghubungi Pegawai Memerintah 6 RAMD yang ketika ini berada di Kem Gubir, memohon jasa baik beliau agar dapat menghantar lukisan tersebut sekiranya masih ada. Hasilnya,  pada 21 September...Inilah lukisan yang dimaksudkan oleh Mej Ishak Isa...

Nuri menghantar rangsum dengan dieskot oleh sebuah Alouette 111 Gunship 

Saya percaya gambar ini telah dilukis pada persekitaran 1978 ketika 14 RAW beroperasi di Gubir. Ketika usia menjangkau senja, melihat gambar sebegini sudah pasti mengimbau kembali kenangan di masa lampau...sungguh nostalgik! Dulu, memang tidak memberi sebarang makna. Sekiranya diizinkan Allah, satu-satu hari nanti 'I must make a point to revisit Gubir...a visit down memory lane!', InsyaAllah.

Pegawai Memerintah 6 RAMD & Mej Ishak & saudara Katon Tin-Ton...Terima kasih.

Kepada semua 'footsloggers'...saya tidak mewakili sesiapa tetapi saya pasti rakan seperjuangan di era saya tiada bantahan sekiranya saya mengucapkan bagi pihak mereka dan diri saya sendiri...

"TERIMA KASIH DI ATAS PENGHORMATAN TUAN-TUAN SEMUA"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Berubah Wajah

21 September 2010 jam 1702...Saya terima mms ini dari seorang 'hamba Allah'. Wajah baru pusara arwah LT MUDA ABDUL HAMID BIN ISMAIL SP (coretan ini) setelah dibersihkan oleh 6 RAMD yang berpengkalan di Kepala Batas, Kedah Darulaman...Syukur Alhamdulillah. 

Di peringkat awal...belum siap sepenuhnya dan masih terpaksa 'meniarap' untuk membaca kapsyen

Satu transformasi dari keadaan yang menyedihkan sebelum ini...

 

Saya turut difahamkan bahawa TDM akan mengambil langkah tertentu bagi menentukan pusara pahlawan negara ini tidak terabai lagi, InsyaAllah. Berkaitan dengan cadangan menukarkan nama madrasah tersebut kepada 'MADRASAH ABDUL HAMID', kemungkin besar akan menjadi kenyataan...Wallahualam. Saya memberitahu hamba Allah berkenaan agar beliau memaklumkan saya sekiranya cadangan itu menjadi realiti. Kalau tiada aral melintang dan diberitahu (walaupun tidak dijemput), saya akan cuba meluangkan masa untuk menyaksikan  peristiwa itu nanti, InsyaAllah.

Pembaca...Sekiranya anda mengetahui pusara pahlawan-pahlawan yang terabai, saya cadangkan anda menghubungi PTD, salinan kepada Menteri dan PAT. Bukannya apa, kemungkinan besar e-mel tersebut tidak sampai kepada pengetahuan beliau kerana terhenti di peringkat 'gate-keepers' sahaja. Tetapi, apabila ada 'cc', penyaring tersebut akan fikir 2-3 kali juga!! Sekiranya tiada sebarang respons atau respons yang 'kurang asem'...e-mel saja kepada media massa. 

PTD & 6 RAMD...Terima kasih.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Forgotten Hero

I posted this entry in April this year. Well...Well...the plight of Capt Mukhtiar Singh appeared in The Star.... 

Saturday September 18, 2010

Veteran communist fighter denied pension

Stories by SIMRIT KAUR
simrit@thestar.com.my
Pictures by CAPTAIN MUKHTIAR SINGH, UTUSAN MALAYSIA & UU BAN/The Star

An ex-serviceman who played a heroic part in combating communist insurgents laments being denied a pension because of a technicality.
Veteran communist fighter Captain Mukhtiar Singh regards his years in the police and army with a mixture of pride and indignation — pride because he fought fearlessly, and indignation because, despite the sacrifices, he has been denied his rightful pension.

In 1948, Mukthtiar, 16, was like many teenagers his age. He studied hard at Batu Road School in Kuala Lumpur and helped his grandfather with chores. To earn extra money, he worked part-time as a night watchman.
Mukhtiar was known as a top marksman and won many shooting medals and awards during his career.
Mukhtiar’s parents, who were farmers in Punjab, had sent their eldest child at the age of four to Malaya to get an education. The outbreak of the Emergency, however, changed everything as he was drafted into the police force.

“When the Emergency started, the management of the company I was working for took all the watchmen to the Campbell Police Station and gave us a rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition. We were made Special Constables but we did not know how to use the weapons as we had no training,’’ he recalls.

In 1950, Mukthiar received a telegram that his mother was seriously ill. He left for India but she died before he could see her. A heart-broken Mukthiar returned to Malaya hoping to continue his studies. His dreams were dashed, however, when he was forced to take up arms again.

“I was riding my bicycle when my English boss, Mr Swan, at Wilkinson Process Rubber Company in Ipoh Road, stopped me and asked me to rejoin the police. I told him I wanted to study. However, he informed the OCPD of Kepong of my return. I was told to rejoin the police force or be sent for national service in Kulai, Johor,” says Mukthiar, who was soon made a Special Constable again.

Still wanting to leave, he started reporting sick in the hope that he would eventually be discharged. However, he was told that he would end up in the lock-up if he continued to shirk his duties. That proved to be a turning point for Mukthiar because, from then on, he embraced his fate and devoted himself to the police force, quickly rising up the ranks.

Mukhtiar was made temporary inspector in 1954 and led a 36-man platoon, the Police Special Squad Group Number 4, to two Selangor Battle Defensive Shields. To get the shield, platoons were awarded points based on the number of communists killed or captured and weapons seized. A dead communist earned the highest points: 25.
British High Commissioner to Malaysia Sir Donald MacGillivray presenting the Colonial Police Medal for gallantry in action to Mukhtiar on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II
Feats of courage
Mukhtiar had several close encounters throughout the 12-year Emergency. Patrols were dangerous as many of the constables were untrained and did not have proper equipment for jungle warfare.
“Instead of breaking up into groups, we tended to walk together. We were always afraid of getting lost as we had no maps or compasses,” he remembers.
Despite this, Mukhtiar’s team of irregular semi-trained Special Constables managed to produce excellent results. His platoon was responsible for the death and capture of 18 communist terrorists. Amazingly, Mukhtiar was never injured.
Once, he was shot at by a terrorist who managed to hit his turban, which fell off. Two of his men were wounded. Mukhtiar almost lost his life again when he was alone and came face to face with two insurgents in the Damansara area, near the Subang Jaya airport.
“The first bandit shot at me and I shot back and injured him but he escaped. At that time, the second bandit aimed at me but I quickly fired a shot which went right into the nozzle of his gun which caused a lightning effect. His bullet ended up at my feet. My shot killed him,” he says.
The wounded bandit surrendered the same day at Pilsmoor Estate and was sent to hospital. Mukhtiar went there to question him.
“As soon as he saw me, he jumped from his bed and said, ‘Ini Benggali tembak saya’. “(Sikhs are erroneously called Bengalis, who are from Bengal, when they actually originate from Punjab).
The wounded bandit then gave information of four friends still at large in the Damansara jungle.
“The next day we carried him on our shoulders into the jungle to capture the four others. For this, he was given $15,000,’’ Mukthiar recounts.
On Jan 2,1958, Mukhtiar led a patrol to Rawang with a surrendered bandit to check on a communist food dump. While there, he managed to shoot and capture a wounded communist leader named Yap Keow Sin, who was later sentenced to death.
White Selangor
Mukhtiar with wife Pritam Kaur.
Mukhtiar is most famous for his role in helping to make Selangor “white” or free of communists. The year was 1959, and the Emergency was drawing to a close. Chinese New Year was coming, and the authorities were anxious to capture the four remaining communist terrorists believed to be hiding in Selangor.
“We thought the communists might come out then to look for food. Our group was assigned to an area near Sungai Selangor in Bukit Beruntung. I identified four possible crossing points across the river and stationed four of my men at each location. Six of us were on patrol when we found four bags belonging to the communists. We knew they were on the run and would have to go to one of our ambush places to get across the river.
“I fired a shot to make sure the running bandits got caught in our traps. One of my men, a Gurkha, managed to shoot the first bandit. A female terrorist was shot, too. Both of them were wounded and jumped into the river while a third was shot dead. When I arrived at the scene, I immediately captured the other two bandits who had jumped into the river in order to question them on the wherabouts of the fourth bandit.
“I remember the female terrorist begged that we kill her. The other wounded bandit died while being transported. All the bandits were high-ranking communist leaders. One was the state Selangor chief and the other two district Selangor chiefs.”
The fourth bandit, surrendered at the Kerling police station later. The group was responsible for the murders of Inspector Kartar Singh and 11 other policeman in a single incident in Bukit Beruntung in 1953 and also killed the OCPD of Rawang.
Mukthiar was recognised for his role in ridding Selangor of communists during a special parade held to mark the end of the communist threat in the state.
Technical blunder
Sadly, despite having served the government for 29 years, Mukhtiar Singh has been denied his rightful pension because of a technicality. When the Emergency ended, the Home Guards and Special Constables were disbanded, and the Territorial Army (TA) was formed. District Officer Yeop Mahidin was appointed director of the TA.
“Since there was a vacancy for instructors and administrative officers, I asked for a release from the police force and joined the Territorial Army as an instructor,” says Mukhtiar.
In 1972, when a pay review commission was set up, all short service officers like Mukhtiar, were required to attend a weapons tactics course to become regular officers in the army. In 1975, when the officers went for the course, Mukthiar’s name was left out of the list. The training officer told Mukhtiar he had forgotten to nominate him.
“My commanding officer told me not to worry and said he would recommend me for a regular commission in order for me to get my pension. Taking these officers’ words on faith, I continued with my duties but when I put my papers in for a regular commission, I was rejected for not attending the course.
“I had done the course before when I became an instructor at the Port Dickson Army School and as a TA officer, I had also attended a similar course at its training school at Ipoh.”
The irony is that Mukhtiar had been an instructor of the course for 16 years and was a renowned marksman who received 70 awards for his shooting prowess.
“My friends who attended similar courses were later recognised as regular commission officers and given pensions even though some of them did not complete 21 years of service,’’ he says.
Struggle for justice
The 78-year-old, however, has not given up hope that his services to the nation will finally be recognised, especially with the help of people like Lt Col (R) Mohd Idris Hassan who put together a dossier on Mukhtiar’s career to support his applications.
“I thank him from the bottom of my heart for his concern,’’ says Mukhtiar of Mohd Idris, a former student of his.
From left: Major (R) Balwant Singh Munshi Nadhan Singh, Capt (R) Mukhtiar Singh Sodagar Singh and Major (R) Ajit Singh Gurdit Singh.
“It’s hard not to mengenang budi (be grateful) to someone who taught you the first basic lessons of being a team player,” wrote Mohd Idris in a blog.
“How to march in step, to fire a rifle with the greatest accuracy or it may be the last shot you would ever fire; someone who taught you the art of warfare in hunting your enemy and seeing that the enemy does not hurt you.”
Others, like Mukhtiar’s brother-in-law Major (R) Ajit Singh Gurdit Singh, say that the reasons given for denying him a pension are unacceptable.
“Others who served fewer years than Mukthiar and who did not do as much as he has in fighting the communists were given pensions. Look at his record, he deserves a pension based on merit,” Ajit says.
Major (R) Balwant Singh Munshi Nadhan Singh says that if the rules cannot be bent, then Mukhtiar should be awarded the Panglima Gagah Berani, the second highest award for gallantry, which comes with a monthly pension of RM1,500.
“He is a forgotten, unrewarded hero. His outstanding contributions seem to have gone unnoticed. It is time that Mukhtiar is duly rewarded,” says Balwant.
“When I tell people, I don’t receive a pension, they think I must have done something wrong,” Mukhtiar says sadly.
The feeling of injustice becomes even more painful when he thinks of all the communist terrorists who became rich after turning informant. Mukhtiar remembers meeting the former terrorist who surrendered at Pilsmoor Estate.
“He recognised me and treated me to tea. He was very grateful that I had wounded him as he was given $15,000 as a reward by the government.
“With the money he managed to buy two shophouses in Pudu. What did I get?” laments Mukhtiar.