03 March 2013

You Are Not Family

I have often been asked if I miss being in the air force. This is is a rather popular question, and one even I have foolishly asked when mingling with some senior officers on the brink of retirement. The universal answer was always, yes, and when followed with what it was they missed the answer was always comradeship.
I do not miss the comradeship. I have discovered that come any street, I have the ability to make friends. And friends will do what friends do, in service or out in civvy street. That's an entire different  argument there.
The point is, it isn't the comradeship that I miss.
It's the involvement.
Everyone thinks they have heard all there is to hear about Lahad Datu. And God be my witness, I wish I were right there to do something about it. If they called me now, I would be there yesterday bearing arms.
I have really had it with the rubbish that has been spewed in the alternative media, where even facebook has not been spared.
How easy it is to condemn and criticise the working man, whether soldier or policeman on the ground, over your dissatisfactions with the establishment. How simplistic it is to draft the unfounded analogous parallel to an intruder into your home, when you haven't accounted for turning on the lights and finding your cousin staring back at your baseball bat at the ready to bludgeon his head. How horribly obscene it is to make all this a racial episode, forgetting that all races have died in service to King and country, as easily overlooked that it was not just one race that took up the armed communist struggle in our rainforests. Worst of all, it is an outrage that anyone, individual and entity alike, should look so poorly upon the lives that were taken in the shootout at Lahad Datu by milking it for illicit political mileage.
The kind of remarks that have been passed in the alternative media has made me feel that a great many of us perhaps deserve less than what we claim we are entitled to in a transparent and graft-free government.
From the comfort of your air conditioned homes and plush offices, you would pose as the intellectual authority on how the police are supposed to handle this quagmire of a crisis. Your gleaning of a few lurid misadventures when you have  brushed with them from the wrong side of the law does not equate to an intimate knowledge of their modus operandi.
What recent events have unearthed is a hoarde of the ugliest Malaysian attitudes I have had the displeasure to read. If this is any shade of colour on the civic consciousness litmus, the singular conclusion must be that we are not ready for public opinion to be a driving force for government policy.
When do you think that you were made entitled to disclosure of military manouvres? When you survived Outward Bound School?
Everything in the military runs on a security classification. Even the "UNCLASSED" documents are for internal reading only. While you are so reluctant to serve, and discourage anyone who shows an interest in becoming a soldier, you think you can fathom the details of who should handle what in such an intricate crisis?
There are some professions you have no right to pass judgement on unless you have given your blood into them, soldiering being high on that heirarchy. You're not of the fraternity, so forever hold your piece! You are not family!!
Those who slurred at the armed forces as being good only for butt-wriggling exercises have exposed their intelligence for what it is: the myopic inability to discern between a serving soldier bound by discipline, and a retired veteran's group which isn't. Do you know how stupid you sound to those of us from the profession of arms??

Those who charge that our armed forces are low on training and experience should conduct better research instead of infusing beer and conspiracy novels as sources of military intelligence.

You cannot legitimise military action in a civil area unless it has been declared as no man's land and hostilities have been announced. The Malaysian Armed Forces is a highly trained organisation sought after by the UN from our days in conflicts in Congo, Cambodia, Bosnia, the Middle East and the volatile Eritrea. We have officers who have single handedly slaughtered a truckload of Mogadishu warlords on the verge of slaying women and children; we have officers who managed to apply escape and evasion tactics after abduction and torture at the hands of Sierra Leone bandits, veterans of the communist insurgency, and a collective of several decades of service in humanitarian aid and disaster relief areas. They know the legal complications of using military options as a first resort, the implications of having to be bound by the Laws Of Armed Conflict and the Geneva Convention. Indeed, those very laws were manipulated and violated in order to draw our secuirty forces into the killing zone when the intruders waved the white flag as a prelude to gunning our boys down. You just cannot deal summarily with this viscous situation.

I do not envy the position of our governing politicans now because it is such a delicate situation yet they know they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. While they may have bungled during times of civil dissent, these shades of incompetence do not validate the widespread claims by Joe Public that Joe Public has a better grasp on the burden of responsibility replete with the tactical and strategic weildings to make this work and that therefore the various ministers attempting to unravel this mess should resign. Joe, you are indeed laughable because in your self-inflicted significance and stupor you intend to hold the backdoor open for someone holding public office to run off before the assembly of the full orchestra can take place. Do this only if you can close the door and occupy the emptied seat.
The Royal Malaysian Police have given their lives to guard your homes in the Lahad Datu stand-off.
As the episode has yet to conclude, it is not known yet how many more lives will be lost.
But as policemen and soldiers get their orders to move into the area, those orders are obeyed in the face of death. They have no choice. They have always known this and they march into battle when their time arrives.
Do not even begin to justify the cost of their lives with the taxes you pay or the job they have undertaken. Nothing you pare out of your ill-gotten gains can pay off the widows and orphans trailing in the wake of those who have done what you can choose not to do. No amount of intellectualisation will ever raise you to the level of sacredity they attain for knowingly going, without a backward glance, especially on behalf of those who scoff at them.
Therefore, since you have neither the inclination to take up a gun and work with others by placing your life in their hands and defending their lives with yours, nor the spirit to run for office and face being blamed by your own breed, leave those who have the dirty work to do what dirty work there is.
As far as I can see, you have begun by your crescendo of Crucify them!! Crucify them!! only to be followed by Hossana!! Hossana!! when your barking has been choked in your throat when met with the blood of those whom you condemn.
I tell you verily, this makes you nothing more than a brood of vipers.


  1. I may be guilty of exhorting for earlier action but my venom was only spilled after Friday's action. I have held my tongue for three weeks since the intrusion began, so am feeling frustrated in seeing reactionary action than a pre-emptive action. But never fear my contempt is for the powers that be that may have been to patient to foresee the most extreme scenario, rather than the uniformed bodies on the ground. I well understand that unleashed, your brothers' in arms will perform far and above that is expected of them.


  2. Hi, I hear you. I too can't stand these ignoramus! You know I have "friends" who does nothing but criticize!!

    Praying to the Almighty for protection of our beloved country, for safety of our Forces and our people out there and may there be a bloodless solution soon!

  3. Dear sir, I know your predilections. I feel the same as you do, that military intervention is necessary when dealing with guerillas. You need the minds and hearts of soldiers to outwit soldiers, and while policemen have a function, it takes a thief to catch a thief. Just like you, I am appalled at the pussyfooting of those who can consume coffee and crumpets in their offices and shove aside gridlock with uniformed outriders but do not apply a single one of the ten principles of war in their deliberations over our conflict in Sabah.
    May they be released to do their duty soon. Indeed, if they called, I would be honoured to stand amongst them and fulfill my own oath I undertook 29 years ago.

    1. The next few days will be the critical days of reckoning. May victory be ours!

  4. Dear Angie

    You're right. I am well aware of many in OUR beloved state who at this very moment are still ranting parochially at a West-versus-East Malaysia stance.

    In the end, those who die for you come from everywhere. That's what men in uniform do. They go where ordered. Many not of our country died for our nation. You will see their headstones yet may never know their names.

    I cannot understand anyone who at times such as these show their ugliest side.

    We are one country in the end. We are all dissatisfied with our lot as we think we could be better. Perhaps we can, but we must choose to be, but parochialsim is as bad as racism as a solution to our woes. It cannot serve to build our broken bridges and makes none of us better than the ones whom we abhor.

  5. I salute you, sir!
    I will spread your words, as these are words from a wise man who has been there and done that.
    There have been far too many words written and uttered on the alternative media from mere speculation, manipulation, and also seem twisted with insincere intention.

    Yours sink right into my marrow!

  6. Hello there Pak Pin, I am glad to find my relatively unread blog being guest to people like you suddenly. I understand well what you are saying, and I am glad that no matter what we understand that no matter what, corrupt or altruistic, men have died that we might live. Indeed, you need the dirtiest to inflict the horrible upon the enemy. You would have read by now of the mutilations and beheadings. This is not an enemy we can fight honourably against. This is when we must fall back to the ugly background we have of 40 years in the jungle which led to the CPM's treatise.
    Be my guest here anytime. Meanwhile I am going to take liberties in visiting yours :P

  7. Well said! I would join you to call out those who made the stupidiest comments to serve the nation and being in the frontline.

  8. Thank you Anon. All I can say is thank you.