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Rudyard Kipling

" ā€œWhen you're left wounded on
Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,
Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,
And go to your God like a soldierā€
General Douglas MacArthur

" ā€œWe are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.ā€

ā€œIt is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.ā€
ā€œOld soldiers never die; they just fade away.
ā€œThe soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,
for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.ā€
ā€œMay God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .ā€
ā€œThe object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

ā€œNobody ever defended, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.
ā€œIt is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
The Soldier stood and faced God
Which must always come to pass
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as bright as his brass
"Step forward you Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't
Because those of us who carry guns
Can't always be a saint."
I've had to work on Sundays
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep,
The Soldier squared his shoulders and said
And I never passed a cry for help
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here,
Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burden well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

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This Day in History
Tuesday, August 09, 2022

On This Day...
Aug 09, 2001: Jerusalem, Israel
A suicide bomber massacres women and
children at a Sbarro restaurant: 15 Killed


posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:18 PM   0 comments
The Royal Malaysian Navy Should Be Wary Of The USA, China And Russia Spying On Our Invisible Littoral Combat Ships
So when are we going to see those people responsible in Orange Jumpsuits?

These people hoodwinked quite a number of people.

The MACC and RMP should stop pussyfooting and take action.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 6:15 PM   0 comments
LCS fiasco: Sub-contracting results in costs ballooning almost 3 times

Malaysiakini : The use of multi-layered subcontracting for two packages in the littoral combat ship (LCS) project ultimately resulted in the cost ballooning almost three times from RM397 million to RM1.185 billion, claimed PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli.

In a statement today, he said the three layers of contracts involved Boustead Naval Shipyard Bhd (BNS), Contraves Advanced Devices Sdn Bhd (CAD), Contraves Electrodynamics Sdn Bhd (CED) and French defence firm DCNS (now known as Naval Group).

Rafizi alleged BNS, as the main contractor, issued two Letters of Award (LOAs) for the two packages worth RM1.185 billion to CAD as the sub-contractor on April 9, 2012. ā€œOn the same day, CAD, in turn, appointed associate company CED as its sub-contractor (second layer). CED then issued its own LOA to DCNS,ā€ he said.

Rafizi did not publish the LOAs but provided reference numbers, cost of each package and the scope of work.

Rafizi added that investigations found that DCNS only charged RM397 million for the two packages finalised at RM1.185 billion with the government. ā€œEven children can conclude that there were hidden hands behind the companies, BNS, CAD and CED, which arranged the supply contracts to the extent of taking 200 percent commission from the cost charged by DCNS.

ā€œThe public wants to know who are the sharks robbing the publicā€™s funds and weakening the countryā€™s defence like this,ā€ he said.

Read it all here, subscription required......

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 6:10 PM   0 comments
MPs remind Hisham he welcomed non-existent LCS into fleet in 2017

MS : Like his cousin the felon who conjured up a non-existent donor, stretching the truth comes easy for this fellow who welcomed a ghost ship no one in the world has seen.

Malaysiakini : Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is under fire for his promise to deliver the first of the controversial littoral combat ships (LCS).

This is because, during his first stint as defence minister in 2017, he announced the arrival of the first ship. However, it has been revealed now that the ships never materialised. In 2017, Hishammuddin tweeted a photo of what he said was the LCS 1 Maharajalela and welcomed it into the naval fleet.

"The first of six LCS," he said then. Years after that statement, Hishammuddin (above) told the Dewan Negara yesterday that the first of the ships will be ready within two years and that his ministry was given a six month-mandate by the cabinet to revive the project.

Sharing a screenshot of Hishamuddin's 2017 tweet, Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng questioned how he could have welcomed a non-existent ship into the fleet. "Wow. What glasses are you wearing, minister?" Lim asked on Facebook.  The screenshot is also making the rounds on Twitter.

Sharing it next to a headline on the minister's latest promise, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil asked, "Which Hisham can we trust?" Fahmi's tweet has been retweeted more than 1,400 times and liked more than 2,000 times. "No wonder (Hishammuddin) read the report with trembling hands and a soft voice. He has been caught lying," one Twitter user responded.

Others joked that perhaps the vessel that was welcomed into the fleet was a new design with a stealth mode, allowing it to go invisible and escape radar detection.

Read it all here............

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 6:01 PM   0 comments
China Wonā€™t Be Here for Long

Gates of Vienna : China wonā€™t be here for long

by H. Numan 

For a few days China caught the full attention of the world. Will they start World War Three?

Thatā€™s what usually happens, when you shoot down the Speaker of the House of another superpower. As I expected, it simply fizzled out. China didnā€™t shoot anyone down. Nor will they. Itā€™s all just trying to impress. Pelosi was praised by Republicans and criticized by Democrats. Quite a change. And Brandon Biden? The poor old fool got egg on his face. Same for general Mark ā€˜Trannyā€™ Milley.

China canā€™t invade Taiwan, unless they want to better Operation Downfall. Iā€™m not an expert, but casualties would be extremely high. A lot higher than back in 1945. Taiwan hasnā€™t been idle for the last 76 years. China wonā€™t invade to save human lives. Far from it. Expect over a million casualties on the Chinese side alone. China is more than willing to expend that much human capital, theyā€™ve got plenty of that. What they lack is expertise and capabilities. And the sure knowledge China would no longer exist if they do. Thatā€™s the sole reason they wonā€™t invade.

Letā€™s start with that. China has grown massively the last couple of decades. From a Third World country into a Third World country with a large export based economy. Quite an achievement, to be honest. But with a catch: they rely almost entirely on imports for everything. Going to war would be the last war for the communist party. The boycott that hits Russia pretty hard would be deadly for China. China has to import most of its food and energy.

Read it all here..........

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 5:18 PM   0 comments
Mat Sabu, Liew fend off Najibā€™s bid to sink Harapan over LCS project
Kilimanjaro : Is RM9 billion the real worth of the project.

With Contractors and Sub-Contractors riding the ship it is misleading to say that this is a way to help the Malays and I wonder which Malays they are referring to?

What is the need for BNS to appoint further two sub-contractors. The most irritating thing is the sub-contractor appointed its own sister company as a sub-sub-contractor by apparently marking-up the price by a whopping 200%. This is daylight robbery. Yes, there is nothing wrong helping the Malays but this is not helping them - this is outright swindling.

This benefits only a handful of some "privileged" cronies. A huge saving could have gone to any navy or armed forces fund. Is this how these people run the country? This is corruption in high office and everyone in the BN Govt kept quiet until Mat Sabu became the Defence Minister.

And the fact that he brought up this matter during the very first Cabinet Meeting is something that Mat Sabu and the PH Govt can be proud of.

Mat Sabu & Liew Chin Tong

Malaysiakini : To counter former premier Najib Abdul Razakā€™s alleged attempt to mislead the public, former defence minister Mohamad Sabu and his ex-deputy Liew Chin Tong recalled the Pakatan Harapan administrationā€™s efforts to fix the problematic littoral combat ship (LCS) project.

The duo issued a joint statement after Najib repeatedly accused the Harapan government of delaying the project. "On May 30, 2018, Mohamad suggested at the first cabinet meeting he attended the formation of the Special Investigation Committee on Public Governance, Procurement and Finance (JKSTUPKK).

"The Harapan government had tried its best to rescue the LCS project.  "JKSTUPPK chairperson Ambrin Buang presented the committee's findings on the LCS project to the Defence Ministry on Aug 20, 2019. The officials from the ministry, the Royal Malaysian Navy, and the contractor had tried to find a solution," said Mohamad Sabu and Liew.

The pair said then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was briefed on the matter by Ambrin, Mohamad, Liew and armed forces chief Affendi Buang, navy chief Mohd Reza Sany and senior defence ministry officials in February 2020.

Former deputy defence minister Liew Chin Tong

Following this, the duo said Mahathir wanted those who committed the wrongdoings to be punished and Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhdā€™s (BNS) management revamped. "The LCS project would be considered a 'sick' project and would receive an injection of funds in order to replace the monies that were lost. The ministry was instructed to table a cabinet paper in the near future.

"Unfortunately, what was planned did not take place as the Harapan administration was brought down via the Sheraton Move. "The LCS project has been delayed since 2016. The detailed design, which should have been completed in November 2016 has not been finalised until today.

Read it all here, subscription required...........

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 4:23 PM   0 comments
First batch of Bangladeshi workers under new MOU arrives in M'sia - Alyaa Alhadjri

Malaysiakini : The first batch of Bangladeshi migrant workers recruited under the new bilateral terms signed in last Decemberā€™s labour recruitment memorandum of understanding (MOU) arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) this morning.

According to travel documents sighted by Malaysiakini, the 53 workers were sent by Bangladesh Recruitment Agency (BRA) Catharsis International to work at a food processing factory in Sungai Lalang, Semenyih, Selangor. The travel documents also stated that the workers' visas were issued on Aug 7.

In a statement, Human Resource Minister M Saravanan said the Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia Md Golam Sarwar was present at the airport this morning for the workers' arrival.  "Aside from that, the Bangladesh High Commission had last week given attestation to 80 employers, involving the hiring of 6,000 workers.

"For employers who have made levy payments to the Immigration Department and intend to hire workers from Bangladesh, they can request attestation from the Bangladesh High Commission," he said.

Bangladesh daily The Business Standard yesterday quoted Bangladesh's Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training director-general Md Shahidul Alam confirming that at least 5,000 workers from 16 other recruitment agencies are also in the pipeline.

"There are two types of approvals. One is an extended approval issued by the Home Ministry up until last year, and after that, it was taken over by the Human Resources Ministry. "They are the first batch to arrive under the Malaysia-Bangladesh MOU," he said.

Read it all here, subscription required..........

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 3:55 PM   0 comments
America Turns the Tide: The Meaning of Guadalcanal

BCF : An anniversary that reminds us of what greatness required.

Eighty years ago, on Aug. 7, 1942, American Marines went ashore on the tropical islands of Guadalcanal and its tiny neighbors Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tanambogo.

This marked the first sustained offensive action by American land forces in the Pacific. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, America and its allies had been chased out of the Philippines, Wake Island, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. It was as Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto said, the time of ā€œrunning wildā€ for six months, with no ā€œexpectation of successā€ thereafter. The Japanese had awoken a sleeping giant by attacking Pearl Harbor

Read it all here........
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 3:36 PM   0 comments
FBI raids Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, 45th President confirms in statement
9 Aug 2022 : 'DARK TIMES': Trump released a statement following a reported FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home. "an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately donā€™t want me to run for President...

The lawlessness, political persecution, and Witch Hunt must be exposed." How can any American see whatā€™s happening here and believe this administration is honest and fair. This is absolutely disgusting behavior by an out of control justice department. This is what a police state looks like. Very dangerous KGB like behavior from our federal government.

US turning into a 3rd World Country!!
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:16 PM   0 comments
Rejected votes three times as common in Orang Asli areas - Hew Hoong Liang & Danesh Prakash Chacko

Malaysiakini : COMMENT | In January 2013, a group of Orang Asli voters from Perak protested at the Perak Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) office over a voter education event that was held for the Orang Asli community in Tapah.

According to Malaysiakini, Perak Pakatan Rakyat who was part of the protest claimed that the event attendees were forced to mark a dummy ballot in favour of BN in front of a Jakoa officer and a BN assemblyperson. Then BN Air Kuning assemblyperson Samsudin Abu Hassan explained that the eventā€™s goal was to reduce rejected ballots among the Orang Asli.

Seven years later, electoral watchdog Bersihā€™s Inclusive Electoral Reforms in Malaysia report highlighted poor voter education among the Orang Asli, with anecdotal evidence that voters from the community may not know how to cross the ballot correctly.

Both accounts point to an unfortunate fact - almost seven decades since the countryā€™s first national election in 1955, rejected votes are still prevalent among the Orang Asli.

To gauge the severity of the issue, Tindak Malaysia, an NGO specialising in electoral reform, has crunched the numbers in the last three general elections and found that the polling districts with an Orang Asli majority had a median rejected vote rate (RVR) triple (3.15 times) that of non-Orang Asli majority areas for the 14th general election (GE14) in 2018.

Not only that, the gap between these two demographics has widened over the last three general elections.

Evolution of median rejected votes rates for Orang Asli and non-Orang Asli majority polling districts

For every 200 voters in Malaysia, there is only one voter from the Orang Asli community (0.66 percent of the total voting population). The high RVR among the Orang Asli community can influence results in competitive seats, especially determining a winning candidate and potentially determining which coalition/political party can form a government.

Read it all here, subscription required...........

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:54 PM   0 comments
LCS fiasco: Sensitive to whom? PAC chair shoots back at Zahid

Malaysiakini : The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson Wong Kah Woh today shot back at Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for implying that the PAC was "insensitive" in handling matters concerning national security.

In a statement today, Wong said all witnesses at PAC hearings are provided with a copy of the Hansard as required under Standing Order 83(10) and are given seven days to provide corrections, if necessary.

Should any witness require Hansard's contents to be amended or redacted, the PAC would discuss among themselves whether to accede to this request.

This process may also involve seeking advice from the Attorney-General's Chambers whose representatives are present at every PAC hearing.

"In the case of the hearing on the littoral combat ships (LCS), there were no witnesses which applied (to have the Hansard amended)," said Wong.

Under the spotlight

Zahid is currently under the spotlight after the PAC's latest report on the government's procurement of six LCS in 2011 underscored his role in deciding on the project's direction.

According to several testimonies, Zahid decided to use an LCS design that the navy - the end-user - disapproved of.

Read it all here, subscription required............

Vijay47 : Dear PAC Chairman Wong Kah Woh, please be gentle with our former defence minister cum deputy prime minister. Many may not be aware of it but he had a delicate and tender childhood in Indonesia.

I am sorry, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, but your patriotic defence that ā€œpublic discussion on the LCS scandal would expose national defence secretsā€ has already been copyrighted by Parliamentary Speaker Azhar Harun. Similarly, ā€œI was only the Defence Ministerā€ would carry no water even if relating to ships - that route of ā€œI was only the Prime Ministerā€ has been adopted by Najib Razak when the world is still reeling from 1MDB.

Thus I hope you come out with better excuses ā€“ we are talking originality and imagination here.

Strangely, you demand that the PAC be more ā€œsensitiveā€ when investigating defence matters. Shouldnā€™t any investigation be thorough and unmindful of the parties involved in an effort to determine the truth so appropriate action can be taken and the guilty punished? I am sure you were not referring to your own tender sensitivities.

Donā€™t worry about the LCS allegations, they have not yet come home to roost and bite. Your time may be better employed in attending to the 47 tunes you are already dancing to at the moment.

LCS, unlike the Scorpene submarines, will surface fully soon and make waves. Huge ferocious ones.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:00 PM   0 comments
Whatā€™s wrong with Pelosiā€™s visit to Taiwan? - P Gunasegaram

Malaysiakini : COMMENT | When China issued a warning and threatened action if US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not cancel her planned visit to Taiwan, did China expect the US to cower and cancel the visit in deference to Chinaā€™s wishes?

Or would the US interpret it as a blatant, outrageous attempt to control its right to visit any place it wanted to further its own interests and strengthen ties with long-standing friends, especially when it was welcomed with joy and open arms by its hosts?

Events have answered the questions for us and no matter how China and its worldwide brigade try to present things to water down the battering of Chinaā€™s international image, the unmistakable conclusion is that China blinked and backed down.

What is unsettling in this sorry, needless, episode on the world political and military stage, with an outside possibility of war if anything happened to Pelosi, is that the Chinese can misread US intentions to go ahead with the visit so wrongly.

Read it all here....

World Citizenā€‹ : For all intents and purposes Taiwan has been and is an independent country since 1949 unless the big bully China says and acts otherwise. It has become a successful, technologically superior country all on it own hard work. No one has to ask permission from China to visit Taiwan or to have diplomatic, economic, trade, cultural or any other relations with Taiwan. 

China may be many things but China has messed up so many countries with their debt trap. Sri Lanka is a classic case and Malaysia is not too far off. China is a big violator of intellectual property and history has shown their penchant for stealing other people's skills and intellect and then call it their own. China constantly threatens countries in East and Southeast Asia with their military incursions in the South China Sea. 

Without US intervention, many tiny islands in South China Sea would have been taken over by China by now. It is funny that many Malaysians love to hate the US but at the same time they love many things American like their music, movies, universities, fashion, food, technology, you name it and they love to visit the country for holidays. 

They even expect the US to intervene in countries where atrocities are committed and condemn when the US doesn't intervene. The second world war is a classic example. Remember millions more Malaysians would have been tortured and killed by the Japanese if not for US entrance into the WW2.

Just like China, there are also many things not right about the US but as Mr. Guna has pointed out, Malaysians should keep a guarded perspective and stay out when its comes to US-China relations.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:00 PM   0 comments
MP urges PM to convene special Parliament sitting to discuss LCS fiasco

Malaysiakini : A lawmaker has called on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to summon Parliament for a special sitting to discuss the littoral combat ship (LCS) fiasco.

Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim (above) said the Dewan Rakyat should debate the Public Account Committeeā€™s report on the project. The LCS project is an RM9 billion contract to procure six ships for the navy, which was initiated in 2011, but with zero results to date despite the government already having paid out RM6 billion.

The first ship was supposed to be delivered in 2019 but is now expected to only be delivered by 2024.  In a statement he issued last night, Sim said the delays are one of the matters that should be debated.

Other matters include the Defence Ministry choosing a different design for the vessels against the navyā€™s wishes, as well as possible misconduct by the Umno-led BN government from 2011 to 2018.

Among those implicated in the fiasco are then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, former defence minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and current Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

Read it all here, subscription required........

JBond : LCS or Large Corruption Scam cannot be discussed. Otherwise UMNO will lose GE 15 as the chiefā€™s paw print is all over. Who knows even the present CEO of Bolehland may also have a cut. The entire corrupt party have been feeding off Malusiaā€™s wealth when there was no check and balance for 60+ years. Now with a more balance parliament where check and balance is there, more and more shā€¦t is floating up but this is only the beginning. We need PH to come back to unravel more crooks who had stolen from us.

Uragt : Why is Umno so shy to reveal the whole list of Malay contractors & consultants who are involved & awarded contract sums. Surely the president & party is proud to be the defender especially to rural Malays.

Weep for Malaysia : Not to worry, the backdoor Speaker will make sure that this case does not see the light the day in parliament. The backdoor AG will classify it under the OSA and everything will be swept under the rug. Business will be back as usual and the money will remain safe in the hands of the corrupted.

PurpleCondor4800 : No need to dream Umno/BN will change; they are the main culprit why Malaysia is weaker than other neighboring countries. We are far behind, with too many corruptions and corrupt people. Till now, no one needs to be responsible for the massive loss/money stolen from 1MDB. The convicted joker still walks out there freely.

Knucklehead : Dare not, GE round the corner. BN/UMNO meeting on 15th Aug. to decide. Best opposition make a big deal out of this scandle and blow them apart in the lead up to the GE15. Nail BN/UMNO. The money trail is there for everyone to see. Lets see how soon MACC show us the trail, or will they? Rafizi, please jump into action!

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:40 AM   0 comments
LCS scandal: Declassify Ambrin's report, Kit Siang tells Hisham

... and also not forgetting the LCS

Malaysiakini : Veteran MP Lim Kit Siang today challenged Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to back his pledge to uphold transparency by declassifying a government report on the littoral combat ship (LCS) scandal.

This was Lim's response to Hishammuddinā€™s promise to the Dewan Negara yesterday that the Defence Ministry will be transparent on the LCS project status and provide regular updates.

The LCS project has come under public scrutiny after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) released its report, indicating many problems affecting it.

Lim said should Hishammuddin be truly transparent, the latter should fulfil the first recommendation made by PAC, which was to declassify the Special Investigation Committee on Public Governance, Procurement and Finance of the LCS (JKUSTUPKK) which was headed by then auditor-general Ambrin Buang.

"Can Hishamuddin state whether he agrees with the declassificastion of the JKUSTUPKK report and when he proposes to implement it?

"The implementation of the PAC's first proposal to declassify the JKUSTUPKK report will be a test of Hishamuddin's commitment on the matter," he said.

Read it all here, subscription required.........

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:39 AM   0 comments
MP SPEAKS | PAC report on LCS confirms earlier probe by select committee

Malaysiakini : MP SPEAKS | I welcome the release of the Dewan Rakyatā€™s Public Accounts Committeeā€™s (PAC) report on the RM9 billion littoral combat ship (LCS) saga. The project, in effect, was one of the largest defence procurements for new equipment undertaken in Malaysiaā€™s history.

There has been justifiable outrage over the PAC reportā€™s findings, including that the government has already spent at least RM6.083 billion on the directly negotiated contract, despite the fact that not even one of the five LCS that had been ordered has been finished and delivered by the company selected to implement it, the Boustead Naval Shipyards (BNS).

The PACā€™s report mirrors - and vindicates - the issues regarding the LCS project that had earlier been raised by the Dewan Rakyatā€™s Special Select Committee On Defence And Home Affairs that I had chaired from December 2019 until December 2020.

I had in fact initiated an inquiry into the project given the long delays that had been plaguing it.

The Special Investigation Committee on Public Governance, Procurement and Finance highlighted to us the various problems and abuses that had plagued the project, which the PAC has now confirmed.

The current report has also outlined a number of other anomalies I had likewise previously raised, most notably that the views of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), as the LCSā€™ end user, were ignored by the Defence Ministry and BNS in the projectā€™s implementation, including over the design of the vessels.

The RMN had agreed to use the Sigma design, but this was overruled by then defence minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the request of BNS without referring to RMN in 2011. Instead, the Gowind-class design was adopted despite the navy expressing disappointment at the decision.

Former auditor-general Ambrin Buang, who chaired the special committee, told me something that I will never forget, which is how the-then government approached the project: ā€œAs if youā€™re buying a toy, you know, we can wait, relaxā€¦ So, unless an external force comes in and pushes the thing, they will take their own sweet time. There is a lack of urgency...nobody seems to want to take charge. No stewardship.ā€

Read it all here.............

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:36 AM   0 comments
No end to legal woes for Orang Asli - Alena Nadia

Not enough fcuking the taxpayers, even the OA are not spared.....

Malaysiakini : Today is World Indigenous Day, and Malaysia is one of the many nations celebrating its native cultures. However, for the 18 Orang Asli groups of Peninsular Malaysia and scores of others in East Malaysia, not enough has changed in terms of their legal standing and standard of living.

The communities experience lower life expectancy, access to healthcare, electricity and running water as well as lower education levels and mean income. A situation which was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and its accompanying movement control orders.

There are a number of reasons why these problems persist and at the heart of them is Orang Asli's land rights. Native customary land rights are key to safeguarding the communities future, but they have repeatedly been trampled on.

This is despite their being descendants of the earliest known inhabitants who occupied the Malay Peninsula before the establishment of the Malay kingdoms.

Orang Asli land is traditionally fertile, and well-preserved but poorly demarcated making it an easy target for developers.

When the community does take a legal route to defend itself, it can find itself up against the combined might of state governments, royalty, forestry departments, developers and the police.

Not to mention, unprincipled lawyers!

Non-recognition of rights still a problem

Read it all here, subscription required..........

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:02 AM   0 comments
Stop sending the 'deadwood' to Jakoa - Cameron Highlands MP - Hariz Mohd

Malaysiakini : The government needs to stop sending "deadwood" officers to the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa), said Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Mohd Nor.

In an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini, Ramli, the first Orang Asli elected to the Dewan Rakyat, said the community needs passionate and understanding officers in the department.

"Firstly, we must understand the concept of Jakoa. Jakoa is a government body that executes government policies. In my view, the most important aspect of any government agency is the people in the organisation itself.

"Jakoa's main responsibility is to look after the interests of Orang Asli and develop them economically. So, the civil servants who are tasked to execute these duties have to really understand and be into what they are doing.

This interview was held in conjunction with World Indigenous Day, which is being celebrated around the globe today. .

Read it all here, subscription required........

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:55 AM   0 comments
India: Muslims screaming they wouldnā€™t leave one unbeliever alive attack Hindu with swords, threaten to kill him

23-year-old Prateek Pawar

Robert Spencer : Once again we see the absolute impunity of jihadis in India, belying the establishment narrative that Muslims are under some threat there.  ā€œā€˜We wonā€™t leave a Kafir aliveā€™: Islamists attack Hindu youth Prateek Pawar with swords in Maharashtra for supporting Nupur Sharma and Kanhaiya Lal,ā€ OpIndia, August 6, 2022:

Targeted attacks on Hindus for supporting former Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma are still continuing. On 4th August 2022, a Hindu youth named Prateek Pawar from the Karjat town in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra was attacked by around 12 to 15 Islamists who attacked him with various weapons like swords and sticks. Prateek Pawar is being treated in a private hospital in Ahmednagar.

According to the complaint by Prateek Pawar and his friend Amit Mane, the groups of Islamists attacked 23-year-old Prateek Pawar on August 4. Mane said that on August 4 Pawar was going towards Karjat in Ahmednagar and had stopped on the road near Akkabai chowk waiting for a friend. But suddenly around 12 to 14 people arrived in a white Swift car, and three two-wheelers ā€“ a black Bullet, a red Pulsar and a white scooter ā€“ and surrounded him. 

They told Pawar, ā€˜You have so much proud in Hindutvaā€™. They further told him, ā€˜You are regularly posting posts and statuses on social media supporting Nupur Sharma and Kanhaiya Lal, due to which more people have started to support them, we think we should do a Umesh Kolhe with you alsoā€™. They were referring to the murder of Umesh Kolhe in Maharashtra for supporting Nupur Sharma.

After that, one Islamist named Shahrukh Pathan assaulted Prateek Pawar with a sword with the intention to kill him while chanting loud slogans. Pawar tried to protect himself and in the process, the sword hit his hand. After this, Nihal Khan Pathan and Sohail Khan Pathan attacked Sunny on the head from behind. The gravely injured Hindu youth fell to the ground and started bleeding, but the Islamist group continued to hit him with swords, sticks, hockey sticks etc saying that they will not let a Kafir remain alive. After a blow on the head with a sword, Prateek fainted and the attackers fled from the scene.

The victim was immediately rushed to a hospital, and police launched a probe into the case. The accused have been booked under sections 307, 143, 147, 148, 149 , 323, 504 of the IPC on the basis of the complaint filed by Amit Mane.

Several persons including Sharukh Khan Pathan, Sohel Pathan, Nihal Khan Pathan, Ilail Sheikh, Tipu Pathan, Arbaz Kasam Pathan, Arshan Pathan, Aqeeb Syed have been named in the case. Reportedly, four persons have been arrested by the policeā€¦.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
Austria: 15-year-old Muslim migrant stabs Austrian boy, also 15, who ā€˜provokedā€™ him

Robert Spencer : What happens when you import large numbers of people from a culture in which violence can be a sacred act under certain circumstances? This kind of thing.   ā€œHorror attack in Villach: Syrian stabs a boy (15) with a knife,ā€ translated from ā€œHorror-Attacke in Villach: Syrer sticht mit Messer auf Jungen (15) ein,ā€ Wochenblick, August 3, 2022 (thanks to Medforth):

The visit to the Villach Kirtag ended with a terrible experience for a 15-year-old youth. Instead of being able to indulge in all the joys of the folk festival with friends, he became the target of a rowdy Syrian of the same age. He attacked him with a knife. The boy then had to be treated by paramedics.

Dispute escalates: Syrian simply stabs

As the police reported, a young person was the victim of a knife attack on Tuesday evening at the Villach church day. The act was preceded by a verbal argument. The Syrian boy then pulled out a knife and stabbed in the direction of his opponent. He suffered minor injuries.

Knife thrown away ā€“ perpetrator confessed

After a brief search, the 15-year-old from Syria was arrested and taken to the police station on Villachā€™s main square. The witnesses recognized him immediately during a confrontation. During the interrogation, the teenager confessed to the crime and also showed the officers the place where he got rid of the knife. The reason for his dangerous attack: He stated that he had been ā€œprovokedā€ by the victim. The murder weapon ā€“ a knife ā€“ was seized. The Syrian was reported.

More imported violence: Not an isolated case

Unfortunately, the fact is that this was not an isolated case, but that imported violence has increased again in recent weeks. For example, an Afghan (23) who is said to have attacked and injured his 24-year-old Austrian partner with a knife in an Innsbruck apartment on Friday evening was interrogated by investigators from the Tyrol State Criminal Police Office on Sunday. A 35 centimeter long kitchen knife, which was used as a murder weapon, was seized during the bloody deed.

The victim was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 6:30 AM   0 comments
Operation Gonzales, my brother and a young dead Communist - 1974
Monday, August 08, 2022
Representative Image

Apart from that we spent our days lazing, sleeping and doing sentry duty when it was our turn. Occasionally a NAAFI truck, dropped by, it was a day to look forward to. There were beers, ice cold beers sold from the truck, tidbits, toiletries and canned food to supplement the food we were getting. It was a cushy job indeed, life was good.

At this time when I was well stocked with beers, my eldest brother from the Recce Regiment choose to drop by to visit his ā€œlittleā€ brother. He knew where we were encamped after all there were only 5 of us, Engineers. He came with his long strides and grabbed me, enveloping me with his body, I was the shortest male in my family.

The rest of the soldiers were staring at us. We asked each other how we were. He was asking me news about the family. The was no telephone those days in my house. Only ā€œslow mailā€ kept the news flowing. Of course introduced him to my mates, one of them quickly fried 4 eggs, opening two cans of beer, His reaction was ā€œwow, you guys are living it upā€. We looked at each other with unspoken thoughts, me praying that he would be safe. The time passed quickly, maybe an hour or more. 

River Jalong (supplying water to the Brigade Tac)

One of his mates came down to call him as his convoy was about to move back to Ipoh and he was part of the escort. Told him to bottoms up and gave him another can of beer which I told him to do likewise. He did, I walked him to the Ferret Scout Car, he hugged me saying the good byes with unspoken words. He climbed abroad his scout car and took his place in the driverā€™s seat. I could see his face. The convoy slowly moved out, I waved to him until he was out of sight.

One day there was an announcement saying that 7 Communist terrorists were shot dead in a skirmish. On another day we heard, a tracker dog was shot dead in another firefight resulting in another 5 Communists shot dead.

Another classic was an ambush party from the 7th Rangers, the ambush party was taking a break after 3 days in an ambush position, leaving behind a young soldier to sentry the ambush position and also to take care of the claymore mines left behind.

Claymore mines are like small transistor radios on stilts, they have 700 ball bearings on the front, backed by C-4 plastic explosives. They are normally laid in a series of six. They can be triggered by a switch, or for instance by a trip wire or a M-57 firing device. The direction to be placed is clear, raised bold letters in green say ā€œFRONT TOWARDS ENEMYā€.

When it is triggered, 700 ball bearings fly out, in this case, there were 4,200 bearings. Five armed communists, decided to have an orders group right in front of these claymores, the young sentry fired the M-57 (firing device) resulting in 5 dead enemies. Classic, meaning a classic case of a fluke. Great luck for the ambush party who were jubilant and elated over their fluke success. The end justifies the means.

One evening there was a buzz in the camp, that a dead Communist was carried by an infantry patrol into the Tactical Hq, my friends told me that they had seen the body. I had never seen a dead Communist terrorist, curiosity overcame me. I put on my webbing and took hold of my rifle and made my way to the HQ, the rest of the curious were there, not many though, it was actually morbid curiosity. There beside the dead body, leaning against a canvas screen was a Czechoslovakian .22 semi-automatic rifle along with a few hundred rounds, a cylindrical object which looked like an improvised hand grenade.

An aluminum container with a dried up and very hard tapioca, thatā€™s all he had for food. The dead commie was identified as a seventeen-year-old by army intelligence. His arm was shattered above his elbow barely attached, hanging on to the rest of the body by slivers of flesh, where two rounds from the Heckler & Koch 33 rifle penetrated. He looked starved, which I believe he was, because of the relentless pressure by fighting patrols on our part to deny them rest or food.

I spoke to the patrol commander who downed this guy, he told me the following: They had received information from a native aborigine that a group of Communists had visited the village earlier and cleared out all food. This aboriginal settlement was on the fringes of the rubber plantation on the edge of a primary jungle.

The patrol saw this young Communist probably a straggler from the main group. It challenged him, from about 15 meters away, he swung his rifle around bringing it to bear towards them, the lead scout let loose a burst of fire hitting him above the elbows.

The enemy fell on the ground, the patrol commander was upon him in a rush as he was groping for a hand grenade with his good arm, the patrol commander placed a neat round through his throat and another into his belly, killing him instantly, those were the gunshot wounds I was curious about. It was a gaping big hole and the exposed viscera.

It was a mistake for me to come and take a look, at the body, I felt funny, I knew I had to get away, I mumbled something unintelligible and quickly made my way to my tent. The truth was I was feeling nauseated, felt like throwing up or passing out on seeing the body. I made it and lay myself on the bed, I did not say anything to my companions. I was afraid of passing out in front of my mates.

I did not tell anyone about this incident as I would not have lived it down. Later on I did not go the way I did the first time, still I could never get used to the blood and gore, as it always troubled me thinking about life and death, I could be as cold blooded as the next guy, but it must be me doing it, then I would not feel squeamish at the end result.

Normally when I need to see things like that, I prepare myself as I really would not like to repeat it like the first time.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:59 PM   0 comments
What happened to my batch after reporting to other, Ranger Units and their screwups!!
Representative image

Meanwhile in other units my batch of Officers were performing their utmost to screw up their lives too. There was one officer, a close friend of mine who was deployed to the Thailand/Malaysia border, where the enemy (Communists) were very active, he was away on a course, he was inserted by helicopter into a platoon position on a knoll, at dusk, in the jungle, it gets dark early. The helicopter sped off hastily for fear of getting shot up.

The platoon sergeant led him to a trench, told him that it was his for the night. He indicated the directions by pointing, all the section locations and telling the platoon commander that he was in the middle of the defensive position. It was already dark and the platoon sergeant went off.

That whole area was a company defensive position with 3 platoons. Those days there were no night vision devices available for the Infantry. The Platoon Commander was 2nd Lt Robert. He was tall and the trench was too shallow and short for him, he tried to sleep and his legs were out of the trench, lying inside. He had bad feelings about his feet getting shot off. He slept, waking up after a couple of hours of deep sleep he was disorientated. He was virtually travelling the whole day and still very tired. 

Representative image

He woke up with a start, wondering if his soldiers were alert, the whole area was pitch black and very quiet. Too quiet for his liking, with the enemy threat and all he wasnā€™t sure if his boys were alert. ā€œBright bulbā€ got an idea to test whether his boys were alert, he took his M16, fired two rounds rapidly, the whole position opened up, M16ā€™s and LMGā€™s firing.

ā€œOh, my boys are alertā€, he went back to sleep once the firing ceased. Meanwhile on a hill further up the Officer Commanding was thinking, ā€œmy boys are under heavy attackā€. Robert woke up again and had the same thoughts, he again let loose two rounds, it had the same effect. The OC was thinking ā€œI hope they can hold out until daylight, moving now to reinforce them would be dangerousā€.

The whole shit show was repeated a few more times, by dawn the platoon was clean out of ammunition. All the trees in front of the position were all shot up. The OC was thinking throughout that the position was being overrun by the enemy. At first light the OC arrived leading a strong fighting party, expecting enemy bodies strewn all over the place. 

A sheepish looking 2nd Lt Robert came to meet him. The OC went into an apoplectic fit. The 2nd in Command of the battalion, managed to speak to the Brigade Commander, who a very fatherly type of man, who said, 2nd Ltā€™s can make mistakes not blunders. 2nd Lt Robert should fall on his knees in front of his Battalion 2nd in Command thanking him, he was charged though severely reprimanded. That was light!!

Later he redeemed himself by fluke. On a Saturday he was happily drinking beer in the bar of the Officerā€™s Mess. Suddenly the 2IC of the battalion arrived, he told 2nd Lt Robert to deploy with the UCIS Platoon (Unit Combat Intelligence Squad), ā€œBut sir, I am not the platoon commanderā€. The 2IC firmly told him that the UCIS commander was on compassionate leave, he was the only officer available.

2nd Lt Robert got ready with his equipment and weapon, enemy was sighted in the Karak area, a few clicks from Kuala Lumpur. All the UCIS boys were there, reached the disembarkation point found enemy tracks and followed up. It was closed country with thick vegetation and foliage.

Soon the leading scout saw some figures in front of him, he opened up with his Mossberg pump action shotgun. One of the figures dropped. 2nd Lt Robert rushed up front and saw the figure asking the leading scout whether the enemy was dead. The leading scout who never shot at anything alive in his life said, ā€œI donā€™t know.ā€

2nd Lt Robert decided to fire his M16 at the body, by now at least 7 of them were gathered up front, Robert opened with a burst of fire. The body moved due to the impact of the bullets, Robert yelled, ā€œHeā€™s alive!ā€ All 8 of them opened up on the very dead communist.

This time around he was not admonished for expanding vast amount of rounds. So long as there is a kill, the higher ups were happy.

Another of my batch for another screw up. He goes on operations; he was an avid angler before he joined the service. In his area of operation there was a river teeming with fish. He placed his rifle barrel in the water and pulled the trigger.

The barrel split. He had to pay for the rifle!
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:58 PM   0 comments
Foot Drill At Recruit Training Depot Port Dickson 1972
All these dumfuks are from Teluk Intan, including me, right most, L to R Mahsuri Hamdi, Sahak a Banjar from Bagan Datuk, Othman, ???, Zamri and Me

We are drilled day in day out under the hot sweltering weather, the fun starts whenever the Commanding Officer of the Recruit Training Center arrives to observe the training.

This is showing off time.

ā€œListen here you bastards, I want every corpse (we had not even started making mistakes) here, to execute my every command just as I taught you, I will have you killed, barbecued, minced, stomped if anyone of you whose mother is of a diseased reproductive organ does in any way embarrass me and the good name of this companyā€.

ā€œYes, sergeant!ā€

A reverberating cry from us. Short, terse commands are barked, we move dreading to make mistakes, everyone is alert, left turn, right turn, mark time, wheel, halt, present arms, shoulder arms, on and on it goes on for hours.

It just takes one stupid twerp, there are many, he turns in the wrong direction, it makes the day. We are brought to an abrupt halt, the twerp is physically hauled out of formation, slapped, kicked, bludgeoned and placed sidewise into a drain. The body can barely fit, not to worry he is stomped into this sewer, half his body is submerged in all the filth. 

Me and Hamid

One smart ass says out of the corner of his mouth, barely moving his lips but audible.

ā€œSwami do something; Nik Man is going to dieā€.

ā€œI know heā€™s going to die; why donā€™t you do something assholeā€

ā€œHeā€™s your friendā€.

ā€œSince when?ā€

ā€œI saw him clean your rifle when you were hard pressed the other dayā€.

ā€œI believe you want me to clog up the drain alongside Nik Manā€.

One of the sergeantā€™s henchmen moved so swiftly and struck smart ass, I nearly shitted, smart ass went down.

ā€œNo talking in the filesā€, he bellowed enraged that anybody could hold a meaningful conversation.

Out of the blue an Indian by the name of Karu fainted. He went down with a thud and the rifle with a crash on to the hard asphalt The commanding officer was beside Karu in two short strides,ā€ Have him cremated, have him crematedā€, he was jumping around immobile Karu like a crazed monkey, for the benefit of the rest of the Indians.

They had a lot of derogatory terms for us, because the Malays always considered anybody not Malay as an immigrant race. The Indians were referred to as ā€œKelingsā€, equivalent to the word "Nigger". Most of us bristle with anger when it is used on us. Then again we could do no shit!

The platoon sergeant, Mustafa was livid, he could not believe all this was happening in front of the commanding officer. He yelled at all of us to squatting positions, and ordered us to duck walk around the barracks, the heat from the asphalt and the sun was already baking our brains, we continued until we did not know the time of day.

Two containers of steaming tea were being carried by two guys who had reported sick, that elated me, break was not too far away, I had to hold on to savour the hot scalding tea. This is one of the little luxuries bestowed on us unfortunates. Karu meanwhile was carried off to the barracks, accompanied by a corporal who was berating him, ā€œYou want to extend your training for another three monthsā€.

Itā€™s normal for any one to have an extended stay when one is not performing to expectations, meaning instead of the normal six months of basic training it would become nine months. No sane person would like that unless one enjoys mental and physical abuse.

A whistle was blown, it was sweet music to the ears, the body sort of letā€™s go knowing relieve is soon on its way. We are ordered to fall out, we rush into our barracks to get our cups, we do that at a gallop and head towards the shelter where tea will be served. Thereā€™s Mr. Nightmare himself, Mustafa with the steaming containers of tea,ā€ So you all want tea, you can drink it from the drain.ā€

He tilts the two containers; all the lovely tea is in the drain. The thirst is gnawing, if I had the guts I would enjoy sticking the bayonet into him. Next we rush for the pipes, they are dry, I wondered whether they did that on purpose. Break is over in twenty minutes.

We are back again on the drill square.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:53 PM   0 comments
Operation Gonzales - Ranger Nathan, classmate of Major Len Olivero
Representative Image

The results of that operation were twenty-seven communist terrorists were killed, no casualties were inflicted on the security forces with the exception of the war dog, a Labrador named Ben.

The dogā€™s handler was Ranger Nathan, an Indian, from the Rangers Corps, originally from Ipoh. He was with the combat Tracker Team based at the Army Combat Training Center in Ulu Tiram, Johore, originally set up by the British Forces, almost all dog handlers are Non Muslims in the Malaysian Armed Forces.

He was attached to the Special Forces (Commandos) team, they were tracking the enemy, when Ben, the tracker dog detected the enemy, the Communist Terrorists opened fire, in the ensuing firefight, 3 of the enemy were killed. Ben was hit, managed to pull itself to Nathan, placing itā€™s paws on Nathan, looking up at him and breathed itā€™s last. Nathan just hugged Ben and stayed still as the firefight continued. Messages were sent to the Army Combat Training Center, that Ben was killed.

Some how or rather there was a mix up, Ben the dog was evacuated along with Nathan back to Ulu Tiram. The whole of the Army Combat Training Center stood down to honour the dead. As the helicopter was landing, all the Officers and soldiers, led by the Commandant raised their hands to salute the ā€œdeadā€. They lifted the dog out, quickly followed by Nathan, who returned the salute very smartly. The moment the Commandant saw Nathan he quickly muttered something to the Adjutant and everyone dispersed.

The message was misunderstood, they thought that Nathan was the one who fell in the firefight. Meanwhile, the message that Nathan was killed reached his sisterā€™s house in Ulu Tiram and his mother in Kuala Lumpur. The sister and his brother in law had funeral arrangements already made. Nathan knew there was a blunder, not realizing that he was ā€œdeadā€! After clearing his weapon and ammo, and the dog Ben, he clambered aboard the 3 ton truck for a lift to his sisterā€™s house, where normally he spends his off days.

He reached his sisterā€™s house, the first person to see him was his brother in law. His bother in law fainted on seeing him. He attended to his brother in law and went into the house, where he saw traditional Indian oil lamps lit for a Hindu funeral. Mourning soon changed to joy. His mum had the good sense to telephone the house half way to Ulu Tiram. When she got the message that Nathan was alive and well, she turned around and went back to Kuala Lumpur. Whenever we meet up, we used to laugh about this unforgettable incident.

There was also excitement, an underground shooting range was discovered by members of my squadron, a first, as no one had ever come across one like that. The bad news was that one of the leaders, Corporal Adnan, of a booby trap clearing team got blown up, not critically injured. My unit moved in to the area to start dismantling all the equipment, the whole area was inventoried and cleared under less than five hours.

The operation ended, we were told that there that the area of operation and the infrastructure used by the communists had been neutralized.

The whole area where we were, was then policed for garbage and litter, the officers will ensure nothing is left except our foot prints and tyre marks. We were soon back in Taiping.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:52 PM   0 comments
Clearing Barricades Enroute to Baidoa - Leadership

2nd Lt Hamuddin Tarinchang and me briefing the Platoon, soldiers of yester years.

After clearing off the village, when we were into a good two hours, I come upon another "tax" collection point. I ask myself, will these never end? I call Lt Othman and tell him that I was going to dismount alone and ask them to remove the barriers this time without shooting at them.

I give strict instructions that no one else was to dismount. That I, and I alone would negotiate and clear the barriers. I instructed Lance Corporal Shamsuddin to take my place in the turret. I also told him that if anyone fired upon me, I was going to let loose the M79, which fires a 40mm high explosive grenade. After which I will throw myself on the ground and hope for the best. 

He was to, at that moment open up with all the fire power he had and decimate anyone still standing. This same instruction I gave to Lt Othman, who commanded 4 other IFVs'. Before I opened the door of the Condor, I cocked my pistol, my M4A1, put in a round of the 40mm into the M79, checked the M73 grenades, put another bandolier of 40mm rounds around my neck, checked my 4 magazines on my chest, the two more magazines on my thighs and my machete. Tightened the Velcro straps holding the 7.62 NATO defeating ceramic plates.

Oh yes, I put on my Ranger beret with hackle and all, not the Kevlar helmet. I was in other words "armed to the teeth". I was a virtual walking weapons system. I opened the hatch, one of the guys quickly shut it and locked it. I looked in front of me, there were about 15 Somalis, with weapons.

I had my M79 in my right hand and my M4A1 in my left hand. There were another 20 odd Somalis further back, high probability of them being armed too. I walked towards the barrier. Something caught my ears. A sound of people moving behind me. Shit and double shit! The Somalis were moving behind me to capture me alive to be used as a hostage for bargaining purposes. I would never live it down, being captured, I pivoted, ready to fire.

No ! There were no Somalis but a whole section of my soldiers paper - potting in the the fire and maneuver formation, heavily armed. I was angry that my orders were deliberately disobeyed, I shouted at them :"Hey you xxxxxxx (expletives), who asked you to dismount ?",(Dey xxxxx(expletives), siapa suruh kau orang turun ?). The answer I received from the youngest soldier, who happened to be a Malay in the platoon was : "Hey, sir, you don't want to die alone, do you ?" (Tak akan tuan mahu mati seorang ?)

To this answer I experienced real goose bumps. I felt invincible. I have done many things, alot of crazy things. I was from the rank and file. I have been promoted so many times. Did I have satisfaction? Yes! That day was a day of awakening for me. I felt goose bumps forming on my neck, in reaction to the answer given by a very young Malay soldier. I knew then and there that my soldiers accepted me as their leader and willing to do anything for me. Even die for me ! I knew from then on, that my soldiers and I could take on anything.

Many an officer would give his all, to experience a moment like that. I was elated. It was better than promotions. I approached the Somalis while a whole section of men were on the ground to support me, with others covering me from the Condors. All my boys meant business.

In the Infantry you must love your soldiers with a passion, it will be reciprocated in unexpected ways. Be cold hearted and merciless when it comes to combat training.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:51 PM   0 comments
A Typical Sunday For A Recruit (Non Muslim) In Recruit Training Center, Port Dickson 1972

We are allowed on Sundays to put on our civvies, which we get from our storeroom, we are allowed to take out a pair of civvies and a pair of shoes once throughout the 6 months of training.

A typical Sunday starts off with all the non-Muslims gathering in front of the orderly Corporal, a NCO on duty. He will inspect us, ensuring we are shaved, wear stockings, carrying handkerchiefs, shoes polished and of course that the hair is in regulation cut, meaning nearly bald.

We are marched to the main guardhouse, inspected further and also verbally abused with derogatory terms. After all we are a mixed group of Indians, Chinese, and Dayaks with different religious faiths, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs. After being ridiculed as worshipers of idols and Satan we are allowed to proceed to the bus stop.

Freedom is when you are seated in the bus and it moves out of RTC compound. Actually for us this was a respite as most of us were not overly pious, we used religion to take a break from the tortures inflicted in RTC. 

The Muslims are not so lucky, on Fridays they are assembled and force marched off, to the nearby garrisonā€™s mosque, they do not get to go out to town. Woe, betide any Muslim who misses Friday prayers. If any Muslim hides and wants to avoid going to the mosque, we non-Muslims, have to finger them out, as to avoid group punishment for all the non-Muslims. As though we were responsible for them not going for their prayers. Whenever we finger them out, they resent us. We lose both ways.

Normally, I couldnā€™t care a damn, as I believed religion was an individual choice. The instructors who have sucked our blood, become hypocrites when it comes to religion as they believe by attending Friday prayers they are cleansed of their sins, of course they will continue sucking blood until next Friday, the cycle is repeated.

All heave audible sighs of relief as the bus moves pulls out of the bus stop, we had been holding our breath and had not spoken since the assembly, and we did not want anything to jeopardize our movement to a short life full filling freedom. Some unlucky non-Muslims who do not pass inspections are not allowed out at the very last moment, for minor infractions like the Corporal on duty did not like your face.

All of us break out speaking at the same time, first words out are the curses for our orderly Corporals and the people at the guardhouse. We quickly form groups and present our plans to the various groups. The Christians want to have their breakfast and then proceed to the church, all agree to have breakfast together, and then proceed to their various places of worship. We arrange to meet up at the Hindu temple after mass.

When we have breakfast, it is not the normal everyday breakfast normal people have, there are about 32 of us. Breakfast is an exercise in engorging oneself for all the days of deprivation. It is an exercise in culinary revenge, every one of different ethnic backgrounds, due to the Indian influence, being the majority in a minority, indulge in the Indian food and most important of all, cheap.

Vadais (dhal patties), thosais (flat, round and crispy pancakes), idiapoms (literally meaning thunder bread which are steamed rice noodles), chapattis (flat bread made from wheat), puris (fried flat wheat bread) and putoo (a sort of pudding).

The various mouth watering gravy and pastes comprising dhal, mutton, chicken, peppermint and coconut paste blended with chilly, cooked in different styles. We lorded over this huge display of food. We were like starved and deprived people of the world. 

Our efforts in polishing off the food was like a big orchestra pushing, shoving, gaining a crescendo at the end, only empty plates were left before us. All notice, the stares, directed by the civilians at us, it is embarrassingly loud. We get moving to settle our bills, we feel bloated and stuffed. We move in a group, separating to go to our places of worship.

There is a feeling of contentment, happiness and satisfaction as we stroll slowly to the church. We are distinctly different from the outside world, short hair, sun ravaged faces, muscular, scarred and of course misery written on our faces. We go through the rituals at mass, following the majority action, as it has been sometime since we had been to church.

Furthermore the church was not of our denomination. In our group itself there were 5 different groups of Christians, but we were as one. It was just a place to be together. We were different, because we were the minority races who choose to serve by choice.

After mass we move towards the Hindu temple, there the prayers are over; my friends wait for us as they do not want us to feel out of place. What is there for us to do? Nothing, you need money to do something interesting, we go behind the temple; the temple is under a huge rain-forest tree.

It is cooling; we lay our butts on the cool cemented floor to rest and exchange gossip, usually about the various instructors in the different companies. We exaggerate, not too much though, to say that the training and the instructors were the toughest in our company and the training in others could not match ours.

Later in the afternoon, something everyone was not looking forward  and hated it, was reporting back to the training center. As usual we had to report to the guardhouse, go through the humiliation of being infidels and all.

I had always wondered how a person thrown in jail feels, one does not need to seek far for that kind of an experience, just join the Malaysian Army.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:50 PM   0 comments
Our Journey & Challenges
Bur Hakaba

Bur Hakaba - There are caves in this rock, it is a rock where people stay. At the foothill of this humongous rock there are scattered villages. One of the Somali trucks makes a dash for one of the villages, there are quite a number of hard standing tracks.

I give orders to stop the convoy and order the rest of the Condors to surround the village to which the Somali truck has moved to. The truck must belong to someone from the village. The below image shows the town of Bur Hakaba. It's surrounded by villages; this is the rear of that rock. It's really getting on everyone's nerves. This was stupid, to try and hijack or rather running off with a truck full of grain. 


We have done long distance training back in Malaysia, with rest stops and all. This really took the cake. Tempers were frayed, everyone was in no mood for this kind of a crap. Othman ordered one Condor to pursue and recover the vehicle. The Condor took off, if all the Condors were ordered into the village, I am sure we would have run over some of the villagers and killed them, the mood we were in.

A cooler head prevailed, Othman's. The Condor charged in between thatched huts with mud walls and caught up with the truck. The turret swivelled with the guns bearing on the driver in the cabin of the truck. He pulled up. Even as he pulled up, around 30-40 villagers were running towards the truck. The quick thinking Section Commander Corporal Shukri and his section of men dismounted. 

He positioned his men well and blocked the crowd from the truck. He had his men fix bayonets. The crowd was getting bigger. This was not good. The Condor seeing the new threat, swiveled it's turret toward the crowd. The Section Commander approached the driver and gestured to him, to drive back and rejoin the convoy. I was watching this scene through my binoculars. I could see that Corporal Shukri was barely suppressing his rage and anger. Thankfully the driver obeyed. A bloodbath was averted, in reference to the crowd of villagers., not for the driver. 

I walked up to the Somalis, pointed at their guns with my M79 and told them to lower their weapons. Which they did. Next I kicked over a few of the barriers, there was alot of talking amongst them, soon the Somalis joined me at my location clearing the barriers. I was on top of the world. Soon the barriers were cleared, my soldiers mounted up into their vehicles, the convoy continued on it's journey to Baidoa. 

The Somali Militia waved us off very respectfully. Somalis respect a show of force, if you can be taken out, they would not hesitate to do so. They saw that we were a determined lot and we meant business. They backed off. So much the better for them. I knew with the soldiers I had, I would feel sorry for the Somalis.

We started moving without anymore distractions. The day was getting dark, we were hungry, tired and angry, meaning short tempered. I was very exhausted. As it was getting dark, I advised all my boys to be ready with the night vision goggles, night vision binoculars and night vision sights for the M16's, including laser sights to be attached to the rifles for night fighting. All the food we escorted was from the USA. We risked our lives to move this grain without being hijacked by Somali gunmen.

Whenever we stopped on the way to Baidoa, we were asked whether we were from the US, this was due to the similarities of our flags which we wore as a shoulder patch. We always replied that we were from Malaysia. They would reply, "good, America bad", the irony of that was that the Americans were the ones who were the major contributors towards the well being of the Somalis. Notice bags of grain marked with the letters USA. 

Representative image

I instructed the vehicle commanders to keep the convoy tight as it was getting dark. Asked Othman to do radio checks to ensure that all communications were in good working order. There was alot of static on the HF communications sytems, it was quite difficult for communications with MALBATT Headquarters, though with much difficulty we could make ourselves understood. The VHF was not a problem, they were in excellent working condition.

All vehicle commanders were ordered to test fire their weapons on the move, limited to 20 rounds on their main armament. Which they did to ensure that in the dark we were well prepared for any kind of an eventuality. Othman reported back to me that all main armaments were in good working condition. I told Lance Corporal Shamsuddin to take over in the turret of my vehicle. I took a position behind Zaid my driver, where I stationed myself, looking out behind the driver, getting the view of the driver to be exact. I started noticing the desert, it's vast expanse, desolate and very unforgiving.

I could afford to think back now as Othman was handling the situation. Wow, this was one hell of a priceless experience. Taking a journey the first time ever into the desert all on my own, meaning leading a convoy with all my charges, the responsibility I realized was not a minor one. I had 57 lives of my boys in my hands and another 50 plus Somali divers. Discovering myself, that there were guys with me who would lay down their lives fighting for me. We of diverse beliefs and ethnicity.

Wishing that Malaysia would become like that. I used to tell the Americans when they were around that we were a mini USA, flag and all.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:49 PM   0 comments

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