Monday, 28 May 2007

Jungle Trekking Anyone? Gopeng to Cameron Highlands Trek

Yet another interesting topic currently going on in my EGroup; essentially a conversation between two ex- army guys, one a doctor and the other, a retired Colonel in the paratroopers. I am sure we can learn something here, especially a couch potato like me.

Hi Everyone,

A friend of mine in Taiping, is organising a Gopeng to Camerons (Jungle) Trek over 2 weekends, 16-17 June and 14-15 July. Park your cars in Gopeng Nature Resort, spend one night in a Orang Asli village and take a chartered bus back to Gopeng from Bharat Tea Plantation. Promises to be full of fun and leeches. Anybody interested? I'll be going on the 14-15 July trek with my daughter and nephew.

I'm sure Colonel M has done more than his fair share of jungle bashing but perhaps he could be interested in this for old times' sake. Don't have to carry any senjata, peluru etc... and no fear of any Charlie Tangos targetting our backsides or booby traps (hopefully!).


Dr G


Hi G.,

Sounds interesting. Would have considered it but just got back from Camerons. Its pretty wet now (unusually so it seems) but did not encounter leeches although spent a bit of time walking on sinking wet trails. Visited a couple of Orang Asli villages about 5 km from within the Boh Estate, and views of tea estates especially riveting working your way up to the airstrip there which is used by planes for crop-dusting. Gunung Brinchang peak worth a visit for more stupendous views and more trails! No doubt you'll have a great time. Mind the Bharat Cafe, RM20 for 2 cups of chai masala and scones. Sip and savour slowly. :) Boh in Sg Palas offers a pot for 2 at RM 5.90, lovely cakes and panaromic views (cameras poised please!) in stylish ambience.



Dear Doctore,

This is my cup of kpg. kopi. Have not done it from Gopeng but from Bidor. I assure you that its not going to be a cake-walk. During that period I have to baby-sit some of my sch chums, who have emigrated, and visiting Malaysia from Oz, UK and other countries. If you need to be reminded on equipment, happy to provide list.

If I come, I'll still bring my gun to protect the climbers from wild animals. Best insect repellent - KELLIS. Best for stings and bites - Hamilton Stingose Spray

Colonel M


Dear M,

I've read a report by someone who's done it and I realise that it's no stroll in the park. Have to cross 6 streams/ rivers including the Sg. Kampar and walk along ridges with deep drops on the other side (jangan tengok bawah) etc... That's why I'm training everyday - walking, running, climbing steps and belukar bashing up a small hill near my place. WOULD APPRECIATE VERY MUCH your tips on equipment, food (all meals self-provided) and on how to make the trip more enjoyable.

I'm sure an experienced veteran like you ada banyak petua & banyak cerita to impart to tyros like me.




Dear Dr,

Please confirm if your group is staying overnight in the forest.


Hi M

Yes, we're spending Saturday night at a Orang Asli village tapi ingat tadak ada disco on a Saturday night, kot.


Dear Dr,

You are a trained soldier. I have no intention of teaching you how to fly kites. So, don't laugh. This is just a reminder. I'll give them in installments to suit my consumption of claret. Remember the fundamental truth - the jungle is neutral, its for you or against you. Your attitude is what counts.

1. Do not drink water from any river or creek on the way up. The waters from Brinchang have chemicals and orang asli pollutants. Even water purifying tabs will not help. Buy two water bottles for you and one each for your girls.
2. Elastic bandage the ankles of the girls b4 they wear their shoes/boots. The ankles must be steady on uneven ground for young kids. Please see attachment. Get hockey boots with soles for good grip - studded or intervalled. Ensure when you purchase them that they fit to perfection using socks worsted.

3. Get the girls to wear towel headbands like we use in tennis coz they will sweat like crazy.
4. This is terrible to tell a distinguished Dr. Teach the girls how to do stretching b4 and after hill climb. I can send you the needful. There is a need to supple up and strengthen your medial head, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris long head, abs, lower trapezius and latissimus dorsi and stamina. ( I had good M.O. from young, that's how I know. These blardy army Drs made us learn by heart.)
5. No drinking alcohol or smoking during the trek.
6. Nobody is to eat jungle fruits at all. Even tough Ibans have fallen sick.
7. Walk for 40 mins and rest for ten. Stretch for anybody who is tired.
8. Get a good parang. Make it razor sharp.
9. Buy a Victorinox Swiss knife (complete).




Thanks for the jungle trekking tips given so far. I'm looking forward to the next installment.


Dear Dr,

Please don't laugh for a Ranger teaching a Gunner how to suck eggs.

NA must be a great kid. I always appreciate somebody who desires to lead people for fitness, adventure and to enjoy the Malaysian environment. You will be in the 2nd badge. He will have drawn the lessons-learnt from the 1st. I am always nervous without a GPS, a map and a compass. I am amazed that some guys do not know how to navigate using the map and compass. If it is difficult, use an Orang Asli guide.

1. Orang Asli settlement is usually dirty and unkempt with stray, mangy dogs, mozzies, leeches and smell. They lay animal traps called Belantik in the vicinity of the settlement. Find out where they are b4 going to pangsai. Bring one pact of Lucky Strike fags and a small pact of garam kasar for bribery to the Ketua. They will have crystal clear water conduited from a "mata air' using bamboo for drinking and showers. Its cold. Get messtins of hot water for the girls for early morning wash or shower. When they know that you are a Dr., you will certainly get patients - mostly sakit perut, demam, skin problems (kudis) and sakit gigi. Most of the kids have running noses, and distended bellies and the babies howl all night. Please bring a small can of Sheltox and mosquito coil.If you like petai, bring a bit of sambal belacan!!

2. Now please don't die laughing! Pack your medical kit, small, neat and water-proofed Thermometer, Casprin, Imodium, Melolin Cushioned Dressing pads, Fucidin, Fucidin Intertulle, Tiger Balm, Foot Powder, antibiotic eyedrops, panadols etc, etc

3. Your purse and camera must be wrapped up in plastic and 100% water-proofed.

4. In the attachment, you see a compass, a Swiss Army knife, eating cutlery all-in-one, a golok and a utility belt. The cutlery is available at ACE in IKEA, if I see you b4 you go I'll donate a golok, the belt is useful for Swiss Knife, small camera, compass, purse, golok and field dressing and my golok has the blade screwed to the handle to avoid accidents.

5. Look around for back-packs or haversacks, medium size for you and small size for the girls.They must be neat, strong and waterproof. Do not exceed three kg for you and one kg each for the girls for carriage up the hill for all the bahan bahan. They must be in different colours for identification.

6. If anybody has a leech bite, do NOT pull the leech. Spray KELLIS insect repellent and the sucker will fall off and the bleeding will stop.




Dear M,

Very nice golok; where do you buy such goloks?


Dear Paul,

I have only bought one ready made golok in my life. See attachment. The 1st one I bought at Kuala Kangsar night market when I was 22. Went with me everywhere. Good blade. The one you saw as attached for Dr. Dowdh was hand made in Terengganu. The 2nd one in the attachment is an Iban Golok, 3d is a traditional Terengganu golok made by Cambodian illegals, 4th is an Iban Duku Ilang, 5th is a Kelantanese blade, 6th is a Nepalese kukri given by the Chief of Armed Forces of Nepal to my brother (they postgrad in USofA together) and the last one is a Thai Marine's knife modified.

I have given away many to my sons, brothers outlaw and adventurous friends. I have to, my wifey in her old age is fretful of what she says, " You are blardy pervert." I cannot keep my gun at home or there will be a divorce. Its too expensive and I'll be penniless sleeping in the Indian Muslim mosque in Taiping!! Even my pencen will be divided.



Hi M

1.For your info the trek will be guided by 2 or 3 experienced Orang Asli who have, to my knowledge, taken at least 2 other batches on the same route.

2.Is it important to get shoes that lace up someway up the calf, like the green Army jungle boots or are ordinary trekking shoes that cover only the feet and don't go above the ankle good enough?

3.During my Army training we were told about a few tricks to avoid blisters on forced marches, i.e. soaking the socks in soap solution and letting them dry so that during the march they become slippery with sweat and reduce friction; sapu sabun on our feet - from heel to toe for the same reason. These measures useful tak in the jungle? By the way, why are the private soldiers called Mat Sabun? Is it because they used to sapu sabun on their feet. I suspect it must be because the used sabun on their 3rd leg.

OK tuan sifu, I eagerly await the next installment of your instructions.


Dear Dr,

I am always been wary of Drs of Medicine. My classmates in form 6, who became Drs. were right at the top. You cannot "chong" them, they seem to be fast on the uptake. Forgive my presumptuous notes to you. But when we all pissed, the Drs will help in the "basuh pinggan" coz they are sober. My wifey asked, " How come they are so good in the kitchen?" Answer, " Coz they have medically trained metacarpals". What are they? Answer,"Toes!!" Hahaha!!
My cardiologist is a brilliant Tiger-Putera. The last time I met him, he had a ponch. I laughed and he laughed too. He said," Hey, Mike, I love ice cream." and I laughed even harder. He had a confused look and I walked off.

My wifey's gynae is beautiful. I was Greek Godessing her and she said," Mike, you gatallah." So I asked," Are you frigid?" "How come?" "You see it everyday!!" Answer," F... o.. Mike!!" You cannot win with Drs.

You have 2 b'fasts; two morning coffees, two lunches and one dinner. So purchase the following:
* 2 small packs of b'fast biscuits or cookies from Carrefour. It has the best.
* 6 Mars Bar.
* 3 cups of rice ( Puteri )
* 2 small cans of baked beans at 230 g each.
* 1 can of potatoes or green peas..
* 3 packets Campbell's Instant Soup. Creamy Chicken Twist. One pkt weighing 69g contains 3 sachets.Find out from the girls what type of soup they like.
* 1 pkt of Uncle Toby's Chewy Forest Fruits Muesli Bars, 185g. 6 bars per pkt.
* 6 pkts of Brahim's curries, chicken, beef an beef masak lada hitam.
* 6 Sachets of 3-in-1 teh tarik.
* 6 Sachets of 3-in-1 coffee.

EMERGENCY RATIONS( You never know)
* 3 pkts of instant noodles.
* 1 can of Waltose Sardines in olive oil, RM 4.00 each.
* 1 small pkt of dog biscuits. We ate it in the Army!!
* 1 tube of Redoxon.
* 300 g of vanilla flavoured Complan.

B'fast: 3-in-1 Teh Tarik, one bar of Uncle Toby's and one Mars Bar.
Morning Coffee. 3-in1 coffee and cookies or biscuits.
Lunch. Campbell's Soup,11/2 cups of rice for three, two pkts of Brahims and one can of baked beans for three.
Dinner. Soup. 11/2 cups of rice, two pkts of Brahim's and potatoes or green peas.

You need to buy:
* 2 sets of messtins.We don't get Brit. messtin anymore. They are Korean. A long time on the fire and they warp.
* 2 pkts of Hexamine Solid Fuel Tablets. 8 tabs in each pkt. One tab cooks one meal. One pkt is RM 2.85 in Giant Hypermarket.Don't forget the metal oven that comes with it.
* One cig lighter to burn the solid fuel.
Please note that Brahim's comes in Retort Pouches. Drown them intact in boiling water for 3 mins and the contents are hot and ready to eat. It is not the contents that are expensive, its the pouches.



Dear Dr,

Please get a good pair of hockey boots ankle length. No need for anything else.Good soles are the important thing. Make sure they fit comfortably. The soap thing is for leather boots and forced march over a long distance.. You foot powder and socks worsted.the girls. The shoes will be wet on completion of a jungle trek. Wash them and dry them upside down. They will still be wet in the morning. Use wet socks. The dry socks worsted are meant for sleeping.

The Mat Sabun expression is a literal translation of the Brit. soldier - Joe Soap.It was Col Tiger Abu Hassan Abdullah and I that propagated the slang - Mat Sabun. I was chief Instructor of the Command & Staff Wing In PD so I had the liberty to create a vocabulary.

More importantly, ensure the weight in your pack is light. The pack shud not be right up the trapezuis. It shud just be above the gluteus maximus at the waist. Gosh, you army drs.taught us well!!


Dear Dr,

This is a ready reckoner for you:

1 spare underwear each.
1 spare tee-shirt each.
1 light sweater each for sleeping
1 light waterproof jacket each
1 pair of shorts each
1 handkerchief each
1 sarong each
2.pairs of socks worsted. One for sleeping.
1 towel each, medium size.
1 jungle hat each
1 "God Morning" towel each
1 backpack or haversack each
1 bottle of insect repellent
1 camera
1 small torchlight. Best is head held. Check batteries.
1 Swiss Army knife
3 Sleeping bags. Buy BODYPAC from Carrefour. Weight approx 300g each.
1 all-in-one fork/spoon/knife
1 golok, sharpened
1 cigarette lighter
3 inflatable air pillows
1 pair of shoes/boots with grip soles each
2 ponchos for sleeping
2 pkts hexamine soild fuel
2 sets of messtin
3 waterbottles with mug interface
1 box mosquito coil
1/2 roll toilet paper
1 Asepso soap in plastic container
1 toothbrush each
1 small tube toothpaste for three.
1 shaving razor
1 comb/hairbrush each
1 small can Sheltox
1 small pack of washing soap
1 small sponge for washing
1 green plastic rubbish bag. Collect all your rubbish b4 ETD Orang Asli camp.
1 pack medical kit
1 safari belt

Finally, I'll stop patronizing you tuan Dr.
The aim of every trip into the forest is to celebrate life; camp out in pollution free environment; enjoy the friendship and humour of our friends and kids and at the end, imbibe over frivolities that life can be beautiful. Drs. refrain quietly the "happy Hours" as a finale, but Ah Swee and I do and we enjoy it.
The girls will gratefully know it later that they have a responsible father and uncle.


Dear Dr,

Forgot a small tip. Buy two small pkts of Sultanas for the girls. Encase in plastic and keep in the left breast pocket. Take approx one teaspoon when thirsty. Magic. Old Ranger trick!!


Dear Dr,

I have obtained for you for emotional reasons 3 x 48 hr Army rations.Surely, your daughter and niece know that you were a soldier once and in all probability a good one. They will love to see the shit you eat!!

The total pack is 4.3 kg. Its too heavy. Use only the retort pouches and the special dog biscuits. They amount with rice to 4500 kjoules. There are nine retort pouches of Korma, sardines, vegetables and bubur sweets etc etc. The girls will love them.The dog biscuits have been infused with all the required goodies - six pieces for b'fast. Mati, lo!!

Not giving you the rice. Army rice is partially roasted to prevent bugs. You get the best - Puteri. There is no solid fuel tabs.

There are toilet paper, matches, instant coffee, tea, lots of sugar, jam and vit pills of C and iron and calcium.

Each retort pouch is 140g so be careful about weight.

I was the Deputy Director of Army Training when we evolved this Rangsum Tempur. We used South African White Scientists to perfect it together with the Medical Directorate, Defence Science Center and the Logistic boys. Finally, the scientists could not solve the possibility of Beri-Beri over the long haul, so every 7 days, operational troops must have fresh rations with good amount of fresh vegs and fruits. I can write a book about it.

We meet on either early Sat or Sunday @ Tesco Hypermarket, Shah Alam, for me to give you, if you prefer. My house tele # 03 ******** and H/P 019 *********.

Like in Islam, there is no compulsion.


Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 10:52 PM
Subject: RE: Army Rations

Wow Mike……………………….


Dear KS,

When I was chairing the committee in my capacity as Dep Director of Army Training, we analyzed the composite or combat rations (CR) of our neighbours. The Thais are good at dehydrated rations, the Indons and the Filipinos have really nothing to talk about. The S'poreans had and have the best. The S'poreans borrowed the tech from the Israelis but made the rations to suit the Asian palate - the most expensive in Asia.

We did not have the complete expertise. Our Varsity BS shitheads talked endlessly but could not produce results and most of them were not field tests minded. We had to buy expertise from South Africa. We had so many problems - degeneration, expiry rate, tropical weather, halal for both Muslims and Hindus, wear and tear, muscle atrophy and invitation to diseases, weight, costs, tastes to suit all ethnicities and the correct Kjoules to suit all circumstances. There were so much tugs and pulls. In the end, the Logistic boys said time was up. We had to move and issued the tender docus. Ibrahim bin Ahmad Badawi, on his own merit, won it for 29years and with a 8 years option.

For the Ibans, we provided more rice, a small bottle of kicap, two nutrition bars, two Mars Bars, 400 g of kacang hijau, one small pkt of Sultanas, one small pkt of peeled groundnuts and a piece of halia - they love halia.

As Dr. G will vouch, food is big deal with soldiers and thats the reason we have a huge catering sch in Taiping with everything - its the best in Asia..


A Message of Comfort, Inspiration and Hope

Yesterday I read a comforting message that inspires and gives hope to those who face adversity. It was a message written from the heart but was borne of indescribable heartache; it was a message that could only have been written with Love and for Love. It was a message written as part of a self-healing journey yet, it was a message to others who needed to heal. It was a message written by my loving wife.

Sunday, 27 May 2007


Now that the soccer season is over, it is time for the REAL MEN to come out to play! The Rugby World Cup starts in September 2007 but before that, the "real" world cup (The 2007 Philips Tri-Nations) played over June and July, will decide which Southern Hemisphere team will be the favorite to replace England as world champion.

For the New Zealand All Blacks, this season kicks off with the 2007 Iveco Series that should serve as starters before the main course. The RWC this year is a foregone conclusion as far as I am concerned. It would be a bonus for the Blacks after the Tri-Nations. I really do not see any nation in the world putting together a team strong enough, in such a short time after the All Blacks steamrolled all before them last year. This will be Daniel Carter's world cup.

Time for the English to officially hand over their bragging rights to the rightful owners during their reign the last four years! England confirmed it was a "two man" wonder with its dismal performances the last 4 years without retired Martin Johnson and the injury proned Jonny Wilkinson. The latest defeat was yesterday to the Boks in a record 10-58 score.

The strength of this year's Springboks and Wallabies can be gauged in the Tri-Nations but one can never write off the Wallabies. The Boks will undoubtedly be staying with the young side that is being groomed since last year but the feeling is that they will not be in time for the RWC. Northern Hemisphere sides? They will be making up the numbers in the RWC. Even host France will need all the home ground advantage it can get.

Fixtures to look out for before the RWC:


Thursday, 24 May 2007

Champions League Final: AC Milan vs Liverpool

Just finished watching the game.

Dominance counted for nothing. In the end, a disappointing 1-2 defeat for Liverpool.

Memory of the game already consigned to annals of European football history.

Till the next one............

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

More on Bangsa Malaysia: Bringing Malaysian Politics Closer to Home

Another posting in my e-group dated August, 2005 ironically just in time for Merdeka Day. Now almost 2 years later, we see the government adjusting to the information juggernaut.


Dear All,

I believe we have to give credit where credit is due and by this I mean the Preacher Man. He had promised greater latitude in the freedom of expression and now I see many, many exhibitions of this. Opposition MPs are given air time albeit for now, only as panelists or in debates with luminaries of the ruling establishment. This would be unheard of one year ago! Mind you, I am no supporter of DAP or Keadilan for that matter but I strongly believe that true accountability and transparency can only be if there is freedom of expression; let the people decide what to filter.

A few years ago, we would all be put behind bars for voicing counter-political opinions on a restricted egroup let alone blaring out to the public at large. The spirit in our little egroup is freedom of expression at the same time being mindful and respectful of each others opinions. We can talk from matters most trivial to matters that impact our daily lives and it is hoped that we can enrich our respective existence along the way. No, we hope not to be relegated to inane chatter that is worth nothing more than a tick on a porcine butt.

Now there are so many hundreds of websites on Malaysian matters alone! Malaysiakini was a forerunner but now it has lost much of its flavor since becoming a “subscription only” site. The opinions, expressions and “disclosures” contained in these sites have forced mainstream media to move slightly (for a start) away from traditional bias. Some of these sites are even sponsored by ruling political personalities for their own spin. Our government can only “hide in plain sight” and more and more closeted liberals are beginning to surface. The days of being blind sided by unscrupulous, self-serving politicians are increasingly numbered.

Granted that the propagandists are working overtime to buffer any ill effects of this new paradigm on the status quo of the incumbents, the overall effect can only be good for the country. We are in the Information Age and there is no stopping the information juggernaut. The www amongst other media has indeed paved the way, and blogs together with other www tools have ensured the emergence of the Fifth Estate! The buzz word is DISCERN.

I have a gut feeling that our beloved country is at a threshold; that there is an imminent “tidal wave” that will sweep away old conventions and prejudices and set the country on a new track of reification, claiming our rightful place in the new world order. This is not a sign of proclivity towards a pathetic euphoria based on an erroneous premise nor am I a hopeless optimist! I am hopeful! I am an Edwardian from Taiping and what my school taught me was never to give up easily. I yearn for the “colorblind” days at school where my rival was across the drain regardless of whether he was Malay, Chinese or Indian. I am a Malaysian when in other countries but a Chinese in my own country! I want to die a Bangsa Malaysia!

Happy Merdeka Day!!!!!


Bangsa Malaysia

This was a something I posted in my e-group in August 2005 after Dato' Hishamuddin Tun Hussain brandished the kris for the first time at the UMNO Youth Assembly.

Sentiments for Bangsa Malaysia were high at the time in the aftermath of Lim Keng Yaik's keynote address (shown below) on the subject, the now called Krishamuddin felt he had to react.......


RE: Konfrantasi Again?

Hi All,

Having my early years in an era and educated in school where there was no concept of race, I am a great believer in the concept of Bangsa Malaysia. I grew up in awe of my Malay brothers who were swifter, stronger than me on the sports field and who trashed me academically in the classroom. Mind you, I was no pushover in either arena.

The nation faces greater challenges from without and Malaysians must unite rather than fight over the cake within; a cake that will surely shrink, relative to population increase, if we continue our mindless squabbles and acute paranoid mentality.

It alarms me to think that Hishamudin is an aspiring PM. Hopefully he does not think it is a birthright! I am apprehensive about him as Education Minister in charge of the very essence of nation building; the minds and capability of our young. As far as I know he was a nondescript Sports & Youth Minister who has been out-performed by the current lady. Wake up Preacher Man; certainly you are not scraping the bottom of the barrel. Do something in the next reshuffle.

Hishamudin appears to have suddenly realized this year that he has to start shouting communal rhetoric, brandishing the kris and championing the self-styled new National Agenda to remind UMNOnites he is still around. The proverbial Rip van Winkle has woken up to find he has lost relevance thanks to his own complacency and the emergence of a certain 29 year old. His methods are outdated and outmoded! To paraphrase the editor of The Star paper: “After 48 years of independence, most of us have grown tired of listening to worn-out communal and religious arguments from politicians. This is 2005; let’s get our act together to march on as Rakyat Malaysia.”

I have just read the text of Lim Keng Yaik’s now infamous “Social Contract” speech; pasted below. Bouquets to Keng Yaik; he has put the likes of Kah Ting and even the now, Anwar Ibrahim to shame for having the balls to articulate what he thought.

The spin doctors of certain individuals who need political capital should not be allowed to warp the minds of Malaysians and make this into a racial issue. Read this for yourself (I am not a Gerakan Party member and used to think that it was an irrelevant Party):


Keynote Address by Dato’ Seri Dr.Lim Keng Yaik President Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia At the Anak Malaysia Convention Held at Grand Ballroom, Grand Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur On 13th August 2005


I am grateful for being invited to speak at this Anak Malaysia Convention jointly organised by Gerakan Youth, Sedar Institute and Friedrich Naumann Stiftung. I congratulate the organisers for a job well done. My warmest regards to all distinguished guests, speakers, participants and members of Parti Gerakan.

Ladies and gentlemen, this convention is timely because there is a serious need to rethink and review our nation-building project. It is only through a sincere and open review that we are able to identify and measure its success and failure, issues and challenges in order to help us achieve the desired national unity.

National unity should not be interpreted as a communitarian ideology. The discourse of national unity entrapped within the sole purpose of breeding homogeneity or conformity does not reflect a clear understanding of the social landscape of our modern society. In turn, I urge you to consider our proposition of looking at national unity using a pair of multicultural and multiracial lenses. Consequently, the dynamics that help to foster national unity are essentially diverse and different. But within this diversity, we can find a true synergy and strength which is far stronger than homogeneity.

Our nation-building project is supposed to create such positive outcome of national unity. However, a sense of national unity cannot be fostered through mere rhetoric or symbolism. Singing patriotic songs is good but singing them as an act of ritual is useless and meaningless. A sense of commitment to the nation and to the society must come intrinsically from within one’s heart and soul. This is what I called a sense of belonging and a sense of shared common identity to the country and to the society.

Gerakan’s Proposition of Bangsa Malaysia

Today, we would like to make you a proposition to consider coming together to foster a sense of belonging and a sense of shared common identity. At Gerakan, we call this proposition the creation of a truly ‘Bangsa Malaysia’. For this proposition to become a reality, we believe that our youths or our ‘Anak-anak Malaysia’ play a key role. Our younger generation should be taught to appreciate and respect the country’s rich cultural diversity and that it is essential for them to work together to face multifarious challenges of global scale. These diverse cultural values are our wealth and not a liability. The foundation of a society should be built from its diverse cultural values in order to shape its shared common destiny and identity.

Moreover, I truly believe that for Malaysia and its people to come together as a nation, we need to learn to understand, accept and celebrate our pluralistic nature. Pluralism, I believe is an essentialist element of a Bangsa Malaysia. We should not deny our shared cultural heritage. Over the years, each and every community in Malaysia has absorbed and assimilated elements from other communities into their language, art, music, lifestyle, food and others.

Is Bangsa Malaysia a reality or myth? The answer lies in the decision you make today. A nation-building project is never an easy one. Many countries took centuries to build a nation and a society. A great number of these societies were broken down and torn apart by unscrupulous conflicts masked by racial or religious overtones. Hence, different actors in the society must always be mindful of their action and interaction. We ought to practice self-discipline and to observe respect for our fellow countrymen of other races or faiths.

We need to build our society or a truly Malaysian race not by getting overly obsessed with a few racial or religious conflicts but to build on our centuries of inter-ethnic relations, understanding, goodwill and cooperation.

Moving forward, I urge you to conduct a critical assessment of our nation-building project. After almost 50 years of independence, do we have a general consensus on the concept of Bangsa Malaysia? Are we ready to embrace this concept? What are the characteristics of a Bangsa Malaysia? These are several pertinent questions to get today’s discussion on the ball.

The Making of a Truly Bangsa Malaysia

In my own assessment, there are several challenges and obstacles to our nation-building project and the creation of a Bangsa Malaysia. First, the project is faced with a ‘historical burden’ which must be removed. It stemmed from a politically motivated view of interpreting our historical past. For example, the dominant historical narration of our struggles for national independence and the formulation of the social contract between the main races often take a very narrow communal slant. An often repeated reminder to the Chinese and Indian community in this country is that the government did them a great favour by granting them citizenship to stay in this country. Hence, they should be grateful and beholden to the state.

The making of statehood cannot be based on a static interpretation of history. How can we ask these communities to sacrifice and devote their energy, resources and time to help in nation-building if they are often demoralised by such statement? An objective narration and documentation of history is a dynamic process.

Our society has gone through together horrid time of the cruelty of colonialism, imperialism and other challenges. We have survived and thrived as a society. Perhaps, it is timely that the future narration of history can reflect more on our join struggles and collaborations. We cannot achieve much as a society and as a nation – with a first-world ambition – if we continue to deprive our younger generation of a true reflection of history.

Second, I find that our sense of ethnicity or religiosity is stronger than our sense of nationhood and citizenship. I am worried that this way we are promoting and expanding our existing racial and religious silos. Most of the policy debates, social discussions or societal dialogues are exclusively race or religious centric. There are not many Malaysian centric dialogues or discussions. I can only generalise that the idea of a shared common destiny and a shared common identity has not sink into the mainstream thinking yet. We still put race and religion first, and society and nation second. Thus far, our national unity efforts are polemical, ritualistic and artificial at best. Henceforth, I would be interested to listen to suggestions from our speakers on how to reverse the current mindset.

Third, we need a political paradigm shift. Our model of power sharing is not premised on a zero-sum game. I would like to urge all politicians and aspiring politicians to look inside-out instead of outside-in. We have to be externally focused and forward looking. Remember, narrow communal assertion, slogan and chest-beating will only create more racist reactions. We need to re-examine the relevance and impact of populist race-centric political approach. We need to find if this approach is detrimental to our nation-building project and national unity agenda.

Fourth, I would like to warn Malaysians of a culture of exclusivity which is breeding in our society. This culture is trying to create exclusive groups within our society. What this culture is saying is if you are not one of us, you should mind your own business. Inevitably, this culture is limiting inter-civilisation dialogue and discussion. Another trajectory from this culture is the establishment of extremist groups which promote dangerous ideology and belief. The government has taken serious actions against any form of extremism and all kinds of extremist bantering. Fortunately, Barisan Nasional leaders are mindful that we need to protect our pluralistic nature.

The most challenging task is identifying a set of shared common values which all Malaysians can embrace and adopt as a collective value system. Perhaps, this forum could make an attempt to identify some of these shared common values and norms.

Harmonise Bangsa Malaysia with the New National Agenda

Nearly 50 years since independence, evidently our nation is searching for a new agenda. Over the past few weeks, our political scene is buzzing with a new proposal to adopt and implement a “New National Agenda”. In the era of globalisation characterises by constant change, we need a new agenda or a development strategy to ensure that we are keeping up with these changes. In this regard, our nation-building project should be harmonised with this new national agenda.

To construct an inclusive and conclusive national agenda, promoters of this agenda should understand the current realities faced by the nation. The agenda must be able to withstand rigorous public scrutiny. The essential elements in the agenda must be able to address current challenges faced by the society. The agenda must also be broad enough to accommodate the aspirations of all Malaysians, and not just any particular community alone.

We cannot resurrect something old and outdated from the past and call it ‘new’. This act is similar to pouring old sour wine into a new bottle. If we are not willing to embark upon a paradigm shift, this new national agenda will be an effort in futility.


Gerakan is not pioneering a new movement or creating a new community of ‘Bangsa Malaysia’. We believe that intrinsically, deep down the heart of all Malaysians, they cannot find any explicit reason to reject this proposition. A journey of a thousand miles must start with a first grand step. It is time that we examine how far we have travelled and the direction we are taking after almost 50 years of independence.

Finally, I hope you will this convention meaningful and worthwhile.

Thank you.

Dato’ Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik,
Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia.

For a historical perspective of the so-called “social contract”, I have plagiarized again as follows:

Mailbag From: Richard Yeoh To: Jeff Ooi Date: Aug 15, 2005 4:26 PM Subject: The Malaysian Social Contract

The debate on the Malaysian Social Contract is on again.

Less the debate goes on a tangent again, I submit that any rational debate should focus on the founding basis of the Malayan nation that came into being on 31st August 1957 (followed by the Malaysian nation in 1963) namely the "Social Contract" of 1957 that gave birth to the "Merdeka" Constitution of 1957.

I will not argue the case against the misinterpretation and distortion of the Social Contract for vested political and economic advantages on the part of the ruling elites as this was previously argued by Kim Quek in his article Unveiling the truth of Malay ‘Special Rights’ in an article dated Dec 04 2005.

If we wish to debate the principles of the Social Contract amongst the various communities that led to Independence of the new nation, we must refer to the Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission 1957 (commonly referred to as "The Reid Commission Report") as this Report was the result of the representations, discussions, compromises and agreements amongst the various communities and groups that form our nation.

As the Report is very comprehensive and exhaustive, I shall focus on the main areas of controversy and misinterpretation that dog us to this day, with the intention solely of contributing to informed discussion.

I believe that the Yang DiPertuan Agong should convene a special consultative council comprising all stakeholders in the Malaysian nation to examine the issues rationally and positively so that we may forge a national consensus which must of course be founded upon the principles of democracy and equal citizenship.

The emphasis in bold and clarifications in bold italics are mine.

Citizenship for non-Malays and the Special Position of the Malays:

This was one of the fundamental ‘bargains’. In return for citizenship for all, it was agreed that the Malays’ special position should be safeguarded.

On this the Report had this to say:

Para. 163. Our terms of reference require that provision should be made in the Constitution for the “safeguarding of the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of the other Communities”. In addition, we are asked to provide for a common nationality for the whole of the Federation and to ensure that the Constitution shall guarantee a democratic form of Government. In considering these requirements it seemed to us that a common nationality was the basis upon which a united Malayan nation was to be created and that under a democratic form of government it was inherent that all citizens of Malaya, irrespective of race, creed or culture, should enjoy certain fundamental rights including equality before the law. We found it difficult, therefore, to reconcile the terms of reference if the protection of the special position of the Malays signified the granting of special privileges, permanently, to one community only and not to the others.

The difficulty of giving one community a permanent advantage over the others was realised by the Alliance Party (the forerunner of Barisan Nasional), representative of which, led by the Chief Minister, (Tunku Abdul Rahman) submitted that – “in an independent Malaya all nationals should be accorded equal rights, privileges and opportunities and there must not be discrimination on grounds of race and creed...” The same view was expressed by their Highnesses (the Malay Rulers) in their memorandum, in which they said that they “look forward to a time not too remote when it will become possible to eliminate Communalism as a force in the political and economic life of the country”.

Para. 164. When we came to determine what is “the special position of the Malays” we found that as a result of the original treaties with the Malay States, reaffirmed from time to time, the special position of the Malays has always been recognized. This recognition was continued by the provisions of clause 19(I)(d) of the Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1948, which made the (British) High Commissioner responsible for safeguarding the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of the other communities. We found that there are now four matters with regard to which the special position of the Malays is recognized and safeguarded.

1. In most of the States there are extensive Malay reservations of land, and the system of reserving land for Malays has been in operation for many years. In every State the Ruler-in-Council has the power to permit a non-Malay to acquire a piece of land in a Malay reservation but the power is not used very freely. There have been some extensions of reservations in recent years but we do not know to what extent the proportion of reserved land has been increasing.

2. There are now in operation quotas for admission to the public services. These quotas do not apply to all services, e.g., there is no quota for the police and, indeed, there is difficulty in getting a sufficient proportion of non-Malays to join the police. Until 1953 admission to the Malayan Civil Service was only open to British subjects of European descent and to Malays but since that date there has been provision for one-fifth of the entrants being selected from the other communities. In other services in which a quota exists the rule generally is that not more than one-quarter of new entrants should be non-Malays.

3. There are also now in operation quotas in respect of the issuing of permits or licences for the operation of certain businesses. These are chiefly concerned with road haulage and passenger vehicles for hire. Some of these quotas are of recent introduction. The main reasons for them appear to be that in the past the Malays have lacked capital and have tended to remain on the land and not to take part in business, and that this is one method of encouraging Malays to take a larger part in business enterprises.

4. In many classes of scholarships, bursaries and other forms of aid for educational purpose preference is given to Malays. The reason for this appears to be that in the past higher education of the Malays has tended to fall behind that of the Chinese, partly because the Chinese have been better able to pay for it and partly because it is more difficult to arrange higher education for Malays in the country than Chinese in the towns.

Para. 165. We found little opposition in any quarter to the continuance of the present system for a time, but there was great opposition in some quarters to any increase of the present preferences and to their being continued for any prolonged period. We are of opinion that in present circumstances it is necessary to continue these preferences. The Malays would be at a serious and unfair disadvantage compared with other communities if they were suddenly withdrawn. But, with the integration of the various communities into a common nationality which we trust will gradually come about, the need for these preferences will gradually disappear. Our recommendations are made on the footing that the Malays should be assured that the present position will continue for a substantial period, but that in due course the present preferences should be reduced and should ultimately cease so that there should be no discrimination between races or communities.

Para. 166. With regard to land, we recommend that, subject to two qualifications, there should be no further Malay reservations, but that each state should be left to reduce Malay reservations in that State at an appropriate time. Land is a State matter and we do not recommend giving overriding powers to the Federation in this matter. We do not think that it is possible to lay down in advance any time in when a change should be made because conditions vary greatly from State to State. The two qualifications to the rule that there be no further reservations are: first, that if any land at present reserved ceases to be reserved, an equivalent area may be reserved provided that it is not already occupied by a non-Malay; and, secondly, that if any undeveloped land is opened up, part of it may be reserved provided that an equivalent area is made available to non-Malays.

Para. 167. The effect of our recommendation is that with regard to other preferences to Malays no new quota or other preference could be created. These preferences can only be lawfully created or continued to the extent to which that is specifically authorized by the Constitution. With regard to the existing quotas which we have referred to above we recommend that the Malays ought to have a substantial period during which the continuance of the existing quotas is made obligatory, but that, if in any year there are not enough Malay applicants qualified to fill the their quota of vacancies, the number of appointments should not be reduced and other qualified applicants should be appointed in sufficient numbers to fill the vacancies. We recommend that after 15 years there should be a review of the whole matter and that the procedure should be that the appropriate Government should cause a report to be made and laid before the appropriate legislature; and that legislature should then determine either to retain or to reduce any quota or to discontinue it entirely.

State Religion:

On this the Report had this to say.

Para. 169. We have considered the question whether there should be any statement in the Constitution to the effect that Islam should be the State religion. There was universal agreement that if any provision were inserted it must be made clear that it would not in any way affect the civil rights of non-Muslims. In the memorandum submitted by the Alliance (forerunner of the Barisan Nasional) it was stated-“the religion of Malaysia (sic) shall be Islam. The observance of this principle shall not impose any disability on non-Muslim nationals professing and practicing their own religions and shall not imply that the State is not a secular State.” There is nothing in the draft Constitution to affect the continuance of the present position in the States with regard to the recognition of Islam or to prevent the recognition of Islam in the Federation by legislation or otherwise in any respect which does not prejudice the civil rights of individual non-Muslims. The majority of us think that it is best to leave the matter on this basis, looking to the fact that Counsel for the Rulers said to us It is Their Highness’ (the Malays Rulers’) considered view that it would not be desirable to insert some declaration such as has been suggested that the Muslim Faith or Islamic Faith be the established religion of the Federation. Their Highnesses are not in favour of such a declaration being inserted and that is a matter of specific instruction in which I myself have played very little part.” Mr. Justice Abdul Hamid is of the opinion that a declaration should be inserted in the Constitution as suggested by the Alliance and his views are set out in his note appended to this report.

(Note: The Alliance’s proposal was ultimately included in the Merdeka Constitution)

Delimitation of Constituencies:

On this the Report (inter alia) had this to say.

Para. 74. In delimiting constituencies within a State it would be in accord with general practice elsewhere and it is, in our opinion, necessary in the Federation that regard should be had not only to the number of voters in each constituency but also to the total population, the sparsity or density of population, the means of communication, and the distribution of different communities. We recommend that the Commission (i.e. the Election Commission) should be required to have regard to these factors, but, in order to prevent too great weight being given to any one of them, we recommend that the number of voters in any constituency should not be more than 15 percent. above or below the average for the State.

(Note: This limitation was in the Merdeka Constitution but subsequently amended, and then removed altogether by Parliament.

Monday, 21 May 2007

May 13, 1969 Revisited. An Old Soldier's Perspective

My old school e-group has a current discussion topic that started because of Dr. Kua Kia Soong's latest book on the subject matter.

The interesting thing about the discussion is that we have a perspective from a retired army colonel that I am sure not many have come across. Mind you, the Colonel is a non-Chinese/Indian and I am posting his views here as it was written. I also hope to get a retired senior police officer's (probably Dato' Seri Yuen Yuet Leng) perpective on the subject (especially in the context of the colonel's post) if he would consent to share with us.

Read on.....I do not think this is Kamunting stuff as this is just one of the many cyber-discussions going on since it is May and since the book just came out. Please note that these are the colonel's personal views. Also note that they conflict with Dr. Kua's basic conspiracy contention.


May 13, 1969: The Colonel's View


Re: May 13 incident

I was wondering what your views are regarding the role of the Malaysian army in the May 13 incident.


Re: May 13 incident

Dear Vinnie,

I was a student in UK late 1967 to early 1970. I missed it although my Regiment was in the thick of it. The Board of Inquiry Papers have not been declassified to "Terhad" but never mind I'll still give the relevant info in a value-free manner in the week-end. My brother (Tiger-Putera) is a retired general and I'll get some history from him.



RE: May 13 incident

Anything that is still classified as 'CLASSIFIED'.... hv to read between the lines and paragraphs lah... if they come clean, why need to classify it in the first place. This is dangerous territory you guys are threading... want to open Pandora's box meh?

Danny Lee


RE: May 13 incident


Would you also let us know how the actual background to and what precipitated the incident. We have so many versions from official to subversive.



RE: May 13 incident

Dear Vinnie & Paul,

May I give you some preliminary info, although I assume you know them, I am just reiterating:

The Faith Of An Army Officer
The professional officer has been trained to be loyal to "King& Country". It is really platitudinous. It means we take lawful orders from the cabinet and "Country" means people. We are not loyal to the people, we are very devoted to our regiments and our soldiers and their families. This is very empirical.There will be no more loyalty if the government is cruel, unjust and incorrigibly corrupt or worst if the government persecutes minority groups like Hitler did to the Jews and Gypsies.The officer must remain, in the final analysis, an officer and gentleman. He can be charged and court-marshalled under the Army Act viz: " Conduct unbecoming of an officer and gentleman, in that he at Kpg Baru, Kuala Lumpur act partially and did not use minimum force in riot control........"

The Role Of The Army In Internal Security
The Army cannot be deployed against the civil population in a riotous situation unless Public Order Preservation Ordinance has been promulgated. Only then can the Army be called to be in aid of civil power that is the Police Force which shud by then be inadequate for the job or in disarray. Every platoon (37 men) to be deployed for riot control must be accompanied by a magistrate and a diarist.There are strict legal constraints which require that the soldier must act within the law, be impartial and use minimum force. Its tougher that fighting in the forest and we don't like it.

Intelligence Gathering
Anything internal or within Malaysia the duties of collection, collation, evaluation and dissemination of intelligence belong exclusively to the Special Branch and the control is in Bt. Aman.Everything external is military and controlled by the Joint Intelligence Directorate in Mindef. The military and the SB get together in a dept named "E7" in Bt. Aman for coordination of intelligence.

Ethnic Conflicts
Empirically you cannot resolve ethnic conflicts in the history of the world. You can regulate them. Please look at Nigeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Canada, Serbia, Indonesia, Timur Leste etc. It is a horrendous subject of study. The interdependent variables are religion, customs, culture, language, region, race and blood ties. We are born with these variables and are acculturated and socialized by them. It is difficult to minimize their compelling importance. We cannot overnight be brothers unless you are educated in the RMC!!

My Fears
Vinnie, to write you an accurate report, I have to get into the Archives Room of Mindef. Permission will take ages. My fear is that I am not in possession of references, just my knowledge from my readings and case studies we did in my Regiment on how to deal with a repeat May 13th. I apologize there are no footnotes. I'll try my level best to be accurate and value-free. I'll say so if it is my personal view. Meanwhile, tuan Dr. I'll get you Dr.Kua's May13 this week-end and courier to you for your current affairs, gratis.

The Future
It will be good if your children can have the truth at a later date of their lives. Mine are blardy cynical. One lives in Tamania and one in Perth. I spend X'mas in Hobart and New Year in Perth.
Best chow and OZ plonk, mate!!



Re: MAY 13th


When May 13 occured, I was 9 years old and living in Main Road, Taiping. I remember hearing the movements of the military trucks.

From the window of the shophouse, I could see the soldiers patrolling the streets and once I saw a soldier chasing a curfew breaker. I grew up with stories about Malay soldiers killing Chinese civilans. I remember a story about the Chinese being gunned down in a cinema. My mum told me the good soldiers were the ones from Sarawak, I think the ones with the feather duster looking thing on their berets. As the story goes, the Sarawak soldiers protected the Chinese. Was this your regiment?

I was offered a place in RMC in 1976 but declined the offer for fear of being discriminated. The above stories played on my mind. I was only 15 years old and there was no proper career guidance then.

Dato' Razak Akram (my father's classmate in KE)told my father off for this. My bro. in law, a Tiger and Putra (Lt. Col in the Engineers), was also dissapointed that I did not go to the RMC.

My father-in-law is a retired ex British army officer (Black Watch, Parachute Regiment) who at one stage helped train the Malay Regiment after Merdeka. He also has some stories to tell.

Thanks for the offer of Dr. Kua's book. My niece will be getting me one. The truth has to come out some day.



Subject: MAY 13th

Dear Vinnie,

Yes, that's mine and my brother's beloved Regiment. Its the 1st Bn. Royal Regiment of Rangers with a fighting record second-to-none in Malaysian military history. The 'feather" is the traditional black hackle which was given when the Regt was British. When it became Malaysian in 1963, the hackle was carried forward as "Lambang Keberanian" - as you know, the Sarawakians wore great headgears with feathers etc in battle.

In 1969, the Regt was based in the Esplanade Camp in Taiping. The Regt came into being in 1862 as tax collectors of Rajah Brook.I shall be with them for Gawai on 1 - 2nd June in Kapit. Hope to be alive!!!

BTW, The Black Watch, a Scottish Infantry Regt was and is one of the best fighting set-ups in the world, There are three Parachute Regiments and one Territorial based in Aldershot, Surrey, in the UK. Great guys with fantastic record. If I were to serve in the UK army, I would have gone into the Parachute Regiment. Most officers are Oxbridge with heavy after-shave lotion?!!!



MAY 13th

Dear Vinnie & Paul,

I shall write what I know of how the situation on May 13th & 14th, 1969, degenerated into a chaotic Chinese-Malay bloodbath and the part played by some soldiers in not being impartial and showed shockingly bad discipline.

I'll try to make it short and precise coz the few readers that we have in this egroup may not reject it as boring. Of course, you may,and you are most welcome,to come back with questions in any area and if I don't know, I'll find the answers from my colleagues.

The loss of Selangor State to the opposition in May 1969,sent the Alliance in disarray. The MCA withdrew from the Alliance and the MIC was quivering in fright not knowing what to do next. The Tunku, a solidarity maker and not an administrator was at the height of his incompetence.

Tun Razak and Tun Ismail leapt out of his shadows. Razak was an administrator and not a solidarity maker. Ismail was neither there nor here. Tan Siew Sin proved to be a man ungraceful under pressure - he threw his arms up and caved in.

The key man was the Menteri Besar, Harun Idris. He was a political thug with greed for land, money, power and pretty women. The situation was ideal for Harun to achieve his ambition of being a Malay hero and future PM. His riches were untold and could eventually purchase the Holiday Inn on the Park, KL, in cash.

After the elections results were announced, Indian thugs in lorries began taunting the Malays. The Chinese, in a procession carried a dead body to KL and was mishandled by the Police. You could cut the tension in KL with a butter knife.

Harun began calling and assembling young Malay youths to his palatial house. He gave fiery speeches a'la Geobbels. The situation was ripe for a conflagration. I will not repeat what Dr. Kua has written in his book - May 13. They are accurate as far as the stories of the dreadful mayhem. In my humble view the rest is unsupported by evidence.

The Tunku asked his nephew, General Tunku Osman Jewa, the Commander of our Armed Forces, to take over control of the govt. Osman refused. Razak and Ismail moved in.

The political situation was like, "High Noon". This was the moment critique for John Wayne. Razak selected Maj-General Ibrahim bin Ismail who was deputy army commander. Ibrahim was a man of the highest integrity. A graduate of the Indian Military Academy, in Poona, fought in Middle East as an officer of the Punjab Lancers and later parachuted into Malaya to join Force 136 and was caught and imprisoned by the Japs.( Read his book," Call me Miriam" ). Ibrahim moved immediately to take control through the National Operations Centre (NOC).

The situation on May 13th was seriously exacerbated by the suspicion of Sir Claude Fenner, the long serving expat IGP that the Army was going to mount a coup d'etat. Intelligence from the Special Branch did not flow to the Army like in the past. The Police played a game of intransigence with the Army.

Young Army colonels wanted a coup de main operation using heliborne commandos to capture Harun at his palace.Of course, no deal. There was a total breakdown of the usual relationship between the civil service, police and the armed forces. This was what allowed the situation to get really bad. The police had a hidden agenda and it was based on its jealousy and hatred of the Army.

The Chinese in KL began to organize themselves more coherently. 30 Chinese men who held gun licenses got together in Jalan Silang, in the top floor of a building to discuss defense of the community. Army intelligence got info of it. Lt Chua, a Melaka Baba from a rich family, commanded a group of commandos and using helicopters attacked them through the roof by abseiling through the windows. There was no casualties and Chua captured the whole lot. When the prisoners got downstairs, there was a very big crowd of concerned Chinese. But Chua and some Chinese lads in the commando assault team looked like Malays coz they had camouflage paint on their faces. The rumours multiplied. Malay troops have taken " our kids" to be slaughtered. Chua finished a colonel in command of the Commando Regt, a decent Baba, a patriot and scholar, a soft spoken tough guy. He is currently the GM of the National Golf Club, Subang.

The real story of May 13th was the sporadic battles and mayhem between Malay thugs emanating from Kpg. Baru and Chinese gangsters. Indian small-time thugs fled into the wood work. There was no plan on the part of Razak and Ismail to mount a coup against Tunku. The situation was fortuitous to ease the Tunku out with dignity as required in Malay culture. Dr. Kua is wrong.

More than anything else, it was a bungle by the Police. There was totally no communist involvement. DAP, essentially a racist party like UMNO showed its true colours. Harun's ambition was not to lose his status as Menteri Besar. The whole thing was a stupid miscalculation, Malay immaturity and fanaticism. All other postulations are academic.

We can have May 13th again if we have leaders like Nazri, Bung Mokhtar, Ahmad Said Yusof, Baharrudin and almost all PAS champions.

General Ibrahim moved into NOC with alacrity bringing with him high powered colonels and majors. He activated what's legal within our laws, the NOC - SSEC - DSEC system. At NOC level, the PM, Forces Chief, IGP, Info minister, internal security minister, Head Special branch and other govt minister would confer to run the country. NOC controls the States through the States Security Executive Committees which have the MB as chairman, the state army commander, the police chief, the state head of Special Branch and the relevant civil servants. The SSEC controls the districts through the District Security Committee, chaired by the DO and replicated as the state SSEC. This was a system employed during the Emergency and Konfrontasi and its very efficient.

In sum, Razak had mounted a coup to take over the admin control of the country through Gen Ibrahim. The Tunku's days were over.



RE: MAY 13th

Thanks Colonel for this interesting perspective on May 13. I hope I can still get a copy of Dr Kua’s book to know what exactly he wrote. In light of what you wrote I think it would be interesting to get a perspective from someone senior in the Police. What do you think if I communicated with Dato Seri Yuen Yuet Leng to get his inputs in the context of what you wrote? Please be assured that I would avoid making it confrontational.



MAY 13th - Collateral Views

Dear Cheah,

Your idea of seeking collateral is excellent. I'll finish my side and we'll discuss over Osso Buco and Valpolicello on 22nd evening. Bravasimo del mundo.


Vinnie & Paul,

There was no hidden plot for the May 13th incident. It is as puerile as saying that the Jews planned 9/11. It was a spontaneous manifestation of our frailty. The Malays had feared that they were losing political power. Harun Idris behaved like a Mafia chief. Chinese and Malay thugs multiplied the mayhem and ill-disciplined soldiers shot, robbed, burnt and threatened the innocents.

The breakdown of the command and control structures of the enforcement forces of law and order to nip the bloody chaos in the bud further added misery to the appalling scenario. The area most effected by looting, burning and murders was Kpg Baru and the adjacent parts. Malay thugs took total control of this Malay labyrinth. The police was not around or simply acquiesced.

One Ranger Company of 120 men was on duty in the Advanced Training Centre in Port Dickson as Demonstration Company for tactical maneuvers. It was ordered to move asap to quell the chaos in Kpg Baru. The Rangers moved in aggressively and impartially and within a short time brought the situation under control. The Malay thugs fled. Suddenly, the Rangers were withdrawn to Taiping. They were to join the rest of their Unit and move to Butterworth Air Force Base with a mission to capture and stabilize Penang Island before 1st light 15th May.

There was a hartal in place in Penang mounted by the Chinese. 6th Bn. Royal Malay Regt (1000 men) replaced the Rangers in Kpg Baru. As an aside, the Rangers rapidly captured the Prai Ferry Point. Strategic and critical areas of the Island were quickly taken by heliborne deployments. Two curfew breakers were killed. One by Lt Ahmad Johan (Now, Tan Sri, the CEO of Airod) and the other by Lt Walter Ted Wong anak Tedung (Now CEO of Sarawak Foundation). The Ranger Tactical HQ choppered and based in the lawn of the Chief Minister's Istana (Lim Chong Yew's). An officer shouted the Ranger war cry and declared that the space was Ranger country and raised the Ranger flag in place of Penang's. The CM came out pale and shaking. The scene must be horrifying for him seeing for the first time strange humans with tattoos on their throats, speaking a different language and rather brusque and belligerent. Out of curiosity, he stayed to see how Rangers were commanded and controlled by the Commanding Officer and the key staff officers of the HQ. I imagine he fled when the Iban sucked their pork soup and ate their rice as late night meal. He must have been offered the gruel. The officers would have eaten quietly with a few drops of Tabasco added to the soup.

The Island became peaceful overnight and soon the Regt would hand over power back to the CM. Lim Chong Yew was very grateful and gave a makan besar and adopted the Unit as his own. Later over Happy Hours back in Taping, the officers cheered to, " HRH Lim's Royal Rangers." He visited the Regt in Taiping and presented a miniature Longhouse in Gerrard's Silver which must have cost a bundle.

The 6th Bn in Kpg Baru was commanded by Lt Col Syed Hamzah, a Sandhurst graduate, who was a decent officer without any trace of racism. He was a Malay aristocrat with a charming Chinese wife. His unit was not being fed by any reliable intelligence and was groping in the dark. Malay informants, mostly thugs, came to give exaggerated and false info. It remains inexplicable to this day why helicopter reconnaissance was not done to monitor illegal assemblies and other misdemeanors. Syed shud have been commanding from a chopper with the attendant radio system. The Unit was not successful in its duties to stabilize the situation. The young officers in the Tactical HQ were misguided by the false info that the Chinese were murdering Malays and burning their properties. There were reported occasions when the the Unit acted partially.

The international press spotlight was on Syed Hamzah and he and his Regt came out poorly. There was no clear cut orders given to him. It was almost a lost command. A Malay colonel arrested two officers and 13 men robbing a Shell Station in Jalan Tun Razak. Troops from Batu Cantonment Camp formed into small armed groups and moved as roving bands robbing, looting and wild shooting. These soldiers were non-combatants - cooks, drivers, storemen, mechanics and general " bottle washers." They have never been in the jungle or had a leech bite and called themselves "logisticians." Their officers were mostly non-Malays and abdicated their responsibility of leadership and fled to the comfort of their homes. They did much damage to the good name of the Army. Senior Malay officers, from the combat arms, in disgust, moved around the critical areas to stop and arrest these lunatics. Their murderous acts were regarded as cowardice by the regular professional combat troops. They were never forgiven.

The great lesson-learnt of this tragedy by the Army was that the non-combatants must be controlled from the start. They were not well trained or led and their discipline broke down easily. The reality of logistic is that we need five of them to support one combatant!! The Army units behaved as if they were fighting a counter-insurgency and not in aid of the civil power through Public Order Presevation Ordinance. There was no communist involvement at all.

The lack of interaction and the usual interface with the Special Branch, the regular police into a joint command aggravated the circumstances. It became very clear later when the dust had settled, Claude Fenner, the IGP, influenced Tun Ismail to quickly establish a countervailing force against a military takeover. Tun Ismail had no military background at all. (His son Tawfik was In RMC with us). Tun approved with great facility the formations of a great number of Police Field Force Units. How naive? How does a police PFF unit face an army unit armed with tanks,mortars, artillery, engineers, electronic measures and counter measures, jets, helicopter gunship, elite paratroopers and above all well led and fit. Its so stupid but Fenner got his empire-built. The police was paranoid and thought the Army was going to kick their rear during May 13th. Now the PFF or GOF are languishing in their dusty camps all over the country, ill-trained and ill-led and the most non-cost-effective force in our history.

Everyone of us has hidden in our thought process some antagonism towards another race. The greatest danger to us today, in my view, is the "Penerapan Nilai-Nilai Islam" of Dr.M's. Most of my non-Malay friends don't really understand the "Concept of Historical Injustice" as meted out by the Colonials on the Malays. Lack of knowledge is a major problem in our society. We must avoid another May 13th, at all costs. Thus, we must reduce the baggage of primordial sentiments that are very high at the moment in our societal history.

I like to think that years of my life as a combatant has not gone to waste for Malaysia.I have a deep resentment of supercilious mother fuckers who think Malaysia is only for making money.



RE: MAY 13th - Continuation


Never learnt so much in two postings; thank you. I love my country (East or West home is best) but I am very concerned for its future.



RE: MAY 13th - Continuation

Dear Colonel,

As a matter of interest why did we have Claude Fenner a mat salleh as our IGP 12 years after merdeka? – Still Emergency period? Was Tun Hanif Omar his immediate replacement?



RE: MAY 13th - Continuation

Hi Paul,

Tan Sri Sir Claude Fenner came to Malaya as a Police Cadet and went through the ranks to the top over 26 years. Tall, good looking and spoke perfect Bahasa. He was very close to all the top UMNO bosses, the Tunku, Razak and Ismail and their courtiers.. A well known smooth operator. Had an Indian Muslim (mamak) mistress. He was ossified to the job like Haniff Omar. He was taken over by Salleh then Rahman. Both were killed by terrorists in the streets of KL. One million RM in cash was discovered in Salleh's home when he died. Razak was surprised. The next one was Haniff Omar who had a general degree from S'pore U. He flunk his LLB finals at Buckingham. Sat for supplementary. Hahaha!. He caught the eye of Razak when he was a Liaison Officer to him. He had more gaya than others.



From: muzaffar mohamed

RE: Who and What in May 1969

Chief of Armed Forces - General Tunku Osman.Chief of Army - General Tan Sri Hamid Bidin.
Army 2nd Div Commander - Gen Tan Sri Ibrahim.
Police IGP - Tan Sri Salleh Ismail.

The potential crisis was reported by CC Too(Head of Phsycological Warfare) to Army 2nd Div Commander. Special Branch had gathered information that the Labour Party then had been penetrated by the Communists.However, the KL police had permitted a procession that became the starting point of the crisis.

When the rioting hieghtened, POPO document was signed by Dep PM Tun Abdul Razak and accepted by Lt.Col Syed Hamzah. Thus, the Army committed 5th Royal Malay Regiment at first(CO-Lt.Col Syed Hamzah), with other men mustered from other support units - Ordinance, Supply, Maintenance. Another battalion was called in - 2nd RMR(CO-Lt.Col. Abulas Ismail).
By 1969, there were already 15 PFF battalions, divided between West and East Malaysia (expanded from Federal Jungle Companies formed by Colonial Police in 1950's).

During this time, police forces in KL/Selangor was supported by 1 FRU unit and 2 PFF battalions(under strength due to deployment for counter-insurgency ops). In 1969, Malaysia's armed forces was still small,with the forces divided between West and East Malaysia. Remember, back then, the counter-insurgency war with the Communists was still on in the Peninsular and Sarawak. Even the elite units, Vat69 and Army Commando were still in its infancy.

The National Operations Council formed in 1969 ensured cooperation between military,police and civil departments. Security operations were directed byArmy (Lt.Cols Ghazali Che Mat(OE) and JaafarOnn), supported by Police.Tun Razak and Tun Dr. Ismail directed the civil administration.



Re: Who and What in May 1969


Maj-Gen Datuk Ibrahim (then) commanded HQ 2nd Division based in Kuching in 1968. It was responsible for Sarawak. He was made Deputy Army Commander to Lt-Gen Hamid in Jan 1969. Datuk Salleh was the Dep/IGP and Fenner was IGP.

It was not the Labour Party. It has been banned by the Govt. It was the Labour Action Front led by En. Tan Tuan Boon of Melaka. During Dr. Kua's book release of " May 13" recently, Datuk Yuen (OE) reiterated that there was no communist involvement.

POPO can only be promulgated by the highest ranking police officer of a given area under riotous duress. The army then has the legal right to act. There is no document to sign. An emergency can be declared by NOC. There was a full-fledged Commando Regt based in Sg. Udang, Melaka in 1969 formed by the Brit Royal Marines in 1963 in Majeedee camp in JB. The NOC was formed in at the outbreak of the 1st insurgency in 1950. Its part of our law. Its a question of activation eg. Konfrantasi.


Sunday, 20 May 2007


This match was determined in another time, on another plane; testing the limits of even coincidence. The melding of two souls into one yet existing separately as He and She. This is She.......

The Beautiful You

My Darling,

As I look back over the 22 years we have shared and I think of you, a smile comes to my heart.

Memory takes me back to that auspicious Thursday which started it all and the times we have shared since; my darling, it has been a wondrous path that I can never imagine walking with anybody else.

It must have been inspired insight that told me I had found a rare unpolished diamond but darling, what is even more important is that you are a diamond and have always been a diamond.

My good fortune had been to notice that sparkle which others seemingly have overlooked or simply would not believe…. or maybe I was blessed to be “passing by” when the great upheavals unearthed the gem that was to become my life.

We too have had our share upheavals together and whilst I now can only hope that they have somehow brought us even closer, I shudder to think I have too often risked losing something so precious to me.

The beautiful you my Darling, has always allowed love to soothe and heal open wounds even though some were inflicted in the name of love. It was inevitable that we both had to endure the consequences of insecurities and preconceived notions especially during our first half decade together but we have weathered that storm.

Darling, the beautiful you, has been this past 2 decades of unconditional love you have showered on me although I have often been guilty of judging you too harshly.

The beautiful you my Love, has been your strength in the face of adversity and your unwavering faith in Life. We draw from your strength in silent comfort knowing you will never hesitate to give us your all.

Your generosity has been the hallmark of the beautiful you for so long that many have come to doubt its sincerity while there are those who have come to expect it as a right. And yet there are those who feel threatened by it. For Darling, there are not many who know that your strong sense of loyalty was borne of this generosity.

Yes Darling, my heart smiles when recalling fond memories of you and when I see you now. I am heartened by the way you continue to amaze me as you evolve and grow. I am convinced yours is more than just Light but a Brilliance that grows not only with the each wisdom you acquire but also each shadow you encounter. Darling, the sparkle is real as the diamond is genuine and my Love, you are priceless.

I would like to think that I found you and that is probably all that I can lay claim to. Alas, only diamond can polish a diamond and Darling, I am no diamond.

Ling, I am content to be your partner for I cherish you as the jewel in my crown, the gem of my heart and foremost, the loving Mother to our children.

I Love You Darling and will always remain,

Your Dar