Articles, Opinions & Views: Lt Col Idris Hassan's letter to Royal Malay Regiment's Officers Club on the misuse of Military Ranks
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“When 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 soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It 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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Lt Col Idris Hassan's letter to Royal Malay Regiment's Officers Club on the misuse of Military Ranks
Monday, May 15, 2017
I like many others do understand your anger and frustration with regards the misuse of military ranks and unauthorised use of military accoutrements. And also your extreme disappointment with those among us who have the seniority and clout and who could help our cause but just refuse to join the chorus and stand up and be counted. As retirees all we have left is the exclusivity of our military rank, and now that too is now being eroded with with RELA being recognised as a para military unit with the same rank structure of our Armed Forces. (Now every one including the Parking Attendants and Taxi Drivers can be called 'Tuan' )
Lt Col Idris Hassan
That was when Colonel Malik Alwi then President of Kelab Pegawai-Pegawai RAMD together with support of FAFOC wrote an extremely well written and passionate letter to YAB. Prime Minister venomously expressing our objections and displeasure at the RELA using military type rank structure. We were overjoyed when the then Minister of Defence YB Ahmad Zahid Hamidi made an official announcement that RELA will not be using the rank structure of the Malaysian Armed Forces.
However our joy was short lived when the same minister now heading the Home Ministry made a 180% U turn and allowed RELA to use the rank structure of the MAF. The rest of course is history. As if that is not enough, now almost every other government enforcement agencies have got on to the act and decked themselves with similar rank structure as the Armed Forces and the Police.
I remember at the club meet a few weeks ago how angry and frustrated you were at this turn of events and it was at your behest and also that of Colonel Malik that I took it upon my self this time to express our frustrations in a public domain. Some of us had opined that the letter written by Colonel Malik was the best presented 'vocal' paper ever written to the highest authorities and if that did not work nothing else possibly would, implying it's a waste of time writing further like what I was doing .
Making statements like " Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu " " Balik Assal ". " We are just burning calories " " Such writing is seasonal like the durian and fruit season and soon will die down to nothing" " I just smiled when I follow the views and comments on using the rank by other agencies" First and for most I must categorically state that my writing can never be compared to that of my learned friend Colonel Malik Alwi who is an institution by himself.
I will openly admit to all and sundry that compared to Colonel Malik's writing skills I am just a novice . But what Colonel Malik had written was privately and exclusively about RELA in his appeal to the authorities. My writing was more general in nature about all 'offending' government agencies to creat some sort of ground-swell so that the public and our serving and retired Pak Generals and will be better informed of our frustration and sympathise with our cause.
Even if nothing else we would have made our voice heard. Believe me if the entire armed forces personnel both serving and retired come up in 'arms' against this erosion of our dignity, you bet our voice will definitely be heard and taken seriously. But alas ........! And as you rightly posted this on our watsup " Col Idris, keep a sustaining fire through the media every now and again .....the attack should be maintained." It's fighting words like this that fire up your sprit to want to fight on . I am also thankful to the many senior officers who wrote in support of my writing. It's always easy to be critical of others and make snide remarks like the what I have highlighted.
The difficult part is to collect our thoughts in a shortest possible time and write something worthy of publication that can reach as many people as possible. Never mind if we cannot change the world but that does not mean we should stop trying. I liken it to a baton run where we pass it on to the next runner with the crowd egging us on.
And lastly Engku , I have observed that over the last five decades that I had known you, you have lost none of the fire that burns in your belly. Warm Regards
posted by D Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:55 AM  

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