A Personal Memoir For MACVA
27 Jul 21
Lt Col Ooi Ah Kiang (Retired) had served the Royal Regiment of Signals for 34 years from December 1958 to December 1992. He enlisted into the Malaysian Army as a Regular Commission Cadet (Intake 3) on 10 December 1958. His service number is 200140. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Regiment of Signals on 10 December 1960.
WHY WE SHOULD BE GRATEFUL TO VETERANS
16 May 21
There is a great misconception in Malaysia that in peacetime, the Military does not play any significant role in the economy or security of the country. As a veteran, I have on many occasions heard negative and naive opinions expressed about this like “We don’t have any wars, so why do we have a Military force?; The Military in Malaysia ‘makan-tidur’ only”. As I hear these views, I get very irritated, frustrated, and angry as it tells me that many Malaysians do not understand the roles and functions of the Military and why we should have a strong, standing Defense Force at all times.
We must at all times realize that the Military’s main role is in war. The Military is an insurance policy the country takes to defend its sovereignty and its status as an independent nation. The Military hates wars because they understand the horrors it can bring. As General Douglas MacArthur once said: “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” But if there is a war, rest assured that clear concerted action will be undertaken by the Military to safeguard the sovereignty and national interests of the country. We must, therefore, honor and appreciate this noble institution, as the peace we are currently enjoying is due to their efforts.
Importantly, we must also never forget all the veterans who have served their tenure of service in the Military loyally and faithfully in the prime of their youth. This was especially so during the Indonesian confrontation and the communist insurgency from 1968 to 1989. These veterans are the ones who have been responsible for providing the country with the peace and harmony that we have enjoyed ever since independence. Without this peace, the country would not have been able to develop to the stage it is in today. These veterans served with integrity, honor, courage, and also made numerous sacrifices for the greater good of the nation. From that perspective, the citizens of Malaysia owe a debt of gratitude to them for all their sacrifices to this great country of ours.
So, in honor of every one of these veterans from the Army, Air Force, and Navy, here I would like to state why the public should be more appreciative of them.
1. Veterans have risked their lives to allow the citizens of this country to enjoy the peace and freedom we have experienced all these years. Whilst in uniform, they protected and served us without complaint, every single day, come rain or shine. They would be there in isolated bases, in the deepest jungles, and on the high seas, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure that the country was free from any kind of threat. In the process, they made many, many sacrifices including being away from their loved ones, living in discomfort because of dreadful conditions, and suffering from the mental anxiety of knowing that any day could be their last! They underwent all this hardship without any form of protest or complaint to ensure that the citizens of this country could go about their activities freely.
2. Much of what they do is unknown to the public and is only publicized when a disaster occurs, such as the one that occurred in Indonesia recently. This was when the submarine KRI Nanggala broke up and sank, leaving all 53 crewmen dead. This tragedy shook the consciousness of Indonesians as it clearly illustrated the sacrifices and enormous risks servicemen undertake in the course of their work to ensure the safety and security of the nation.
3. A lot of appreciation and recognition must also be given to the families of veterans. They have played a critical ‘behind the scenes’ role by giving physical and emotional support to these veterans all the time. For example, one of the things we veterans all looked out for during our operational duties was a simple food parcel from home, especially during festive occasions! You could not put a monetary value on these parcels as they were more than worth their weight in gold!! It was simple gestures like this that made the veteran's stint in these operational areas less stressful. In that context, the sacrifices made by these families are immeasurable, and they are also worthy of our respect and admiration.
So my advice to all Malaysians is this; the next time you see a Military serviceman, or a veteran, please take a moment and think about what this man or woman has done for the country and to you as an individual. They do not know you, yet they voluntarily and willingly would have laid down their lives so that you and all the other citizens of this country could live in a free and safe environment. These veterans, therefore, deserve the highest degree of respect and appreciation for this honorable and noble gesture!
Lt Col Heera Singh (Retired) served in the Malaysian Armed Forces for over twenty years.
Prinipal of HEERA Training and Management Consultancy PLT
(Note: This article reflects the author's views and not necessarily those of MACVA. It was published by New Straits Times on Saturday 15 May 21.)
MACVA NORTHERN CHAPTER - FRIENDS OF GOODWILL
BLOOD DONATIONS DRIVE - SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021
AT ST JO'S GURNEY PARAGON, PULAU PINANG
15 May 21
MACVA Northern Chapter (NC) teamed up with Friends of Goodwill Penang organised a blood donation drive on Saturday 8 May 2021 at St Jo's Gurney Paragon Pulau Pinang from 10.00am - 4.00pm. This is the first blood donation drive ever organised by NC Chapter under the MACVA. The initiative was laudable especially during this difficult time and the Covid 19 pandemic. Prior to the D Day, the NC members put up the blood donations drive awareness banners around the vicinity of the St Jo's Gurney Paragon. The MACVA members who took time off to put up the blood donation drive banners are as follows:
1. Ng Chor Huat - NC Chairman
2. Tham Ken Wah
3. Lim Khoon Hing
4. Jerome De Silva
5. Lawrence Foo
The event started with the NC Chapter members lead by its Chairman Ng Chor Huat and the representatives of the Friends of Goodwill setting up the registration counter at 9.00am. The representatives of the Penang Blood Bank arrived shortly after and brief the volunteers the procedure and the necessary forms to be filled by donors. Everyone was feeling excited to see the response. The NC members who volunteered their times for the blood donations drive are as follows:
1. Ng Chor Huat
2. Tham Ken Wah
3. Mok Kean Yee
4. Tan Bing Guan
5. Lim Khoon Hing
6. Jerome De Silva
7. Law Soo Wey
8. Abdullah Yeoh
The cooperation between NC Chapter, Friends of Goodwill and the Penang Blood Bank was very encouraging. The blood donations started at about 10.30am until 4.00pm. A total of 35 blood bags were collected from donors. It was laudable achievement for a first timer organiser.
Besides the blood donations six (6) MACVA members also pledged to be organs donors upon death. The volunteerism by the six MACVA members to donate their organs upon death is the first ever organs donors by MACVA members. MACVA is very proud of their noble pledges and they deserved a salute. The six (6) MACVA members who pledged to be organs donors are as follows:
1. Ng Chor Huat
2. Tham Ken Wah
3. Mok Kean Yee
4. Jerome De Silva
5. Tan Bing Guan
6. Lim Khoon Hing
On behalf of all members of MACVA, the President would like to thank the NC Chapter Chairman Ng Chor Huat and his team for their initiative in organising a successful first ever blood donations drive under the name of MACVA. It is our hope the initiative of the NC in organising a charity event can be emulated by all MACVA Chapters. It does not need to be blood donations drive. There are many charitable activities that can be organised by MACVA Chapters.
This MACVA NC blood donations drive has certainly created greater awareness and the much needed exposure for MACVA in Pulau Pinang. This event also showed our service to the nation continues as veterans. Once again, thank you to all the NC team members who worked very hard to ensure a successful blood donations drive.
We also would like to extend MACVA's profound gratitude to the Friends of Goodwill Penang and the Penang Blood Bank for their excellent support and cooperation.
For the record, the blood donations drive was the second charity event co-hosted by MACVA NC and the Friends of Goodwill. The first event was the giving out essential foodstuff and personal hygiene items to the cycle rickshaw riders in Pulau Pinang on 28 Mar 2021.
MACVA NC & FRIENDS OF GOODWILL BLOOD DONATIONS DRIVE
PUTTING UP BANNERS
BLOOD DONATIONS DAY