Wednesday, August 6, 2008

From RMC to SMSJ

After LCE, i received two offers, SMSJ and RMC. I was interested in Army life as my favourite uncle (who is a few years older than me), was in the Cadet Wing, RMC. Often during his monthly breaks, he would tell fascinating stories about life in RMC.

So after attending one week of trials at the Royal Millitary College, Sungai Besi, KL , and the final interview in front of the Army Generals, i was accepted as an army New Boy at Boys Wing RMC. I was barely 15.

It was a total shock for a kampong boy like me. The standard of discipline was very high and the ragging horrendous. The seniors would push your face inside the toilet bowl and flush it. They call it the "Royal Flush". You were told to memorise all the seniors full name and their dog tag numbers, all 70 of them in your Company. (I was in 'D' Company). If you forget one name, you have to go down on all fours and start 'pumping' 100 times, non stop or until you collapse.

There were other appalling and grisly ragging done on the new boys which i will not penned it down here, and these ragging would go on throughout the year. I would say that the seniors were sadist and they enjoy seeing the suffering of their juniors. These ragging were supposedly done to instill the esprit-d-corps and toughen us 15 year olds.

Every evening, we have to run 5 km cross country, and the last guy on the line would have their butt kick. So nobody wants to be last and everybody ran so fast that at the end of the run, we'll all collapse in exhaustion!

With all the ragging and tough trainings, at the end of the day, dinner was a pleasant affair with nice foods and drinks. At 10 pm, all lights were out and they force you to sleep!

After a month there, I still cannot cope with the tough army life. I cannot study and always felt sleepy in class. Even the teachers would ask us to do 'pumping' in class if you answer them wrongly! I was told, if you fail your MCE in RMC or only manage grade 3, they will force you to join the regular Army and send to the jungle to fight the Communist guerrilla. I went to see the Camp Commandant a few times to quit RMC, but always get the same negative answer.

So after deliberating the pros and cons, that eventful night, i pack my bags and 'cabut' through the back door. It was 2 am when i sneaked out of RMC, through the jungles and lombongs behind RMC in the dark of the night with only the bright lights of Serdang town in the distant as my only guide. No compass or torchlight as i inched my way through the jungles , swamps and lombong to the main road of Serdang and reach it about Subuh time. The strange thing was that i did not feel frightened nor worried about anything during the ordeal, as long as i can get far away from the college. All muddied and wet, I hailed a bus to KL (the driver look stunned seeing me all muddied!) and managed to hitch the 8 am train to Segamat. From Segamat i took a taxi to Muar and reach home sweet home about 3 pm.

My father received a call from the RMC Camp Commandant in the afternoon about me missing from the roll call that morning. My mother was really glad to see me all healthy and hearthy, as she was really dead worried after receiving the news. In fact, years later, friends told me that RMC engaged a few helicopters to search for me behind the jungles and lombongs, afraid that i lost my way and drowned. There were also road blocks done by the Military Police at Sungai Besi, and as usual they did it too late! I was already on the train to Segamat then. Actually all my plans were done to perfection!

My father who was then in tears, ask me whether i want to go back to RMC as the Army will be sending some Military Police to escort me back to Sg. Besi, if i agree to it. Of course i say no. (i was told, a few escapee that was unfortunately caught by the Military Police, were put into isolation rooms for two weeks at the guard house!- Yes, they do that to 15 year olds!).

I was out of school for five months while my father wrote to Jabatan Pelajaran Johor to appeal the SMSJ offer that i rejected earlier. Thank God they accepted me back and i was so happy to go back to school again.

Looking back 35 years, I have never regreted my actions to quit RMC (heck, i might be a four star General by now!! haha). Until now, my father would narrate the same story to my son, niece and nieces about the exploit of their 15 year old father/ uncle in 1973!


Anonymous said...

1. I thought you told us heli tu cari sampai Klinik Parit Jawa?

2. Just teringat Cikgu Mat Zin (cerita di bawah2). Saya pun pernah berbasikal dengan Alias Zaiton ke sana. Tiap2 bulan saya diwaived tuition fee kerana top dalam klas. Saya pi tuition tu pun dengan harapan dapat jumpa this one SAB girl yang duduk dekat Jalan Daud. Hampehhhh....dia tak join-join sampai habis LCE.

Saya? Orang sekampong, sesekolah Pt Jamil, seHSM dan seSMSJ. Cuba teka? Definitely not Saabana!

zack said...

My memory failed me. Siapa agaknya?? This blog sure bring back many long lost friends......

zack said...

Malik yg duduk Parit Tengah ke???

zack said...

or saiful Bahari Simon???

Anonymous said...

awak masuk rmc thn 1973 ke

Anonymous said...

budak boy 1973 ke