Posted by Unknown On Saturday, January 16, 2010 54 comments
What is the purpose of education? Basically, we send our children to school to learn the three R's - reading, writing and arithmetic. Apart from that, we hope that the school will play its role as a socialization agent to fulfil its role in socialization, social control, economic training and other functions. Our Malaysian education system seems to have gone a tad off-course in its effort to introduce not one but TWO military-style training as part of co-curriculum activities for secondary schools.

The Star today featured an article by Wong Sai Wan on NS exemption for volunteer student corps members where Home Ministry secretary- general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam announced in an interview yesterday that:

Students who join the Civil Defence or Rela cadet corps in school may find themselves exempted from National Service under a Home Ministry proposal.

The ministry is seeking to recruit some 60,000 students for the two uniformed corps which offer military-style training as part of co-curriculum activities for secondary schools.

“The training provided by Rela and the Civil Defence is even tougher than National Service. These two corps are also uniformed groups. Read more AT THIS LINK

The program will entail:

* two years of training every weekend during school terms, which is even longer than the three months that National Service trainees go through

I do not understand the rationale of this program at all.

1. Why is there a necessity to have TWO uniformed groups that have the same objective?

2. Why is must student go through TWO YEARS of training to get military training to get exemption from National Service when not every student is called up for National Service?

3. If the Ministry intends to ensure fresh recruits for the adult units, this overlapping of activities and aims for both Civil Defence or Rela cadet corps means:

* wastage of resources as two sets of teachers would be training the students in the same type of activities
* wastage of resources as two sets of teachers would also have to be trained for activities that essentially have the same objectives
* money would be wasted on two types of uniforms whereas if there is only ONE type, there would be economies of scale if these are produced on a larger scale to cater to the bigger demand
* wastage of space in the school activities which could be used for other more worthwhile activities

4. Why does the government want to introduce MILITARY training at such a young age when they should actually be taught more important values and practical forms of behavior that will better equip them for the real world?

5. Doesn't the adult unit of Rela Corps have their own training program that others can attend at their leisure?

I appreciate the fact that the two uniformed groups are aimed at handling natural and man-made disasters as the first responder under the country’s emergency plan for situations like floods and landslides. But the question is - is it worth the amount of time spent every weekend when the main objective as specified in the report is to help them have the POSSIBILITY of being exempted from NS?

It seems that the effort and original objective DO NOT match and is not in-line with the original functions of education as mentioned in my opening paragraph. Of course, I do not deny that these uniformed groups teach its members discipline and cooperation amongst other values but we must also bear in mind the time spent marching under the hot sun and how many fall ill during such activities or go home feeling quite drained and unable to catch up with their school work or other activities such as music/art/IT lessons, social/family life and even their own leisure pursuits.

Finally, shouldn't extra-curricular activities be under the jurisdiction of the Education Ministry? In the light of the current spate of attacks on churches, I opine that it would be better for schools to increase activities that encourage civic consciousness, the spirit of bergotong-royong, religious tolerance and increasing the level of mutual understanding in our community.

What then is the real reason for this program? What then should be the most salient functions of education and extra-curricular activities in schools? Our youth will be the leaders of tomorrow and it is absolutely essential that we build them up in terms of leadership qualities in a more friendly and tolerant manner.

What do you think, dear reader? Do leave a comment if you like. As always, I appreciate and respect your views. Thanks and have a nice day!


  1. says:

    QQ Nurturing young people's potential is the mark of truly great individuals!
    We should take a holistic approach to youth development.
    Remember, our youth will be the leaders of tomorrow!

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear QQ

    Well said! Their potential must be harnessed for positive development instead of being manipulated for other purposes.

    Have a good day!


  1. says:

    Boleh Man We have a duty to seek out and nurture the talent of our young people. We need to increase the opportunities for the young to be more exposed, and if possible, involved in politics.

    Well said! The school needs to play its role as a socialization agent to fulfil its role in socialization, social control, economic training and other functions.

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Boleh Man

    Teachers have the moral and professional responsibility of inculcating positive values and patterns of behavior in their students.

    Thanks for your encouragement and support re my premise.

    Take care and have a lovely weekend.


  1. says:

    Anonymous Our youth should be

    a] educated about the fundamental principles of life in a democracy.

    b] exposed to successful role models as well as strengthening their self-esteem and confidence.

    c] provided with educational experiences in the field of civic rights while encouraging social involvement and bridging cultural diversities.

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anonymous @ 12.38 p.m.

    What a brilliant comment! Thanks so much.

    I am glad that you can see the other more important purposes of education and the importance of ensuring that our youth are given opportunities for balanced development through the education system to better equip them for their place in the real world.

    I hope there are more teachers who have the same philosophy as you do.

    Take care and have a good day. I appreciate the time you took to read my post and to share your thoughts with us here.

    God bless you.

  1. says:

    Anonymous I wonder why every school child is going for tuition classes these days? Aren't the school teachers doing their job?

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anonymous @ 12.56 p.m.

    That is a very good observation. My son goes for only one tuition class - Bahasa Malaysia and that too because I cannot help him. His friends go for double Science/Math/BM tuition classes and I wonder how they have the time and energy to follow these schedules and have the time to be a kid!

    The teachers are SUPPOSED to be doing their job BUT I am sure they are bogged down with a lot of paper work so...


  1. says:

    Very Sad At present, many of the teachers are no longer dedicated and committed to their duties. They rather prefer to carry out their personal businesses during school hours.

    Nobody can deny that many teachers are drawing a 5-figure income conducting tuition classes, some even catering for their own school students.

    It's a sad day for our country!

  1. says:

    Hafiz b Shukor One scary thing on the minds of parents is how and where to get good and qualitative education for their children.

    Have a nice weekend

  1. says:

    stephen What are the issues here?
    Belonging to a uniformed outfit is good as it instills discipline and teaches good moral values like teamwork and trust.Most chinese families are averse to their children joining uniformed groups because of its negative connotations.

    Kids today are too mollycoddled and rebellious and most don't go outdoors but rather spend their days glued to the internet.
    If the scheme is implemented well, it will have positive benefits to the individual.Schooling is not just book knowledge but also to inculcate values of a good citizen.

    We have to look at where the main problems lie. The education system is fragmented to say the least, along racial lines with different curriculum and core values,and with the well off sending their kids overseas or to private schools for obvious reasons.Kids are made very aware of their race at a very early age and the schisms!

    Another contributory factor is the lack of motivation in teachers and I think you know why,the list is long. Secondly,the teacher to pupil ratio in a class is too big to allow the teacher any individual attention.Mixed signals from the higher ups hasn't helped either.

  1. says:

    Catherine Caring for the children is caring for the future! But, is the children's welfare really taken care of today?

    People may say that parents nowadays give their children much care and love. However, is this for the welfare and happiness of the children? What do children actually need?

    These questions need careful thought and consideration, don't they?

  1. says:

    Nameless Fool My will-turn-sixteen-this-year younger brother said that his homeworkload this year cost him an hour more in one night than it did last year, and only two weeks of school have passed!
    Add my mom's wish to put him to tuition in Feb and he will be more zombified than he has to be last year when he was going for PMR!

    According to my parents, they pay what they can for their children's education because they want us to live as good a life as they had given us when they raised us.

    They consider it a good thing that my younger brother does his homework like my elder brother. (At least my laziness rightly justifies my need for tuition classes). But every human being has a breaking point, and I fear for my younger brother, what he would do if school is too much for him.

    *haunted by stories of good kids who get good grades and all of a sudden they sink into depression, their grades slip and they commit suicide*

    Shoo. The Home Ministry wants to condition more humans under their instructions so they never run low on human resources when their police crew were off taking bribes somewhere.

    Discipline my ass. I stick to my belief that some groups of people want to discipline others because they don't think the others can discipline themselves.
    Little faith in fellow human beings!

    Eh... sorry I got burned up. I'm just really sad for my younger brother. And I bet from here you can see how much I hated my discipline teachers back in school.

    Enjoy your weekend, too, MWS. I trust that playing tour guide lets you work out a bit more. :)

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Very Sad

    I was teaching for 9 years and then lecturing for another 9 years before I decided that I would be saner being at home :-). One of the reasons is because of the appalling drop in the standard of education and the sheer shortage of teachers who are really dedicated to their profession. By the time they reach college level and join my classes, I have to undo the bad habits that were uncorrected for the greater part of their lives. Whilst the brighter and more responsible ones appreciated my effort, the more arrogant ones did not take kindly to the red marks on their essays.

    When I asked them why such errors existed, they pointed out that they were not taught properly in their schools and there existed a situation where the teachers merely ticked and put a short remark at the end of the essay plus the mark - no corrections whatsoever.

    Well - that is the sad state of affairs...


    And you are spot on!!

    Very sad.

    Take care and have a good weekend.

    Best wishes

  1. says:

    semuanya Ok kot * Education… makes people respect the status quo and understand propaganda… - Bertrand Russell, 1935
    * By flag-waving, drill, celebration, etc., boys are given a taste for homicide and girls are convinced that homicidal men are the most worthy… - Bertrand Russell, 1935
    * The aim of public education is… to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. - HL Mencken
    * It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. - Albert Einstein
    * Compulsory schooling… is a tyranny and a crime against the human mind and spirit. - John Holt
    * You do not have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. - Ray Bradbury, 1994
    * Mass education was designed to turn independent farmers into docile… tools of production. They knew it, and… fought against it. - Noam Chomsky, 1995
    * The point of a public relations slogan like "Support Our Troops" is that it means nothing. It has to be one that nobody is going to be against and everybody might agree with. Its crucial value is to divert attention from meaningful questions, such as whether you "support our policy". - Noam Chomsky, 1992, adapted
    * When virtue is lost, benevolence appears. When benevolence is lost, right conduct ap-pears. When right conduct is lost, expediency appears. Expediency… is the beginning of disorder… If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty. When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish… When a nation is filled with strife, then patriots flourish. - Lao Tzu

  1. says:

    Huilu It is of vital importance to give children a really happy life. We should treat children as individuals and respect them as whole persons.

    When self respect is instilled from the young, then they will be able to exercise their full potential through their well-developed character during adulthood.

    "The tree remains as it grows, high or low, with straight or with crooked branches, and when it is fully grown, cannot be altered."

    - John Amos Comenius
    (Czech educational philosopher)

  1. says:

    Concerned Parent In Malaysia, the education policies always keep changing and are always politicized. This makes the rakyat confused. That is why many Malaysian parents send their children overseas, especially for higher education.

    Once they leave Malaysia, they say "Good-bye my love!" They never return.

    Now, the brain drain problem arises! Does anybody care??

  1. says:

    Anonymous What is there to NOT understand, Denim Girl?

    The future of our youth is to become canon fodder.

    That is the real intention.

    Not "character development".

    Not "holistic approach".

    Not all that.

    The whole thing is to for one thing only --- Just in case something went terribly wrong, and our country landed in a war, they will send the kids out to the front line.

    Reason? Simple.

    "They already have been trained for this."

    You gotta understand how they think.

    Before this NS thingy, if our country faces war, it will be their "Angkatan Tentera Di Raja Melaysia", aka, those who can march perfectly, that will have to bite the bullets.

    After NS, those march perfectly will be stationed at the back, while our youth will be the one biting all the bullets they can find.

    And oh, btw, try this link:

    Denim Guy.

  1. says:

    Anonymous I really sympathize, or rather pity, those school children whose parents belong to the 'kiasu' or 'kiasi' category!

    More sadly, these parents are surprisingly from the so-called 'elite' group!

    What is in their minds is : Tuition, tuition and tuition....

  1. says:

    nick Dear Sis,

    The answer to your question is a definite NO. It would seem that the people in our Edu Ministry are clueless about the meaning of education. Isn't it funny that our education policies keep on changing and kept going weirder.

    Introducing RELA Corps is the most important thing in the edu ministry mind instead of taking step to raise the level of education and quality of students?
    Rela corp is more important than helping the rural areas receive more focus and attention from the ministry? Focusing on the right balance of spiritual and physical education of student is secondary to RELA Corp training? RELA Corp will produce superior and disciplined student better than a more caring and harmonious education system can? RELA Corp will produce more educated and complete human being than an education system that is comprehensive, affordable (financially undiscriminating) and available to all segment of society?

    The first step in understanding a problem and finding a solution IS to ask the right question! What! Where! When! and HOW! It would seem those people in the edu ministry themselves are not educated [educated where you learn and assimilate lessons NOT bartering/buying/parroting the qualification of Degrees, Masters or PhDs, immediately the PhD (Person having Delusion)of the Cultural Minister comes to mind] if they come out with this RELA thingy. For sure the RELA thingy does not answer any of the question the ministry should be asking. Instead it must be a knee jerk reaction or worse, a money siphoning scheme aimed at the edu ministry coffers.

    It is a ridiculous and utterly asinine idea coming from a "ministry that is tasked with educating and creating intelligence". It is ironic BUT somehow I'm not surprised at all.

    Solitaire players, leg shakers and graft receiver in govt's top echelon, may GOD help us all.

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear readers

    Many thanks for your comments. I will respond to them later in the evening. I have been very busy today and am rushing to attend a former student's wedding @ Starview Restaurant. I taught him in 1997 and he promised me that he would get an A for my subject at Diploma level and become a successful person. He did just that and is very successful today :-)...This is one of the joys of teaching - moulding minds, touching lives and becoming friends beyond the classroom! Have a lovely evening. Will respond straight after the wedding dinner.

    My deepest apologies. Take care and have a lovely evening.

    Best wishes

  1. says:

    Ex-Teacher Well said. Becoming friends beyond the classroom should be encouraged, by all means!!

    Presumably, you are the proudest guest of the day.

    Enjoy your dinner!

  1. says:

    Anonymous When you are back from the makan, take a look at this link as well, Denim girl.

    Wonder if you still want our young ones to die for those people?

    Denim Guy

  1. says:

    Anonymous It's hoped that we can respect children, nurture them and let them enjoy happiness and peace.

  1. says:

    Justice Soka Gakkai International President, Ikeda Daisaku has eulogized the innocence of children as :

    Children's eyes shine with the rays of peace;
    Children's smiling faces are filled with hopes of happiness;
    Children's conversations contain creative wishes.
    Children are the existences of "hope", the "treasures of the future" and the "suns" which will brighten the future.

    How true! Have a nice weekend

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Saudara Hafiz

    It is indeed scary and as a former teacher/lecturer, I can attest to that fact together with my former colleagues. Even if one opts for home schooling, we have remember that too has a number of concerns. The govt has a moral responsibility to ensure our edu institutions are credible and can provide quality education. Thanks for sharing. Take care and have a restful evening.


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Stephen

    You have my admiration and appreciation for being in the know with regards to the pitfalls and concerns of the education industry in Malaysia.

    On a personal level, I have seen the rot set in from the early 1990's whilst the steepest downhill gradient has been in the last five years!

    Even on an international level, having been an examiner for international exams as I graded scripts from both the western and eastern hemisphere, it is a well-known fact that standards have deteriorated miserably.

    I strongly opine that this is largely related to the rise in the importance of the Net and how it has numbed students' thinking and hindered them from developing a spirit of enquiry.

    That together with materialism and the increase in the number of working parents have seen how they have over-compensated for their time away from home by spoiling and molly-coddling their kids.

    Once, I had a student whose parents gave her 10 000RM for every A she scored for PMR...She netted 80 000RM!!! Just like that...Another student's brother was offered 10 000RM for straight As in UPSR. I am NOT joking.

    Whilst in college, my students criticized me for the type of phone I was using and the watch I wore on my hand! That is the level of materialistic attitudes amongst kids today!

    With all this happening and the culture of tuition classes plus the poor teaching standards in schools today, we are truly wading in troubled waters.

    You have also rightly pointed out the downside of a large student-teacher ratio, especially at upper secondary levels.

    Let us not forget the dismal standards for SPM and PMR where distinctions are churned out as though kids are in a cattle farm. Is there proper teaching? Well, I would say students in many schools are 'trained' to regurgitate answers according to a fixed template that will help them to score A. The objective is not that of learning but the mere acquisition of cheap and meaningless distinctions!

    Sighs. Now you know why I left the education industry and am a full-time housewife cum blogger. I may not be earning money anymore, have no status or colleagues but I certainly derive more satisfaction from writing for my blogs than teaching.

    Am I mad? Many seem to think so ..:-)

    Thanks for sharing, Stephen. I appreciate your thought-provoking comments.

    Take care and God bless you!


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Catherine

    Thanks for your thought-provoking questions. Many parents try to make their kids live out the dreams that they lost. We should consider what they really need and balance it with what they want. To dictate to them would be to rob them of their independence and yet to allow them too much freedom in a laissez-faire climate is also detrimental to their development if it is not combined with a high level of self-responsibility.

    Parenting is certainly not for cowards and is the most difficult job in the world!

    Indeed we need to think through many issues as we live out our roles as parents....

    Take care and thanks for sharing.


  1. says:

    Unknown My dear Fishfoot

    Thanks for being a good kakak to your younger brother. I feel much compassion for him too.

    Once I had a student who had 10 tuition classes! She used to come for my classes looking like a specimen of the living dead and would fall asleep in class and never had time for my homework. If I remember correctly, she had double Maths, double BM tuition and also tuition classes for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English, Accounting and Mandarin. A full-time driver was engaged to take her and her siblings to tuition classes!

    I can assure you and all parents out there that the best students I have taught in my life (NOT IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF A's IN SPM because it is meaningless to me) are those who did self-study for their subjects and had only ONE or TWO tuition classes. These students of mine are either doing their masters of doctorate studies in ivy league universities.

    I cannot comprehend the current tuition culture in Malaysia. Sometimes, there are those who approach me to tutor or to lecture but I decline these offers/requests most politely.

    The current system is so different from what I had as a student and later as a teacher.

    Where are we going now?

    We all know the answer to that one...

    Take care and carry on being the real individual that you are.

    Hugs and much love

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Semuanya Ok kot

    Many thanks and claps to you for the brilliant quotations that you have painstakingly selected to compliment my post and the topic of discussion.

    I love the works of Bertrand Russell and the quotations of Einstein.

    Ray Bradbury's book "Fahrenheit 451" remains one of my firm favorites!

    I also love the works of Noam Chomsky which are rare and difficult to get in Penang, where I live.

    Needless to say, the first time I studied about Lao Tzu in Year 5 back in the 1970's for World History - left me fascinated to the extent that I read a lot of his works and also that of Confucius and other Chinese and even Grecian and Roman scholars...

    So you have really given me a blast to my past!

    Thanks! Take care and may God bless you always!


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Huilu

    Many thanks for the quotations that you have shared with us.

    It is true that we must respect children and not hurt or damage their feelings/emotions because the effects are deep and long-lasting.

    Once they are scarred emotionally, it is almost certain that they will face setbacks in their future unless they can have some kind of deep inner healing...

    The metaphor of the tree is so apt, simple and relevant.

    Take care and thanks for sharing...

    Blessings to you and yours.

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Concerned Parent

    It is most disconcerting to note that students are the guinea pigs and pawns in this politics of education.

    Do they really care for the students as they change the policies according to their whims and fancies? I think not!

    Too many vested interests are at stake!

    As for the brain drain, the authorities concerned are not concerned because they are too buried in their own backyard, hiding their pots of gold whilst some are glad it has happened because it means less competition for others and mediocre students can thrive and excel!

    What a tragedy!

    Take care and do not lose heart....

    Blessings to you and yours

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anonymous sks Denim Guy

    I take my hats off to you for your sharp and analytical thinking. You really ought to be in the think tank of PR. I am serious...Do volunteer at a branch close to your home...PR needs people like you who can see far and deep into such issues and feel the anger within to do some a**-kicking strategizing for specific results!

    Many thanks for that brilliant link and your sharp comments!

    Appreciate your sense of social responsibility to highlight these other facets of the topic.

    Take care and know that I think highly of your views.

    Take care and have a restful evening.


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anonymous @ 7.01 pm

    How true! I have seen for myself all these occurences and have dealt with enough finisky, panicky and kiasu parents to be able to write a book called "Memoirs of a former teacher who was almost driven to the boundaries of insanity" of something to that effect!

    Personally, I believe there are many parents who send their kids to so many tuition parents because they do not want to lose to other parents and also to displace their responsibility of teaching their children to think! Apart from that, the main concern is in the results of a public exam and not in learning per se.

    After teaching for more than 25 years, I can conclude that the richer the parent, the fussier they are. Just because they may donate money to the school or club etc does not mean they have the power to put others down or to make unreasonable demands on the teachers for their own kid and be totally oblivious to the development of other kids.

    Ah - so much to say and rant....

    Take care and my apologies for going a bit overboard in my response as my anger is still simmering at the thought of the many encounters I have had with such characters...

    Take care and have a lovely evening!
    What a tragedy!

  1. says:

    Ckw When it comes to raising children, warm humanity and inspiring character are qualities needed by the adults.

    Adults need to grow as human beings first.

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Nick

    Once again, my deepest appreciation to you for your more than brilliant comment to my post!

    I could not agree with you more about the weird policies. We should be glad that one former education minister was transferred out to HOME oops I meant HOME ministry haha before more damage could wipe out our edu institution.

    And now the comedic tragedy continues with this insane proposal instead of raising edu standards as you have rightly pointed out.

    Er....those people cannot ask questions cos they don't know how to answer questions themselves! The true purpose of this program will be elusive to us in this land of madness...

    As for some in that Ministry that you have pointed out, er one should remain at home haha if you get my drift :-)

    Love your new tagline :-)

    Take care and thanks for sharing!


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Ex-Teacher

    Many thanks for your validating comment! I am sure you must miss the classroom a lot too!

    Take care and may you be blessed by the students whom you blessed ...may God always keep you safe and healthy.

    Take care and have a lovely rest...

    Best wishes

  1. says:

    Unknown Hi Denim Guy

    Many thanks for the link. I read it in MToday...

    It is good that this has come out in the open for all to see....

    Take care and thanks for taking the trouble to share this here for more to be aware of the issue.

    Thanks and may you have a good rest this evening!

  1. says:

    Justice I can't agree more with you on this. The richer the parents, the fussier they are.

    Yes, just because they are 'blessed with abundant vitamin M', they think they can demand even the sky or the moon from the school.

    And more sadly, the school will quietly give in to their demands.

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anonymous @ 8.53 pm

    Respect for all regardless of age, gender, creed or class is so important if we want our society to thrive in peace and harmony. Kids are smarter than we think!

    Thanks for sharing. Take care and have a lovely evening.

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Justice

    Many thanks for both your comments.

    The innocence of children is not only refreshing but also inspiring.

    Thanks for sharing that quotation.

    Many times, we forget that we were once children and we impose so many demands and unnecessary rules for them to abide by to become what we think is good for them.

    I believe that the ability to think outside the box is vital to personal development. Kids must be made to realize by themselves and with proper guidance what is right or wrong and to decide for themselves (once they are properly taught) the path they should take.

    To constantly release our dictates upon them would merely hamper them from becoming who they are and realizing their potential.

    I am glad you agree with my re rich parents...There are rich parents with exemplary ideals but most flaunt their wealth and flex their muscles because they have and we do not....

    Sighs...The inequalities of life...

    Take care and thanks for sharing...Have a good rest.

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear CKW

    I always admire your precise and profound comments - brief but power-packed indeed. Thanks so much for sharing that thought-provoking comment.

    Many times, emotionally damaged parents/adults wreck havoc in the lives of the younger generation by their thoughts or words or deeds...Greater sensitivity to the feelings of kids and more love are needed to bring them up properly in such a way that they see themselves positively ....

    Take care and thanks for sharing.

    Best wishes

  1. says:

    Anonymous "I do not think of myself as a successful man. I was born a human, and I would like to succeed as a human being. That is more important, and in that sense I am far from successful."
    - Matsushita

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anonymous @ 12.46 am

    Many thanks for that reminder that we are human and with so many flaws....the journey to perfection and self-development is certainly an unending one. Take care and thanks for sharing.


  1. says:

    A Arthur Excellent article and timely. I agreed with Stephen on this.

    When I was studying in Universiti Malaya I joined the Askar Wataniah. Every weekend we went to an army camp for training. On long vacation we had to spend one month in Malacca Terendak camp or Ipoh for further army training. We were taught army discipline, handling of guns, quelling of riots, jungle training, ambush, jungle survival skills, team work, taking care of our weapons and army boot camp in general. I was proud of my uniform though most of us were only privates. We had our beer drinking binge, non-Muslims only, and the Muslims and non-Muslims mixed together very well. There was always a camaraderie of sorts and there was no racial slurs between the Muslims and non-Muslims.

    Now RELA has gotten itself a really bad reputation in the past by their hand-handedness and their callousness in handling civilian unrest (which is actually something as minor as a candle vigil) and in helping the police intimidating illegal immigrants. I had 2 RELA closed friends who opted out of it because they saw RELA as a big bully. They exhorted money from illegal BanglaDeshis or Burmese migrants and these RELA worked in teams. If you cannot stomach the way they treated the immigrants then RELA is no place for you.

    So it is not that it is not good to have army training and discipline amongst the younger generation. It is the way the policies are written out or the programs are implemented that are undesirable. These you have to blame the powers that be for the incompetent administration of RELA.

    It is also commendable on our PM that his wish is to see 30% of non Malays in the Royal Military College(RMC). This is perhaps in the full spirit of 1Malaysia. A few of my friends graduated from RMC and I see them as fine gentleman, with a lot of discipline. So I only hope that his wish will be carried out. If my sons are younger I would definitely send them to RMC.

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Arthur

    Many thanks for your kind words and for your excellent comments about the issue, not forgetting your comments which identify the crux of the problem.

    I also have some friends who went to RMC and certainly they are fine Malaysians. I guess life is just not the same any more. The shangri-la we once thought existed here is no more and we ar picking up the pieces of what was Malaysia once-upon-a-time and trying to put it all together only to realize that the frame no longer fits!

    How sad.

    Take care and have a nice day!

    Warmest regards

  1. says:

    Anonymous This is another rubbish created by monster and mediocre who are running the nation!!!
    What can military training do to our youth- or do these arseh*l# leaders want our youth to be just a follower like the soldiers and the police who follow orders without thinking!!!
    The nation is definitely going backward when the product of the school are those robots and dumpsters.
    Too many idiots and kaki bodek at the helm of the nation.... wow!!!! people.. let us kick this type out!!! Time is running out!!!!!!!!

  1. says:

    Anonymous better send our children to join St john or PBSM rather than military style xtra Ko-K. at least can learn first aid skill and save ppl with that ....

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anonymous @ 12.24 pm

    I agree with you all the way!!! Yes! Time is running out and we have to do a Beckham on them and kick them out!

    Take care and thanks for swinging by!


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anonymous @ 3.56 p.m.

    Very good advice and I support that suggestion. Thanks for swinging by to share your thoughts.

    Take care and God bless you.

    Warmest wishes

  1. says:

    Anonymous When I was in 2ndary school back in the 70s, we had the police cadets & army cadets; both were well attended by all races though the army cadets had more Malays (probably due to their aspirations of joining the RMR: Royal Malay Regiment). We also had the St. John's Ambulance (now over-ridden by the Red Cross/Red Crescent) and Scouts/Girl Guides. My eldest isnow in 2ndary but I refused to let him join the army & police cadets. I asked him to join the RC instead (since I was in St' John's, I could help him better whatmore with his grandma a nurse all her working life.) I don't see the need for RELA cadets but I do see the need for FRS cadets (Fire & Rescue Services or BOMBA). I think we need more cadets in the rescue & emergency services like StJohns, RC & FRS.


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anonymous @ 8.49 am

    Good morning! Thank you for sharing your views and observations. I do agree that RC and St John's Ambulance is much needed in our society. Usually, for public events such as marathons and fun fairs, the members of these uniformed groups are present to assist those who have physical injuries etc. Even in emergency situations, they compliment the hospital staff and assist in whatever way they can.

    Furthermore, with their skills and knowledge, they could be of assistance in their homes or communities during emergency situations and save a life!

    When my boy grows up, I would hope and encourage him to join these organizations rather than the other two mentioned in my post.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Take care and have a nice day.

    Best wishes

  1. says:

    semuanya OK kot I can't drop this subject without more "chewing on the cud." On one hand, we are putting children through the pressure cooker of the education system, complete with luggage loads of books, racist and incompetent teachers, tuition, ad-hoc expenses imposed by schools, major changes in midstream, extra-curricular activities that are in fact compulsory and exams that don't get you anything. The authorities actually measure progress by the rising tide of "A's". You could compare this to the worst of Japan and Korea.

    On the other hand, the products are illiterate unemployables (even at graduate level) with no integrity, drive, civilized values or useful skills.

    One of the first few civilizations that tried pervasive militarisation was Sparta. Two recent ones are Cambodia (under Khmer Rouge) and North Korea. The lesson is clear. As Cicero said, not to know what has been transacted in former times is to… remain in the infancy of knowledge.

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Semuanya OK Kot

    Brilliant take on the issue, dear Semuanya OK Kot.

    There are so many worms gnawing at the system like what you have succinctly highlighted and the powers that be are NOT bothered about tackling these but are instead, pursuing their own agenda.

    I can attest to the fact that the current brood (of course there are exceptions) largely lack the ability and thinking skills etc to compete at an international level, having been lulled and numbed into thinking that the deluge of A's is testimony to their inherent abilities. They are living out a foolish dream.

    I dread to think of what will befall our nation say 5-10 years down the road if nothing positive happens to arrest the serious problems that beset our education system.

    Thanks for the examples you have listed re the pitfalls of militarization.

    I hope and pray that a change in the status quo can begin to tackle the root problems of our nation.

    Take care and thanks for feeling so deeply about this issue.

    I hope there are MORE Malaysians like you!

    God bless you and have a nice day!

Related Posts with Thumbnails