IPOH, In the name of love and allegiance to the country, a soldier rejected a lucrative offer from the communists to join the movement.
According to former Corporal Mohd Ramli Husin, 80, the might of the Malaysian military was so impressive so much so that the communists often tried to seek their services and expertise.
“The salaries of the soldiers at that time were small even though they risked their lives for the security of the country, so the communists often tried to lure them with lucrative offers.
I finally decided to retire from the army in 1971, and worked for the Sabah Padi Board for two years. After that I started a business in Kota Kinabalu for 10 years before returning to Perak, he told Bernama here recently.
Mohd Ramli, who joined the army in 1961 at the age of 17, said that during his time of service, retired army members were paid RM40 monthly for two years and had to collect it from the district office.
“This is for monitoring purposes to ensure that retired soldiers do not get involved with communists seeking ex-military personnel who are skilled in military communications, medicine and weapons,” said Mohd Ramli who retired at 27.
Further sharing his 10 years’ experience in the service, the father of seven said he was among the survivors during a confrontation between Indonesia and Malaysia at Pulau Sebatik, Tawau, Sabah from 1963 to 1966.
“During the battle, 40 Malay soldiers were killed and about 300 Indonesian soldiers were captured and handed to the police for further action,” he said.
Mohd Ramli said he was thankful for having survived and even hailed as a hero during a six-month arms and artillery course at the Waiouru Military Camp in New Zealand.
I was the only Malay delegate from Waiouru who was brought to Wellington for the Malaysia Day celebration and when I told them I had just survived a confrontation, all of the attendees paid their respects and started calling me a “hero”.
“Our troops are well-respected overseas and I am saddened to hear some people say that soldiers only know how to eat and sleep when we have sacrificed our lives to defend the country’s borders and sovereignty,” he said.
Mohd Ramli was also one of the former security personnel involved in defending Sabah from the Indonesian National Army (TNI) during the dark Kalabakan event which took place on Dec 29, 1963, months after the formation of the Federation of Malaysia on Sept 16.
At the time, the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment from the Peninsula, forest police force, Sabah Home Guard and villagers around Kalabakan fought desperately to defend Sabah and Sarawak from infiltration by forces that were not happy with the two states for joining the Federation of Malaysia.
Mohd Ramli also reminded today’s generation to be thankful for being born in a peaceful country and inheriting a safe and developing nation without having to worry about security threats.
Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)