Thursday, 5 December 2013

Les Misérables of the MSC Stable Belt

Picture of the MSC or the KPD Stable Belt

My early days with the MSC, officers wore the belt that was slightly smaller in width as compared to a little bit wider one, issued to the NCOs. With its green coloured peak cap pinned with the metal logo of ‘berkhidmat kepada semua’, distinguished the MSC officers from the other Regiments and Corps of the army which also have identities of their own. As they were no stock, for about a month after commissioned I wore the NCO's belt. Later on, army officers wore a uniformed leather belt and peak cap with the ATM logo and then the songkok like forage cap was introduced. I see that they have reverted back and every army personnel including other ranks are now wearing stable belt representing the identity of their own unit. 

During the era of the 70’s, beside courses that were conducted abroad or overseas as provided by the Armed Forces, it is rather rare for anyone in the Malaysian Service Corps (MSC), formerly Federation Supply and Transport Services (FSTS) or generally known now as Kor Perkhidmatan diRaja (KPD) in particular to be able to pursue further sturdy or education of their own choice, like for example taking a Law degree. Furthermore the MSCs are considered playing second fiddle as compared to the more eminent of having the substance of a top brass General to be of their counterpart, the Askar Melayu. In reality, at times the low man on the totem pole can be formidably and brilliantly outstanding. Reminiscing the old days, the highest ranking of the FSTS or MSC being then was only one full Colonel with just a handful of Lt Colonels. There was one officer however that stood above others and excel to prove otherwise but not without going through with all the bureaucratic hassle and personal sacrifice to succeed.

Major HMJ Shaharom KPD stood in front of the CGS or PTD and was told that his request for the Armed Forces sponsorship to sturdy Law overseas cannot be considered as the priority and concentration of the Armed Forces then was to focus merely on defence related studies or courses. As such the only way for him to do so is doing it on his own and to go on a sturdy leave without pay! Dejected and even comparing and quoting others that were sponsored and given the opportunity and privilege to go for courses in Lancaster in the UK and cited that his request was not been considered merely because he’s wearing the MSC stable belt. It could have been different, if it was the stable belt of the Askar Melayu’, was his remark. Above all it was their pessimistic and doubt perhaps ‘on the Angkut tagged’ that he would succeed. So he jettison load whatever asset he had to help finance his sturdy and went alone and took Law at the University of London and only later on that his wife accompanied him.
Stunningly he managed to be the top student for two consecutive years and his success stories was highlighted by the Malaysian News Straits Times news paper and caught the attention of among others, Major General Dato Jaafar Onn, the CPS. During his visit to London, Dato Jaafar Onn requested for Major HMJ Shaharom to meet him. As he has no obligation and for been treated unfairly, the events that took place after that as he had related and understandably contain statement and element of sensitivity and confidentiality as such let’s just focus only on the positive outcomes. Alhamdulillah through the initiative and the good offices of Dato Jaafar Onn, Major HMJ Shaharom was later sufficiently compensated on all his expenses including getting backdated pay remitted to his account.
Substantive and by length of service then, his age is a crucial factor that he can’t afford to be idle and slacken during his studies and eventually after five years through perseverance and hard work, Major HMJ Shaharom proudly was able to show his achievement of credentials to Lt Gen Dato Jaafar Onn, comprises of his Law Degree, a Masters and a Barrister-at-Law of Lincoln’s Inn. Every mountain top is within reach if you keep on climbing seems an appropriate quote on his advice especially to the Y generation. What an ambition and dream that comes through and a feat that was accomplished. Jangan direnong gunung yang tinggi, kalaulah tidak dapat didaki. He was then assigned to the Army Legal Cell and naturally busy with cases involving court martial etc. Questioned on why with the qualifications and experience acquired but just with the rank of Major where he once was told that he can be of a higher ranking officer, “I pakai stable belt MSC. Apalah Angkut anyway. It could have been different kalau kita pakai stable belt Askar Melayu”, including relating those unfortunate retired Brig Generals in KPD that are not conferred a Datukship. Yet again linking it, as though it’s the misfortune and ill-omen of the MSC stable belt that has got to do with it and righteously should deserve better. I added, “mungkin orang ingat kita Angkut ni.. kerja tolak tayar dan tong drum jer”.
Major HMJ Shaharome was eventually promoted through what is termed as escalated promotion i.e. without going through the standard process of acquiring the normal procedures of attending the required courses. Not least to mention that during the up and down of the early days of RAFOC together with General Tan Sri Ghazali Mohd Seth and arwah Lt Gen Udara Dato’ Mohamad Bin Taib and its former Secretary, Allahyarham Kol Mohd Zain Mohd Daud among few others to set up RAFOC, he assisted and help to write its constitution. Alhamdulillah since retired with full pension and gratuity, he frequently went to perform the umrah during every fasting month of the Ramadan and at times only to return after completion of puasa enam of the month of Syawal. In a turn of event however has now restricted him from repeating the pilgrimage with a constant medication to adhere as he was struck and suffered by what is termed as the Triple A.  He showed me the massive scar of the open operation done around his abdomen. He mentioned that the treatment to his aorta resulted that we was “dead” for two weeks. Coincidently it was after this incident that he was transformed into pursuing and acquiring soul searching knowledge of ibadah and going around with the familiar jubah attire. Talking of mountain, getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.

This Regular 8 FMC, Ex KGV Seremban and hailed from Rembau, Negeri Sembilan showing self esteem, told me that he was accepted to join the army during the interview by just mentioning his uncle, Dato Abdullah bin Dahan, the Undang Luak Rembau  who were one of those that initiated the formation of Askar Melayu DiRaja in 1933. Once a single handicap golfer, Col HMK Shaharom then told me, “Sekarang ini I seldom berjumpa dengan orang dan lebih suka hanya bersama dengan keluarga sahaja and not doing legal practicing any more citing reason : tidak mahu  memperhambakan diri pada manusia. When asked what does he meant by that ? ‘Orang yang tahu sahaja akan faham.’ Kalau kita banyak berjumpa dengan orang, nanti bila kita bercakap akan ada perkara yang tidak berfaedah dan sikit sebanyak akan menonjolkan diri. Sekarang ini I lebih tumpu dan belajar dengan my Tok Guru dan sibuk kesana kemari mengaturkan program untuk dia sehinggakan I jugalah ibarat macam menjadi khadam dia”. True enough he leads me to the info of his Tuan Guru, Sheikh Muhamad Nuruddin Marbu al-Banjari al-Makki and the books of his Tok Guru and other kitab that are displayed on the front table and was so kind to hand over to me one of the Tok Guru’s book. “I tak makan diClub atau hotel kerana you do not know siapa yang masak. I lebih suka makan digerai Mak Cik ditepi jalan. Dia akan menyebut dan berzikir semasa memotong bahan yang hendak dimasak dan  memasukkan bahan kedalam kuali dan bila siap masak terus bagi pada kita”.
In appreciation for having the opportunity of spending the pleasant time together, I told him: “selama lebih kurang sejam dari apa yang telah tuan ceritakan, belumlah pernah saya dengar satu pencapaian yang sungguh mengkagumkan dalam perkara kerohanian dan career penuh illustrious terutamanya diantara ahli keluarga KPD kita dan boleh menjadi kebanggaan dan ikhtibar serta motivasi dan inspirasi kepada anggota serta pegawai sekarang dan pengetahuan kepada generasi yang akan datang”. Tidak hairanlah maka anak anak beliau semuanya juga telah berjaya didalam bidang professional masing masing dengan corak bimbingan dari beliau.  We both have one thing in common. I left the service as a subaltern for the reason of uncertainty of prospect within the MSC, more so due to the pay anomaly issue and the army is not just the only place to cari makan. On the other hand he was able to prove against the notion of those days that askar pun bukannya bodoh. I then asked him what this HMJ is all about. Kalau HMS, tahulah  kita yang itu ialah nama kapal. So he told me that during Col Engku Ahmad was the DST there were few other officers having similar name. The Mat Salleh always asked you of your surname first and then your name. As his father is Haji Mohd Jonid so he just used the abbreviation of HMJ in front of his name. On his email using the domain, “Since I dahulu dah mati, HMJ Shaharom is still alive”. Alahai.. Rombau lagi den tak soset.

HMZ ZAINAL (HMZ tu ayah den laa, Haji Mohd Zain)
                              Batang sicerek tumbuah di pasa
                              Puluik-puluik di Rimbo Panti  
                              Seketek tantui lai manyasa     
                                               Kok tak di muluik di dalam hati
Baimpun todak di kubangan
Buruong barabah lari ka parahu
Sungguah pun tidak bakatokan
Allah jo Nabi lah nan ka tahu
                            Sungai tanang ikannyo jinak
                            Manjumbuang kain ka subarang
                            Awak sanang badan takucuah
                            Baruntuong balain jo nasib urang
.. You should know where that came from.


And these examples We present to the people, but none will understand them except those of knowledge. And when you are told, "Arise," then arise; Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do 58:11. So high [above all] is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad], do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur'an before its revelation is completed to you, and say, "My Lord, increase me in knowledge." 20:114. He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding. 2:268. And these examples We present to the people, but none will understand them except those of knowledge. 29:43.

Note the silver coloured double line in the middle of the MSC Stable Belt. The Angkut are taught and reminded at all time, JANGAN POTONG DOUBLE LINE or literally not to overstep or go out of bound. The glaring yellow lines on both sides are of course ‘No Stopping, No Parking and No Waiting. Well, ‘rules are meant to be broken’
Kol HMJ Shaharom (B) KPD
Dirumah beliau diTropicana Indah Resort Home, Kota Damansara
With his grand children

Mendengar kuliah Tuan Guru Syeikh Muhammad Nuruddin Abdullah Marbu al-Banjari al-Makki dan gambar sesama jemaah sempena dalam siaran Tv al-Hijrah pada bulan Ramadhan 1433
Ceramah atas tajuk kelebihan ummat Nabi Muhamad SAW yang diadakan diMasjid alKhairiah, Seri Gombak yang saya ikuti

Ref info : The film 'we serve the same cause, but don't have to be in the same Battalion'.





Post a Comment


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites