Monday, 27 May 2013

The Story of My "Penance"

I'm currently standing in the parade square for our nightly roll call which would take another hour or so. So I might else well take this time to tell you the story of fulfilling my promise to go to church.

Early Sunday morning saw me eating Cha Quey Tiao at Petaling Street for breakfast. I actually wanted to enjoy my favourite beef noodles but it was not open that early. Well, after breakfast, with a drink in my hand, I made my way to KL Wesley Church which was nearby.

Along the way, I passed by this coffee shop which was empty except for 3 people. There were 2 typical Chinese gangster sharing a table dressed in singlets, tattoos on the arms, legs on the chair, smoking and talking really loud.

Sitting directly opposite them was this Malay man.
No, let me rephrase. Sitting directly opposite them was this giant malay behemoth.
I swear he looked exactly like this picture minus the songkok. Now imagine the biggest man you have ever seen, triple that then you'll know what I'm talking about. The most prominent features of that giant were his forearms, they were about as thick my thighs and his belly which looked as if he was pregnant with a teenager. Just the sight of him was enough to instill fear in your heart.



The scene 
Just as I passed the coffee shop, chaos occurred. I did not see it happened though. I heard shouts, chairs falling, tables overturning. By the time I rush to see what was going on. I was greeted by the sight of the behemoth single-handedly overpowering the gangsters, pinning them to a table.

The behemoth was roaring in malay: "KAU JANGAN BERGERAK! TANGAN LETAK ATAS!!!" (Do not move! Hands up!!) As the gangster meekly obeyed, raising their hands, they were efficiently handcuffed. 

"BERDIRI!" ordered the behemoth in voice so ferocious and commanding I had no choice but to stand at attention too. After the duo was quickly frisked for weapons, they were led away.

Who would have thought that going to church could be so interesting huh? 


Saturday, 25 May 2013

Avengers Initiative

For the past two weekends, I have been participating in the Malakoff University Duathlon Series (MUDS) organised by Quick Release Adventures. As far as I know, the whole show is run by two superwomen/supermum: Adele Cheah & Melody Tan. Thumbs up for the very professionally organised races and am looking forward to the last of the series which is next Saturday, 1st of June. 







I'm currently not really at my fittest, to say I'm fit is really stretching thin the definition of fit. So with the current level of fitness, I was actually in a kind of dilema. How to defend my tittle as the University Men Duathlete of The Year??  

Well, my plan was simple. I'll go all out! Run and cycle as if my life depended on it. So no more confident and relax race atmosphere but rather a painful and desperate struggle to maintain my lead position. I was extremely grateful and relief I managed to emerge first in my category in both legs of the duathlon series albiet by a smaller margin compared to last year. Very good wake up call to buck up in my training!

As I was running my butt off racing in duathlons, my fellow comrades were also doing the same in the camp. Not a duathlon but rather a 12k long march clad in Full-Service-Marching-Order (FSMO) and a Styer AUG in hand. So they looked something like this:




Helping and encouraging one another, determine to reach the finishing line together.




Notice how quite a number of ladies are seen in the above picture? Yes, they actually complete the same distance as the guys and carry the same load. So don't be fool by their sweet innocent looks, these ladies are tough as nails and will beat you senseless if you are not careful. They are like the Black Widow in the Avengers. Simply stunning in looks and lethal in fights.



Come to think of it, we have so many Avengers potential here that it is relatively easy to form a Malaysian version of the Avengers. In fact, there is already such a team called the Malavengers. So introducing the members..

We have Farah, our black widow.

Equally stunning and lethal. Looking adorable and cute as she shoots you to death.




Shimri our very own Iron Man who specialises in swimming, cycling and running. 




Pidot the Hawk Eye who will shoot you before you can say: "Oh my!"



Captain Malaysia Ray, standing tall and proud.



Vic-thor burned after being struck by lightning.  


And last but not least, the one character which completes the Malavengers..... The one! The only! The one and only SELVAN as the hulk!!



*drum roll*
*drum roll*
*drum roll*
*drum roll*












The Malavengers, protecting Malaysia from illegal immigrants and the accursed blackouts. Championing for democracy and people's rights. And all in all fighting against corrup-taib-tion.  




Disclaimer: The above few pictures are purely for entertainment. They do represent anybody or any organisation. Any resemblance is purely coincidental. Do accept this sincere apology if you are offended.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Leadership

Let me explain the basics of the military organisation of my university. So bear with me as I explain it in the simplest words possible.

So, the cadets of UPNM are divided into 4 battalions: Tuah, Jebat, Kasturi & Lekir. The 4 battalions combined would form the brigade.






The leader of each battalion is called the "Officer in-charge" and his rank would be a major. The Officers in-charge will report to their leader called the "Chief Instructor", ranking major too. And above the Chief Instructor is the "Commanding Officer" with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel who is in-charged of the whole brigade. 


They are higher ranks above the Commanding Officer and lower ranks under the Officers in-charged, but I won't be going into that. You could always send me a message if you would like to know more. I'm not exactly an expert but I'll gladly share what I know.

Notice the main theme today? Officers in charge, commanding officers, chief instructors.... Yeah, leaders is the theme. Leaders and their leadership skills.

I attended a lecture a few days ago about leadership. The lecturer was explaining about the 7 qualities a military leader should have and one quality that struck me was that a leader should keep the morale of his men high. Only a foolish leader or a leader who has undergone stupidazation (just in case you were wondering what stupidazation is click HERE) would allow the morale of his men to go down the drain. 

You may ask what is this morale and why is it so important? Morale by definition is the mental and emotional condition of an individual or a group. So when a person has high morale, he is highly motivated, fully energised and does his duty with enthusiasm and pride. In other words, a group of people with high morale is very competent, focus and proficient. On the other hand, the opposite happens when a group is low in morale.

So what is the current status of the morale of the cadets now? Well..... a very good question. Due to certain reasons, I can not answer this question publicly and that is all I have to say.

In no way am I implying that my leaders are fools for confining the cadets to barracks for so long and in no way am I saying that they are complete idiots with the way they run things. In fact, my officers and leaders are highly intelligent and possess such high IQ that I would not be surprise that if one were to percuss their head, hyper-resonance is heard.   

On a totally unrelated topic, I lost my wallet a few days back. My wallet contained all my important documents: IC, license, bank cards and so on. 



So just imagine the despair I was in. I promise my self that if I were to find my wallet I would go to church for the next two weeks. And lo and behold, I found my wallet! So, church for the next two weeks huh?? 

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Plunging Deep!

On the eve of the most historical day in Malaysia, I found myself standing in the shooting range with a AUG Steyr in my hand, undergoing a shooting exercise with the other medical cadets. The guns we were shooting this time was the AUG Steyr or better known as the Bullpup 5.56mm assault rifle. I enjoyed the training even though we had new officers in charge who were stricter.

The rifle we were shooting

Halfway through the training, we had the rarest opportunity to see the 11th Special Force Regiment in action. The 11th Special Force Regiment is made up of commandos and they specialize in counter terrorism and only the best of the best of the best of Malaysia's military personal can qualify to join their ranks. 

The Army is on standby throughout the 13th General Election, so these commandos were posted to KL. They were down at the shooting range recalibrating their weapons and preparing themselves to carry out their duty if needed. The team we saw in action was the sniper team. Their weapons made our Bullpup look like toy guns. I wasn't allowed to take any photo of them but it was my lucky day when I was allowed a picture of me holding their rifle.


Future commando in action??


Our deputy dean and also our lecturer, Professor Dr Victor Faizal was even luckier. He was offered a chance to shoot with their rifles.

A standard sniper shooting formation: a shooter and a spotter


And I tell you, there is no man I respect more than Prof Victor. He is a retired Army Colonel and a very qualified doctor. He served in the United Nations in many war-zones like Bosnia, Lebanon and so on. He also has a vast amount of knowledge, be it military-wise or medically. I'm serious, seasoned soldiers and even doctors come to him for advise.  So imagine having a lecturer with that amount of experience and knowledge, how much more privileged can we get? 

Before I end, let me briefly tell you how did in the 2013 Subic Bay ASTC Asian Triathlon Championship. In short, I managed to get 19th placing out of 23 participants with a timing of 2:17:45.  Not too bad considering that these 22 other participants are the best Asia has to offer. The first place was dominated by an athlete from Japan followed by Kazakhstan then Taipei.






Our Malaysian Paratriathlete, Sabki bin Arifin created a moment to be remembered when he emerged champion in his category. Zoe Bowden, our representative in the Women's Mini Sprint had an outstanding performance too, wining first place. Well done and congratulations to our champions!


A very inspring photo taken by Peth Salvador:

What's your excuse?



You notice how I don't usually post political stuff here? That is because I'm not allowed to or rather not encouraged to do stuff like this. But my heart is with the people of Malaysia, I want Malaysia to change for the better so I when I say: "I am a Malaysian!", I can do it with pride and dignity! People of Malaysia, the future is in your hands, so do your duty to our country and vote wisely! Ini kalilah!