Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Of Royal Military College and Budak Boys

Dear readers, at first, the creation of this blog was to primarily discuss the oil & gas industry for general viewers. Because of my other passion, the Royal Military College (RMC) and the legacy of "Budak Boys" (the term used for students of RMC), I felt that there is a need to also discuss this heavily. I was considering to start a new blog, but then again, if I focus the two topics into one blog, the "OP"s (stands for Old Puteras, a term used for those who graduated or "passed out" from RMC/FMC. RMC was formerly known as Federation Military College before being conferred the title "Royal", the only school in Malaysia to have it) might inadvertently read the oil & gas portion and those interested in oil & gas might read postings on RMC, thus promoting the two groups to each other.

I have just picked up a copy of a book written about RMC by OP Shuhud (the term OP precedes the name of the alumni and other titles such as "Tan Sri", "Datuk", "Dr", "General", etc are dropped. The OPs look up to each other as equals but with much respect for each other). The book starts with the history of the formation of the RMC. While reading the book, it struck me to pen some thoughts in this blog about the RMC and OPA.

I want to write more about this topic as it is all close to our hearts as OPs, including those who are serving the OPA (Old Putera Association), our old boys network. I was made to understand that the quality of Budak Boys are declining at all time low, be it sports, academics, or self-conduct. The OPA is normally and unofficially labelled as "intruding" when it comes to the affairs of college admin. There seems to be a big disconnect between the stakeholders, be it Mindef (Ministry of Defence), RMC admin, Board of Governors (comprising of the three service chiefs, OPA rep, RMC rep, Mindef rep) and OPA (Either that or I'm out of the loop as Exco member!!!).

I welcome feedbacks, comments, criticisms on this topic. My belief is that the RMC we hold dear is our responsibilities together.

Before that, let me announce upcoming events for OPA:

Annual tahlil: 19th June @ the penthouse
AGM: 21st June am @ Shangri-La
OPA Dinner: 21st June @ Shangri-La
OPPP games and OPA Annual golf: 22nd June @ RMC
Annual career talk: 29th June @ Dewan Tun Templar

RMC's charter motions its members to become the top personnel in civil service, armed forces and private sector. The OPA network is rich with achievements and many big names in armed forces, civil service, private sector and the business world passed out from the great school. However, many feel that this will not be in the years to come. Many see less OPs holding high positions as the pool of leaders is beginning to deplete. The respect and fear many have of Budak Boys of the great RMC has diminished and people just see RMC as just another school.

Many OPs contribute this to numerous reasons: the ever changing schooling system, the lack of priority of RMC in the military organization, the lack of OPA's involvement or attempts to be an influence or aid, and many more, the lack of years spent at RMC (this is a normal debate between the "thoroughbreds" or those who entered the school at the age of 13 vs the "intakes" for those who entered the school at age 15. The thoroughbreds feel superior to the intakes because of their years in RMC. I say, prove it outside the school and we'll see who's RMC material and whose not) . Whatever the reasons are, it is imperative that we continue the struggle to fight and defend what's best for the school.

Being an exco member of the OPA, I'm privy to a little bit more information than other members. The first hot topic we discuss on a monthly basis is the funds appropriated by Mindef for the development of RMC in the 9th Malaysia Plan. As much as RM 100M has been allocated for this need and was announced numerous times in AGM and other functions. I feel that the OPA needs to brief members more frequently about the developments and the issues surrounding it. I will continue to remind the OPA of this matter. Like many organizations, we are all bound to 'going through the proper channel' and I do not wish to violate this as well. Suffice to say that it is being hotly discussed and debated.

There is also a proposal to introduce the International Baccalaureate program to RMC. I feel this is a fantastic opportunity to regain lost grounds. More info about the program on www.ibo.org. I welcome members of the OPA to join us during the AGM and ask the exco on its development.

The official OPA website is http://www.opa.org.my

Serve to Lead.

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