A PLEA BY THE NATION’S FIRST CHIEF OF NAVY

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am addressing my personal comments to all ex-RMN personnel. I have been following the numerous comments/remarks on the current and past occurrences in the RMN from various WhatsApp groups, and am greatly disturbed and saddened by the blanket adverse criticisms of the RMN.  I fully appreciate and understand your personal  feelings about these incidents, but may I humbly plead that you do not make sweeping statements, some of which I feel are unjustified. Furthermore, do bear in mind that whatever you write spreads from one group to another and could even go viral. I have my personal observations and comments  on just about ever thing that happens in the Navy that I feel is not right, but I air it with those in service who might be able to do something about it. I am mindful of the fact that not everyone has direct access to the top ‘scrambled eggs’ in the RMN today.

I know that the Navy is devastated by these incidents, but our scathing and sometimes vicious or harsh remarks do not help. The Navy gets demoralized by what they read from their former peers or seniors. Our intention should be to help the current Navy people and not demonise, demean and berate them.

Let me start with the fire on broad KD JEBAT. I know fires on board have happened before and we even lost a ship. But these are things the current serving personnel have to deal with. It could happen again but the Navy has to tackle it as we are no longer in service and cannot run the Navy from outside. Let us be constructive in our remarks, and I am even prepared to be the “go-between” to convey your concerns on the top echelon of the Navy. Can we please refrain from washing our dirty linen in public? Once I saw a RMNOA piece in a civilian WhatsApp group, let alone RAFOC

On the Officer Cadet’s tortured death at UPMN, it is solely under the jurisdiction of the National Defence University. Please do not merge it with all the other recent happenings. As for the ex-KD RAHMAT, it was handed over to the state government of Perak. It is now the State’s responsibility. CN has already discussed it with the MB and action is anticipated.

Ladies and gentlemen, I do have feelings too because I inherited the problems KD RAHMAT presented until she arrived in Malaysia under my watch in 1973. I am also sad to see her in such a state. I have noticed some good comments or proposals for her future, and I sincerely hope that the State with the Navy’s advice will do the right thing. We should be proud and not sad.

I beg you all not to misunderstand my intent. Everyone has freedom of speech. What I am trying to put across is the damage to the image of the Navy if your harsh comments go viral.

Finally, let us all together try and help the Navy we love improve and make us all feel proud.

“SEDIA BERKORBAN”

 

Laksda Tan Sri K. Thanabalasingam (Retired)

 

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