Tuesday 30 June 2009


Singapore went to town last week with the announcement of the appointment, for the first time, of a Malay to head the Republic's Armed Forces.

Colonel Ishak Ismail, a career officer in the SAF, is the first Malay to achieve the rank of Brigadier General.

His promotion was described as marking a milestaone in Malays' efforts to be fully accepted in the military, a contoversial issue ever since it was disclosed in 1987 that the SAF adopted cautious approach in placing them in key positions.

Finally, the island-republic decided to emulate what Malaysia hd been doing even during the days of Malaya - that is to appoint members from the ethnic minority to key positions in the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF). This was and is being done despite the fact that the rank and file are filled by majority Malays.

The Government, has been trying with little success to encourage the participation of more non-Malays, especially the Chinese to join the armed services as a career platform.

The appointment of Ishak as a Brigadier-General or Rear-Admiral (One Star) smacks of 'tokenism", but the move has been heralded by many Singapore admirers as proof of the republic's 'colour-blind' policies as well as that of meritocracy.

Actually the song and dance that Singapore makes of the appointment of a Malay is clearly racist. It is a confession that it had discriminated against the Malays in the past. Recently, even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (who himself was commander of the SAF) had declared publicly that Singapore was not ready for a non-Chinese Prime Minister.

Now it is window dressing time.

Racists in Malaysia can already be heard shouting in the blogsphere that such an appointment would never be seen in Malaysia.

Well is it? Have they heard of Brig-Gen Baljit Singh, Brig-Gen Huang Chew Siong, Brig-Gen T.Parameswaran, Mej-Gen Gophal Ramdass, First Admiral T.Thiruchandran, Commodore T.Thanabalasingham (Malaysia's first chief of Navy) and Brig-Gen Toh Boon Fook. Then there is Mej-Gen N.Selvarah.

Major-Gen William Stevenson is currently the Army's Inspector-General.

Of course the Defence Ministry may not have tabulated the whole list of top ranking military personnel based on racial background since their participation in the MAF had never been considered a novelty or token.

Unlike in Singapore when such an appointment is made it needed to be announced to the whole world less it was not noticed.

One wonders what is the responsibility of Brig-Gen Ishak Ismail?

But, for the benefit of those with racist tendencies, this following list was tabulated from available public records between 1966 - now;


1.Brig Jen (Rtd) Arulpragasam - Commander, 6th Malaysian Infantry Brigade.
2.Brig Jen (Rtd) Chong Thean Bok - Commander, 1st Malaysian Infantry Brigade.
3.Brig Jen (Rtd) Baljit Singh - Commander, 1st Malaysian Infantry Brigade.
4.Men Jen (Rtd) Johan Hew Abdullah - General Officer Commanding, 3rd Malaysian Infantry Brigade.
5.Men Jen (Rtd) N.Selvaraja - General Officer Commanding, 4th Malaysian Infantry Brigade.
6.Men Jen (Rtd) Lai Chung Wah, Commandant, Armed Forces Defence College.
7.Brig Jen (Rtd) M.A.A Rodrigo - Commander, 12th Malaysian Infantry Brigade.
8.Brig Jen (Rtd) Hon Mun Loong - Commander, 9th Malaysian Infantry Brigade.
9.Brig Jen (Rtd) Rajban Singh Gill - Deputy General Officer Commanding, 2nd Malaysian Infantry Division.
10.Brig Jen (Rtd) Philip Lee.
11.Beig Jen (Rtd) S.Mahendran - Commander, 9th Malaysian Infantry Brigade.
12.Men Jen (Rtd) Leong Siew Meng - Commandant, Armed Forces Defence College.
13.Beig Jen (Rtd) Goh Ah Bah - Commander, 9th Malaysian Infantry Brigade.
14.Brig Jen S.Jeyabalan - Commander, 3rd Malaysian Infantry Brigade (current position).
15.Men Jen Dr. R William Stevenson - Malaysian Armed Forces Inspector General (current position).


1.Laksamana Muda (Rtd) Tan Sri Thanabalasingham - RMN's first Chief of Navy.
2.Laksamana Pertama (Rtd) Parvithran Krishnan.
3.Laksamana Pertama (Rtd) Malcolm W.Alvisse
4.Laksamana Pertama (Rtd) Lim Say Kiang.
5.Laksamana Pertama (Rtd) V.Ramachandran.
6.Laksamana Pertama (Rtd) T.Thiruchandran.
7.Laksamana Pertama (Rtd) Foong Soo Hoi.
8.Laksamana Pertama (Rtd) K.Arasaratnam.
9.Laksamana Pertama (Rtd) Tan See Ming.
10.Laksamana Muda (Rtd) Daniyal Balagopal Abdullah.
11.Laksamana Pertaman Tang Eng Seng - current Commandant Armed Forces Defence College.
12.Laksamana Pertama S.Gunaseelan - Chief of Staff, Fleet HQ.


1.Men Jen (Rtd) Gophal Ramdass
2.Brig Jen (Rtd) Ansar Ali Majeth
3.Brig-Jen (Rtd) Richard C. Robless
4.Brig Jen (Rtd) Huang Chew Siong.
5.Brig Jen (Rtd) Soon Lian Cheng.
6.Brig Jen (Rtd) T.Parameswaran.
7.Brig Jen (Rtd) Samsuri Welch Abdullah
8.Brig Jen (Rtd) Toh Boon Fook.
9.Brig Jen (Rtd) Goh Seng Toh
10.Brig Jen (Rtd) Loke Kok Yee.
11.Brig Jen (Rtd) Stephen Ngiau.
12.Brig Jen (Rtd)Ranjit Singh Gill.
13.Brig Jen (Rtd)Koh Kia Lim.
14.Brig Jen (Rtd) Lau Kong Cheng.

p/s Feel free to wonder who and where the actual racists are?

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Goh Wei Liang said...

Apanama !
You should blog more. Always waiting to read new articles from you.

And this is truly a good piece. I have to admit I never knew about this until now.

Thanks for the information

Anonymous said...

Good timing when the SAF will show off the big big big centurion MBT nex week.
Dats why we need the third bridge mah.
Mah Ngah Tong.

Anonymous said...

By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on June 26, 2009

1. I put the document on the financing of the construction of the Johor Causeway because a Minister in Tun Abdullah's Government claimed that it is jointly owned by us and Singapore. Therefore Singapore must agree before anything (demolition) is done to the causeway.

2. There has never been any agreement or treaty to say that the causeway is jointly owned. If at all 2/3rd of the causeway belong to Johore. And the 2/3rd must be the part which ends in Johore Bahru because the border on the Tebrau Straits is the deep water line which runs midway between Singapore and Johore. This must also be the border on the causeway. The northern half of the causeway therefore belong to Malaysia, a sovereign independent nation.

3. The suggestion that we may not touch the causeway without Singapore's permission is not part of any agreement with Singapore. What we do to the part of the causeway which is ours is our sovereign right. Not to exercise our sovereign right is akin to not being independent.

4. Why should we build a bridge to replace the causeway? That part of Johore Bahru where the traffic to and from the causeway meets the traffic going east and west in JB is often jammed. In future as more vehicles go on the roads the jam would certainly get worse.

5. The bridge will join the elevated road to and from the CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex) leaving the traffic east and west to flow freely.

6. Besides the traffic problem, the water in the straits is stagnant. If the causeway is opened up there would be constant flow of water in both direction, thus flushing out the water in the strait.

7. Without the causeway boats and yachts can sail in either direction. Transport of goods and people between Pasir Gudang Port to Tanjung Pelepas Port would be facilitated. This would be good for the growth of both ports - something which perhaps Singapore would not like to see.

8. The free movements of boats along the strait would itself create business. The bridge which would be wider than the causeway would speed up the flow of traffic. The CIQ was designed to handle this increasingly heavier traffic.

9. As to why it was not built during my 22 years, the answer is that the need for a bridge became clear towards the end of my term. In any case I had approved it before I stepped down. The work was started during my time. Had Abdullah not stopped it, the bridge would have been almost complete by now.

10. Since Singapore would only agree to a straight bridge if one billion cubic metre of sand is sold to it; since the people of Johore are against selling sand and allowing Singapore fighter planes to practice over Johore, the option for the Malaysian Government is to revert to building the scenic bridge in our territorial waters. This is the sovereign right of an independent nation.

11. Instead Tun Abdullah decided not only not to build the bridge but to stop negotiating over all the other issues including the refusal of Singapore to release CPF (Central Provident Fund) contribution of Peninsular Malaysians, the railway land, the 3 sen per 1,000 gallons which Singapore pays for raw water (Malacca pays 30 sen per 1,000 gallons).

12. All these issues are in Singapore's favour and not negotiating better terms because Johore people refuse to sell sand is like cutting one's nose to spite one's face. We are the losers. I think it is a very stupid way of punishing Singapore. Or is it the intention to punish Johore people for not agreeing to sell sand (somebody is bound to make a huge amount of money) and rejecting the honour of having Singapore warplanes practicing aerial combat and bombing over Johore.


Anonymous said...

The trick is bersara (retired)!
Wheras in Singapura things are getting better!
In malaysia?
Actually hate to sound racialist but then be honest with UMNO you cannot talk any other way!

Wah Al-Subangi said...

i wonder if there are malay fighter pilots in the SAF now. i heard this is one the strategic positions that the malays were not allowed before.

in the RMAF there is a high no - per capita, of non-Malay pilots and fighter pilots.

the design for the bridge to replace the causeway was crooked was strategic, i.e. not to give easy passage for monsters like the centurion MBT or so I heard.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5.01pm...

Really? Is bersara the trick? what about the current Generals in the Army and Navy that's listed. It clearly shows "current". Apanama has not even listed the non-Malay Lts, Capts, Mejars, Lt Kols, Kols etc etc..and 3Abdul has rightly said, there is ahigh number of non-Malay pilots and fighter pilots in the RMAF...don't be too eager to be a Singapore apologist...

Anonymous said...

Aisey Anon 5.01pm

Itu mata kasi buka sikit luas ler, kalau mau spew venom sekalipun.. oh I forget, maybe you don't understand Bahasa Malaysia (even pidgin Malay).. Don't be too quick to condemn and show your own shallowness in the process...

Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa

abRO said...

Don't understand you people.

When a Chinese talks somthing about the Chinese, the Malays brand him as a racist.

When a Malay talks something about the Malays, the Chinese brand him as a racist.

The minute one opens his mouth about the Malays, Chinese or Indians, almost immediately somebody will brand him as a racist.

Sikit-sikit racist. Apanama ni?

The politicians and some bloggers are the ones who almost everyday fan this racial sentiment.

Why can't we all stop thinking along the line of race - think as Malaysians.

It is akin to a kettle calling the pot back.

Anonymous said...

Chinese are always racist. Be that way. There is nothing wrong for the Malays to be racist. It's our ethnic rights on this Tanah Melayu.

Anonymous said...

Chinese are always racist and never feel grateful with Malay sacrifice. Always wanted more. Go back to China and ask yor MF want.

Anonymous said...

Singapore has a good point when not wanting to appoint the Malays as their fighter jet pilots, etc. It's for security reason. Malaysia pulak - judging by the lists - the heart always governs the brains. Too nice tak bertempat.

IES Agencies said...

what is there to talk about Singapore is a racist country but you will not hear DAP or MCA or Gerakan say it

anyway, mai lah jemput ke rumah

please come over to my blog and watch my video report on Anwar's sodomy trial

dari 5,000 yang diharapkan... 150 aje yang datang bersorak


Anonymous said...

Agree with you

could it be a prelude to the red dot joining Malaysia

they may be getting exhausted winning the 100 metres sprint only to realise that life is a triathlon

and their future CPR saviours are none other than their big friendly neighbour

anak melayu said...

i hate chinese singaporean...i do..juz like the chinese in penang..well..hw come che det appointed dollah at d first place..dollah should bring pillow evrywhere he goes..i was so dissapointed wif dollah..wut a shame..dun u think dat u didnt contribute anythin to ur own malays??so sad..u 'eat' evrythin while u were PM..hope u're full by nw..n if u become hungry again..i'm sure u will slam chedet..politics..politics...where is ur pride??????????????