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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kings and Pawns

Just before I went to sleep last night, I noticed there were some news claiming that French has finally made a move on the Scorpene case. And pro-opposition begin to trump the case as the end of PM Najib.

KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, one of the 2 Scorpene submarines with RMN

I told myself why not let it fester a bit more and see how it turns out.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Heroes from the Past - Staff Sergeant Azman Tahir and Sergeant Gani Binjoi

After the Bakarra Market incident which saw 18 US soldiers and 1 Malaysian soldiers dead (some sources stated 2 Pakistani soldiers were also killed but this remain unverified), the United Nations mission in Somalia received further shock when then US President Bill Clinton decided to end US involvement in the war-torn country. That had forced United Nations to plan for withdrawal from Somalia.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Heroes from the Past - Cpl Mat Aznan Awang, Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (KIA 4th Oct 1993)

Cpl Mat Aznan Awang, SP (KIA 4th Oct 1993, Bakarra Market, Somalia), 19 Royal Malay Regiment (Mechanised), then under the aegis of United Nations in Somalia as Malbatt 1.

From the state of Kedah, Malaysia and a father of 2, he was designated as the lead driver for into Bakarra Market in the attempt to reach and rescue US Rangers and Delta Force from Task Force Ranger who were trapped in the market after the downing of 2 US 160th SOAR Black Hawks.

A militia RPG hit his Radpanzer Condor armoured personnel carrier driver viewing port before the protective plate could be put down, penetrating into the vehicle and mortally wounding him. He was evacuated but died of his injuries hours later.

Monday, June 26, 2017

When a Media is Not a Media

Yesterday was Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Part of the national culture is the traditional open house event. The Prime Minister, DS Najib Tun Razak had graciously opened Sri Perdana to the public.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Birthday SU30MKM

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the first 2 units of SU30MKM to serve with RMAF. Both birds, with tail number M52-01 and M52-02, were soon followed by the rest of the SU30MKM. In total, RMAF procured 18 units of this unique Russian jet with western, specifically French avionics system.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Naval Accidents

The news of the maritime incident involving USS Fitzgerald and Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal is a stark reminder the dangers faced by navy personnel worldwide. 7 sailors were missing after the crash, with reports of some bodies have been found in flooded areas of the ship.

USS Fitzgerald
Source - various media

Nearer to home, our KD Jebat (pennant no. 29) was involved in a similar collision when KD Jebat was brushed by an unknown ship near Selangor waters in January 2014. Thankfully the damage was minor and all hands were accounted for.

Our neighbour's navy was not as fortunate. In 2003, RSN Courageous, a Fearless class patrol vessel was hit at the stern by Indonesian-registered cargo ship ANL Indonesia. 

RSN Courageous
Source BBC

4 female sailors were killed as their sleeping bunk were sheared off. 3 bodies were recovered, while another was never found. The deceased are:
1. 1st Sgt Seah Ai Leng
2. 1st Sgt Heng Sok Ling
3. 2nd Sgt Chua Bee Lin
4. Cpl Goh Hui Ling

2nd Sgt Chua's body was never recovered.

As we are on this topic, I would like to implore my readers not to make fun of these deaths and accidents. Let it be a solemn memory of their loss, regardless of their nationality.

There is another naval collision involving RMN in the 70's which resulted in loss of lives. But I do not have the details. Pray for the souls of these brave men and women who served their nations without question.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

To Replace or Not to Replace - RMAF Dilemma

The recent loss of 1 RMAF BAe Hawk 108 Lead-In Fighter Trainer (or LIFT) has been pounced upon by some quarters to push the Federal Government to procure new MRCA (Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) to replace the BAe Hawk 108. They claimed the crash is evidence that the plane is no longer viable and must be replaced.

RMAF BAe Hawk 108
Credit BAe