It was after our SPM exam. That was 1999. Mun Choon (also my colleague now) saw a newspaper article about the askar wataniah and asked me if wanna join since we got nothing to do after the exam. It was our drifting days.
Rejimen 515 (AW) – Kem Jalan Ampang
We were asked to perform a medical checkup at Hospital Angkatan Tentera in Puchong. Both of us went there on Mun Choon’s motorcycle. From Selayang to Puchong we went. There’s an intensive 2 months training or a 1 year duration weekend training. The training was every weekend. Saturday 1.30pm till Sunday 5.00pm. We were given allowance of RM32.00 each session/weekend of attendance. Meals were provided. Lunch, tea, dinner, supper and breakfast. We have the option to stay overnight or go home and come back the next morning. Of course we stayed overnight. The barrack was a bit dirty. No choice. There were less than 10 chinese guys while the rest were malay guys. There’s were also girls. So… all there were about 30-35 people.
Morning exercise would involve jogging with M16. Yes. An unloaded M16 carbine and hold it and jog around the area (outside the camp). We ran around Gleneagles Hospital (just next to the camp) and Jalan Jelatek. Holding that M16 that weigh about 4 kg. Then in the afternoon we marched under the scorching sun holding that same piece of shit, M16. Arrgh. Many weaker ones fainted. We did not. Man, I tell you, it was not as fun as you thought it would be.
Military men cannot have beard. Only can have moustache. Some of us who had a few strands of hair on our chin were punished the usual style. Do a 20 (push up). Our spirit were short lived by the inevitable racism. Sorry to say but it is a fact. They was a shortage of uniforms and the malays were given first. So the rest of us who don’t have uniform, wore tracksuits and tshirts. Ok, well, we learned how to dismantle, assemble, and servicing the rifle. We were also given theory classes about army assault tactics.
When college started, we just ignored the training. Arh, fuck it. Forget it. You see, if we were given uniform, even just a camo pants would have make us stay to complete the training. That sense of belonging wasn’t there. We were like aliens in tracksuits. Too bad National Training was not introduce yet at that time.
Kiddos, National Service is good for you. If you have a chance to go for it, take the challenge. If given a chance I would go for it even now.