I went to MTAT (Maktab Turus Angkatan Tentera) or MAFSC in January 1999. It was Course No. 28. 150 participants including 24 foreign students; 23 RMN officers, 21 RMAF officers and the balance were Army Officers from various Corps and Regiments including 2 ladies officers; namely Maj Hamidah Hamidin (my batch TJP37) and Maj Kamzaini Kamal (she was my classmate in BBA(HRM) Course in UiTM from 7/94 - 6/96).
MAFSC is the second highest higher learning institution in the MAF. The college located at Haigate (near to MINDEF Complex) . It was established in 1971 with the primary aim of training selected officers to meet the increasing demand of trained staff officers by the Malaysian Armed Forces Officers (Army, Navy and Air Force). The first intake was in 1972 and students from foreign countries began in 1974.
The mission of the College is to conduct a command and staff' course to develop intellectual depth and analytical capability of selected military officers so as to enable them to have a comprehensive understanding in the conduct of operations and in the management of Service resources in order:
- To prepare students to assume grade 2 staff officer and command appointments in the rank of Major or equivalent.
- To qualify students for the assumptions of increasing responsibility both in staff and command appointments in the rank Lieutenant Colonel or equivalent.
The line of leaders for MTAT in January 1999 was:
Commandant: Brig Jen Dato Hidayat Shariff bin Abdul Ghaffur; on his retirement on 4th June 1999, he was succeeded by Brig Gen Dato Mohd Amin bin Mohd Salleh (retired as Maj Gen)
Deputy Comdt: Col Pawan Chek bin Hashim
CDS: Col Megat Mohd Yusof bin Dato Megat Mahmud (he retired as Major General)
HTD: Col Ramli bin Nik
The RMAF Directing Staff were:
- SADS: Lt Col Lim Tiow Yew RMAF (presently Brig Jen Dato')
- Lt Col Marsaleh bin Hassim RMAF (presentlt Kol, serves as DA in Johanessbourg, South Africa since 2009.
- Lt Col Mohd Repi bin Bunyamin RMAF (retired Kol- 2008)
RMAF Course Participants:
- Maj Ali Zaini bin Zainal Abidin TUDM -Nav
- Maj Amran bin Sulaiman TUDM -Ftr Pilot (retired Lt Col)
- Maj Ayub Khan bin Mohd Khan TUDM - Ftr Pilot (now Lt Col)
- Maj Abd Halim bin Mat TUDM - Admin (Lt Col) - Course Leader 28/99
- Maj Johar Razali bin Hj Ahmad TUDM - Heli Pilot (Col)
- Maj Hashin bin Mohamad TUDM - Tpt Pilot (retired Maj)
- Maj Mohd Noh bin Nordin TUDM - Eng (retired Lt Col)
- Maj Hj Mohd Shafiq bin Jahudi TUDM -Admin (now Lt Col)
- Maj Mohd Ashgar Khan bin Goriman Khan TUDM -Ftr Pilot (now Col)
- Maj Mohd Zabri bin Idrus TUDM -ATC (now Lt Col)
- Maj Noor Mohamad Akmar bin Mohd Dom TUDM - Ftr Pilot (Lt Col)
- Maj Nor Azman bin Saparon TUDM - Engineering (Retired Lt Col)
- Maj Norazam bin Hassan TUDM - Tpt Pilot (retired Lt Col)
- Maj Othman bin Jahim TUDM (retired Maj)
- Maj Roslan bin Yahaya TUDM -Tpt Pilot (retired Lt Col)
- Maj Tan Hui Hock TUDM -Ftr Pilot (now Col)
- Maj Thien Pian Khong TUDM -Eng (Lt Col)
- Maj Toharudin bin Abd Rasid TUDM -Log (now Col)
- Maj Wan Omar Zahdi bin Md Isa TUDM -Fire
- Maj Zaidy Mohamad bin Mazlan TUDM - Ftr Pilot (retired Lt Col)
The course were divided into 4 modules; namely, UM Module, Military Staff Duty Module, Single Service Module and Joint Forces Module.
Military Staff Duty Module and Strategic Studies - UM Module
The first six months of the course, our curriculum was executed in 'L Shape' approach. The first one hour every morning and the whole Saturday will be 'Military Module' classroom, focus on Staff Duties (basically we are reviewing the T100), the MTAT Version!. In the Military module, the students were divided into numbers of syndicate which consists of 10-12 students and led by one DS. My Syndicate members were:
- Mej Abd Razak bin Othman (RMR)
- Mej Mohd Amin (RMR)
- Mej Sazali bin Putih (Arty)
- Mej Kamzaini binti Kamal (GSC)
- Lt Kdr Abu Bakar bin Idris (RMN)
- Mej Toharudin bin Abd Rasid TUDM (RMAF)
- Lt Col Osman Sid Ahmed (Sudanese Army)
- Mej Mohamed Rajibul Islam (Bangladeshi Army)
I do not know, since when that T100 had been introduced and every course (every syndicate) of MTAT has to review line by line with hundred of amendments. However until today, I do not see the 'revised' or 'corrected' version!. May be, that T100 was purposely designed or drafted for MTAT students??
The other hours of the days (Mon to Fri) were allocated for 'UM Module' to qualifiy us to get our 'Diploma in Defence and Strategic Studies'. Our lecturers/tutors were:
- Research Methodology: Prof Madya dr Hashim Awang and Prof Madya Dr Khairulmaini bin Salleh.
- Malaysian Studies: Prof Datuk Dr Mahathir bin Mohd Khir (later, he resigned from UM and became a Member of Parliament for Sungai Petani from 1999 - 2008). His last appoint in the government was Deputy Minister of Education).
- Asian and Regional Studies: Prof Dr Ranjit Singh Gill & Puan Ruhanas Harun (specialist on Vietnam Studies)
- International Relations: Mr K Balakrishnan; and
- Strategic studies & KESBAN: LtCol (Rtd) Mohd Idris bin Ismail.
This is our first major assignment. It is a group works. I was in the Group No 3 and our group was assigned to study and analyse the Battle of Austerlitz (1805), one of the battles in the Napoleonic Wars. It was also known as 'Battle of Three Emperors; namely Emperor Napoleon of France, Tzar Alexander I of Russia and Emperor Francis II of Austria.
My group member were:
- Mej Abd Razak bin Othman (RMR)- Gp Leader
- Mej Sazali bin Puteh (RAR)
- Mej Mohd Saifuddin bin Talha (RSR)
- Lt Kdr Abu Bakar Idris (RMN)
- Mej Toharudin TUDM (RMAF)
Our group advisor was Lt Kol Azzuddin bin Othman Fuad (RMR), the most talkative DS in MTAT. He was my neighbour in OMQ before (when he was a Major). He moved out for his Masters course in UK.
Frankly, until today, I was not satisfied with my works. This first assignment was not so successful because of lack of cooperation among the group members especially the green members. I expected they will be the main player because land battle is their bread and butter in their life. We, the AF and Navy were alien to all those things. Neither to air warfare..:-). The first assignment was not successful because lack of cooperation between the syndicate members. Nearly REDO. I am not boosting to tell thet most of the job was done by me either the write up or the Power Point preparation. I got to admit, since I was not so familiar with the land warfare (nothing better in air warfare), parts of the presentation was plagiarized from the previous intake (I think, not worth for me to be expert in land warfare since the Army members were not serious about it). Off course, we modified here and there especially the pictures and colour scheme. Our presentation received 'severe comments' from the CDS and nearly to 'redo'. First lesson!.
The next writing assignment was individual assignment, that was on Leadership. My given topic was Admiral Lord Mountbatten of British Royal Navy.
The first of three module in MAFSC is Diploma in Defence and Strategic Studies, a collaboration programme with University of Malaya. The six month module was full with academic classes (lectures) and also non-stop assignment. This programme covers the following 5 subjects;
- Research Methodology and Research Paper, facilitated by Assoc Prof Khairulmaini Salleh and Assoc Prof Hashim Awang.
- Malaysian Studies by Prof Datuk Dr Mahathir Mohd Khir (he was later become a Member of parliament for Sungai Petani (2004-2008) and appointed as a Deputy Minister of Education)
- National and Regional Studies by Prof Dr Ranjit Singh Gill and Puan Ruhanas Harun;
- Security and Strategic Studies by Mr K Balakrishnan; and
- Security and Development by Assoc Prof Mohd Idris Ismail (Lt Col retired)
I obtained 3A and 2B for my UM Diploma Module, among the top 5 in the college. We graduated together with the other UM graduates in November Convocation. However, we were not invited to receive our scroll on the stage. Just stood up to show our present.
This was an annual events. Students were required to organise the cultural nights. The organising committees were set up at the early stage of the course. The cultural nights were:
- Malay Cultural Nite organised by Malay students.
- Chinese Cutural Nite by Chinese students
- Indian Cultural Nite by Indian students
- Gawai Nite. Since there were no Iban student in our course, the responsibilities were given to students from Royal Ranger Corps
- International Cultural Nite by the foreign students
- Serbanika Nite. This was the final show (performance) by the students according to the Regiments or Coprs, RMN, RMAF and foreign students group. The RMAF group presented 'Chinese Opera' titled 'Sun Tzu- The Arts of War'.
We have 3 invited speakers for our Diners Club. Our first guess was Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak (Minister of Education), followed by Dato' Dr Lim Kheng Yaik (Minister of Primary Industries)- later 'Tun'. Throughout his lectures was full with jokes and joys. None in his speech had 5 minutes without big laugh. And, for the first and only, throughout the course that nobody fell into sleep during the lecture in 'comfortable' auditorium of Dewan Hikmat. The third guess was Prof Sidek Baba from UIAM.
Regional Visits under KESBAN
Our Course consider the unlucky year due to economic recession. All the overseas trips which were enjoyed by the previous batch were cancelled. The only long distance visits were under KESBAN. The course participants were divided into 3 groups; first group went to Johore and Singapore, second group travelled to east coast via Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan and ended up at Pattani and Yala; and my group went to the northern part, visit Penang, Kedah, Langkawi and cross to Hatyai and Songkhla in Thailand. All groups were moved by buses.
Most of the MTAT graduates said that Staff College was a hectic course. No time to relax, overlapping assignment, especially during the UM Module. But not for me. I made a lot of money in this course. My hobby is writing, so I read books, materials from websites, lecture notes and retype my note properly. Reproduced, binded and sold to the other students. Like 'goreng pisang panas'. I found that my notes were reproduced and inherited from one course to another until the photostat copy can't be seen anymore.
Another way of making money. I like to finish my assignment early. I hold the principle of "do not procrastinate your works'. So, I got more free time. I found that, most of the foreign students like to send their assignment to the typist outside. The civilian typists were not good in 'staff duties' so they made a lot of mistake in the typing. So, I offered my self to take the job with cheaper rate, about RM1 per page. I managed to do for 3 students; Rajibul Islam (Bangladeshi), Osman (Sudanese) and Pizan (Filipino). Lucrative business isn't it?
Do you know that, my first adventure in surfing and my first chatting activities in ICQ and hotmail was I was in MTAT? I learned it from Maj Ganeson (retired Lt Col)
Our counterparts from friendly countries:
- Lt Col Inf Yundrias Neneu - Indonesia
- Lt Col Waleed Sultan -Kuwait
- Lt Col Osman Sid Ahmed - Sudan
- Lt Col P P De Silva - Sri Lanka
- Lt Col Ukris Boothanonda - Thailand
- Maj Kahriman Esref Asif - Bosnia Herzegovina
- Maj Hj Zainal Abidin bin Dato Hj Ahmad - Brunei Darussalam
- Maj Fred Dangar - Australia
- Maj Mohd Rajibul Islam - Bangladesh
- Maj Ryoo Jeung Yeoul - Korea
- Maj Soe Htut - Myanmar
- Maj Aamir Riaz - Pakistan
- Maj Rory Sloane McGregor - NZ
- Maj Brad L Schoneboom - USA
- Cdr Shamsul Alam - Bengladesh
- Cdr Benjamin G Pizan - Phillipines
- Lt Cdr Boo Suk Jong -Korea
- Wg Cdr Wasem Ahmed - Pakistan
- Lt Col Jaime U Orsenando Sr - Phillipines
- Lt Col Abdullah Ahmed Khail al Khalidi - Qatar
- Maj Nart Nadeem Muhammad Said Al Khas - Jordan
Coursemates from RMN
- Lt Cdr Abd Hamid bin Kamarudin
- Lt Cdr Abd Rahman Zainudin (now Capt)
- Lt Cdr Abu Bakar Idris (now with APMM)
- Lt Cdr Abdullah bin Baki (Cdr)
- Lt Cdr Ali Idrus (now Capt)
- Lt Cdr Azman Hj Ahmad (Cdr)
- Lt Cdr Badrul Hisam bin Mohamad (Cdr)
- Lt Cdr Che Adnan Mat Isa (Cdr)
- Lt Cdr Ganesh al Navaratman (Capt)
- Lt Cdr Heman Buang (Cdr)
- Lt Cdr Mohd Jaafar Jelani (Cdr)
- Lt Cdr Jal Shazidi bin Bassari (left Cdr)
- Lt Cdr Lee Chee Yeong (Cdr)
- Lt Cdr Jamel Abd Rahman (Capt)
- Lt Cdr Mohd Akhir Mahmood
- Lt Cdr Mohd Rosli Ahmad
- Lt Cdr Mohd Zubir Mustaffa
- Lt Cdr Mohd Hatim Saad (Capt)
- Lt Cdr Reza Adnan Mohamed Kassim (left Cdr)
- Lt Cdr Roslan Othman
- Lt Cdr Martin Anandarajan Sebastian (Cdr)
- Lt Cdr Zulkifli Ibrahim
Army Students?..... too many to write.... sorry maaaaa
My special gratitude to all my CDS/ACDS/DS;
- Lt Kol Abas bin Mat - SSR (ACDS A Div) (retired Kol)
- Lt Kol Che Hashim bin Ishak - SSR (ACDS B Div) (retired Kol)
- Lt Kol Salleh Karmoh - RER (retired Kol)
- Lt Kol Ahmad Hidayatullah Makmun Hj Ridzuan - RSC (now Kol)
- Lt Kol Roslan Hj Sarwan - RIC (now Kol)
- Lt Kol Affendi Mustaffa - RRR (retired Lt Jen Dato)
- Lt Kol Sharudin bin Abdullah -RER (retired Brig Jen Dato)
- Lt Kol Abd Rahim Sainun - RMR (now Kol)
- Lt Kol Mohd Shahrany Mohd Sany - RMR (now Brig Jen Dato)
- Lt Kol Badran Ismail - RSC (now Kol)
- Lt Kol Rohisha Yahya - RAR (now Brig Jen Dato)
- Lt Kol Abdullah bin Karim - RAC (now Brig Jen Dato)
- Lt Kol P J Shelly (Australia)
- Lt Kol Abd Rahim Yusof - RMR (now Mej Jen Dato)
- Lt Kol Razali Shamsudin - RAR
- Lt Kol Goh Hon Sen - GSC(E) (retired)
- Lt Kol Azzudin Othman Fuad -RMR (retired)
- Lt Kol Ali bin Zakaria - ROC
- Lt Kol Abd Aziz bin Ahmad - RSR (now Kol)
- Lt Kol Baharom Ahmad - RMR (now Mej Jen Dato)
- Kdr Abd Aziz bin Md Dom (retired Laksma Dato)
- Kdr Lee Kwang Lock (now Kol Dato)
- Kdr Gunaselan a/l Salamuthu (now Laksda Dato)
- Lt Kol Marsaleh Hassim (now Kol)
- Lt Kol Mohd Repi Bunyamin (retired Kol)