By INS Contributors

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--The initiatives and teamwork taught at the Royal Military College (RMC) had built leadership qualities in many of them.

Defence Forces chief Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang said that the credible grounding and sound education as teenagers at the RMC’s Boys Wing had put them in good stead, later on in life.

“We are what and where we are today, thanks largely to the excellent teachers and instructors who imparted us knowledge and leadership qualities.

“We owe them a huge gratitude and we will forever be indebted to them.

“A majority of us decided to see a career within the Armed Forces - be it with the Army, navy and air force, or other enforcement agencies like that of the police and maritime - while others ventured to become successful entrepreneurs, captains of industries, politicians or senior civil servants,” Affendi said at the ‘Old Putera Association (OPA) Golden Jubilee Dinner 2022 - Service, Leadership, Brotherhood’ at the Shangri-la Hotel in Jalan Sultan Ismail.

The OPA is the alumni for the RMC’s Boys Wing at Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur.

It includes those who had studied at the previously known Federation Military College (FMC) at Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan before it moved to Sungai Besi in 1966.

Affendi had studied as a ‘budak boy’ at the Boys Wing before he enlisted with RMC’s Cadet Wing, also in Sungai Besi, to pursue his military career as a fighter pilot - progressing to become the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief and subsequently as Defence Forces chief.

Meanwhile, OPA’s first president Major-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Shahrudin Mohamed Ali said that the alumni was the foundation of their comradeship and "esprit de corps".

“The OPA is the platform to support each other and to serve our country, the best we can,” said Shahrudin, a former national sprinter who became RMAF deputy chief.

Former RMAF Inspector-General Major-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohd Muslim Ayob said that the old puteras had achieved a great milestone (at their 50th anniversary) with pride and glory.

“Let us work towards a much better future using all the talents that is inherent with all old puteras,” said Muslim.

Former Armed Forces dentistry head Major-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Paduka Dr Mohamad Termidzi Junaidi said the jubilee was a tribute to the many of the past, present and future.

“This occasion should be celebrated towards their dedication and steadfastness to the motto ‘Serve to Lead’, in an everlasting comradeship,” said Dr Termidzi.

Westports Malaysia executive chairman Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam said that despite their advanced ages, he was rather taken aback to be reunited with so many familiar faces, after such a long time.

Among the prominent OPA alumni present were former Cabinet ministers Datuk Radzi Sheikh Ahmad and Datuk Radzi Md Jidin, former government chief secretary Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali, Army chief Gen Tan Sri  Zamrose Mohd Zain, Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Mohd Reza Mohd Sany, former RMAF chief Gen (Rtd) Tan Sri Ackbal Abdul Samad and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency director-general Admiral Datuk Zubil Mat Som.

OPA president Datuk Baharuddin Mahyuddin paid tribute to the multitude of old puteras who contributed generously, either financially or via pro bono services, to celebrate an important and significant milestone in the OPA’s history.

“Our very existence is meant to foster closer relations between all old puteras, and we have done it through countless ways through our annual dinners, the Old Putera-Present Putera games, and our Hari Raya, Buka Puasa, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Christmas gatherings.

“We have managed to nurture brotherhood, create a legacy of service and provide sustainable leadership for society and the nation.

“We are humbled, honoured and owe an exceptional debt of gratitude to the founders of the OPA, for their foresight, tenacity, and sheer determination in keeping the flame alive for the benefit of future generations.

“It is only through standing on the shoulders of these giants that we were able to do what we have done, and it is now our responsibility to facilitate and support the future alumni,” said Baharuddin.

He added that their struggle to remain relevant bore fruit as many were  able to leave their mark in the world and make a difference as leaders.