Saturday, 3 May 2008

Our Boys are in Town 2

For those interested, here are the dates and venue:

Buckingham Palace:

10th May
17th May
19th May
24th May
27th May
1st June
3rd june
5th June

Windsor Castle:
12th - 15th May
22nd May
28th May
30th May
6th - 12th June

All are morning events around 10'ish if you want a good view.


Being around our boys these last few days reminded me of Pak Tam. Pak Tam was the only one in our family who was in the Royal Malay Regiment. We used to look forward to his return, all dark and sunburnt and lots of stories to tell. One day, he came back with a photograph of a sweet young lady in kebaya and kain ketat who was later to become our Mak Tam.

Pak Tam was always in the jungles. He wore those green army uniforms that never failed to impress us. Having been to the jungles was enough to impress us little ones. Can you imagine if he had been to Buckingham Palace to guard the Queen’s palace?

But Pak Tam, needless to say never made it to Buckingham Palace - not even London. The last time I saw him, he was injured. He broke his leg climbing a rambutan tree. Never been injured in service, yet a climb up the rambutan tree saw to it that he'd never march the same again.

Anyway, last Friday, we were at Buckingham Palace. The sun was out and so was the crowd – mostly tourists and some Malaysians shouting Malaysia Boleh as our soldiers, resplendent in the beige baju Melayu, songkok and sampin marched the short distance through the gates of Buckingham palace.

We were privileged to stand at a vantage point in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, much to the envy of the crowd at the railings, to see them marching in, led by the brass band. But even, before we could see them, we could hear the unmistakeable tune that never failed to tug at my heartstrings.


Inilah Barisan Kita…yang ikhlas berjuang…. And, yes, you guessed it. Right there under the shadows of the majestic Buckingham Palace, I cried.

It was on the bus to Windsor Castle a few days earlier that I had requested that they sang the song in the bus. And bless them, they obliged.

At Buckingham Palace, during the Change of Guards, our soldiers relieved the duties of the Welsh Guards, standing by their posts like tin soldiers. They looked tall in their full-dress uniform of red tunics and bearskins.




Our soldiers marched them out of the palace in what must seemed like countless number of marching across the parade grounds, all the while the RMR band playing songs such as Dikir Puteri, Getaran Jiwa, Puteri Remaja and many more that reminds me so much of home. I was told later that a Malay lady stood at the railings and bawled her eyes out when she saw our boys in the baju Melayu and heard the songs that reminded her of home she had not seen in 25 years.


Well, it wasn’t a day for us to be sad, but to be proud and happy and join in the fun.


It seemed only like yesterday when I saw them arriving in such typical and terrible British weather. I dread to think how they would cope in the rain and the cold harsh wind. But believe me, our boys are made of sterner stuff.

During these last few days I have learnt so much, the stories behind the ceremonies, behind each gesture and items carried or used by them.

Anyway, when the Welsh Guards made their exit in a slow march, out of the palace gates, that marked the historic moment which meant that the soldiers of the first battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment were then in charge of guarding the palace.

During the ceremony, there was an added attraction, a bonus. Two horse drawn carriages carrying diplomats arrived to have an audience with the queen.


The rain stayed away for as long as it could, as a mark of respect. But when we left and boarded the coach, leaving the four young soldiers in their posts, it began to pour!

When I see Pak Tam I will show him these photographs, and I know he will flash his cheeky smile and feel so happy that our boys have made us proud.

By the way, Her Majesty's flag was flying high on top of the palace and I felt sure that she was having fun too watching the ceremony.

You can read the write up in the nst here. Not sure I like the headline though!

For you rinformation, there have been write ups and caption stories in NST . BH and The Star. Also in RTM and TV3. At the end of their 2 months here - there will be 6 ten minute features on RTM 1 Galeri Perdana and a one hr docu on TV3's Majalah 3. Insyaallah.















44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Do you know when I can next catch them for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham? I missed the one on 2nd MAy but would really want to see them.

Thanks.

-hz-

Kak Teh said...

hz thanks for asking. I have listed them out on the blog and will confirm dates and times for some of the events as soon as I get them. be sure to be there!

NJ said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Beautiful, just beautiful. Thanks for posting the sequel Kak Teh.

I would cry too watching our boys marching and playing those melodious tunes at Buckingham Palace, let alone that lady who has not stepped home in 25 years…

mumuchi said...

Assalamualaikum,

Thanks for thr great coverage, this time of Buckingham Palace. Sadly we in Malaysia are basically in the dark about this event, seems like there is a news clampdown due to the controversy about the alleged wastefulness in sending our men to perform there.

Again I have copied your posting and pasted it to the forum which I hope you don't mind.

In the meantime, for full schedule this is what I have found while surfing the net. Hope it would be useful for those of you lucky enough to catch the spectacle.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/court_and_social/article3846762.ece

Kenny Mah said...

I'm sure Pak Tam will be real proud too, Kak Teh. :)

And I can just imagine that lady bawling her eyes out, her sense of pride and patriotism... there are some things worth waiting for after all.

Anonymous said...

Salam again Kak Teh

Thanks for the exclusive write up! Can't get any of these in our mainstream media here. Really inspiring and proud for all Malaysians to see our very own boys performing so well there. They have impressed even the British in their Minstry of Defence article. You can read it at
http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/HistoryAndHonour/FirstMuslimBattalionGuardsTheQueen.htm

quote:
Welsh Guards Drill Sergeant, Warrant Officer Second Class Dorian Thomas, was one of the three British trainers who spent three weeks training the RMR in Malaysia, preparing them for their ceremonial duties in the UK. He said:

"I've now trained many incremental Companies that have come across here, and their standard of drill to begin with was immaculate. All we really had to teach was the procedures, or the different procedures we use on our Guard Bands."

Following today's ceremony, WO2 Thomas said that the Malaysians had been outstanding; the best visiting company he had ever seen.

Bila baca artikel mereka terasa amat bangga dengan penghormatan mereka kepada tentera kita, especially when we are the 1st muslim army to given the honour.

ermm.. looking forward to your short videos on these events soon...hehehe...

Take care.

Shuib

Kak Teh said...

nj, it was a lovely day - the sun came out but as soon as we got on the bus - it poured!! I think the skies bawled it's eyes out too!

mumuchi, there have been coverage in the mainstream media - I know that BH & nst did caption stories on first day - becaus ethe event happened at a time when it was too close to the deadline. There ere two articles before that, then one more in star. There's a feature in Sunday times today - also there have been coverage on RTM1 and TV3.
There will be a several features for Gallery Perdana and a one hr docu on Majallh Tiga. But this will have to wait untuk the whole thing is over.

Kak Teh said...

kenny, yes i can imagine my pak tam now in his uniform. I guess there's something abt uniform that does it for me.

shuib, thanks for that piece of info. The MOD journalist was standing with us and I think he takes great pictures. He asked me about the Muslim army - i should have corrected him - its malay army - I mean, muslim army is correct - but the stress is on Malay. anyway, yes, good coverage by him too. Other press were busy with the mayor elections.

mumuchi said...

Yes Kak Teh. There has been caption stories and there was a feature in Star's Eurofile. Still too little coverage for me :>)

Kak Teh said...

mumuchi - there's a feature in Sunday times today. and bythe end of their stinthere - there will be a one hr docu on tv3 and 6 part series of ten minutes each on rt1 galleri perdana insyaallah. I know abt this as i am involved.
We are doing the best we can..but on certain days - ie. the opening at windsor castle - the event lasted too near the deadline - we cld only manage caption stories and as far as media is concerned - they were more interested in the opening of parliament and the live telecast of parliament. so - stories like this lost out. Tere are only three of us journalists here covering this. and also - as most stories are similiar - unless we find something quite outstanding - like the queen meeting the soldiers - then perhaps that will make huge headlines - and i believe her majesty will meet the senior officers. Sultan kedah as Col in chief wil visit on 5th june and Sultan kelantan also will be here.

elviza said...

Kak Teh,

I read about it in NST first and saw your byline. Then I quickly came here...

MrsNordin said...

Thanks for the write up. I'm so proud of them!

Kak Teh said...

elviza, aaaah, just as well youi visited. You've not been this way for quite a while.

Kak Teh said...

Mrs Nordin, for us here it is a once in a lifetime event - and given the chance I would love to see their parade and performance everyday. Am waiting for the royal tattoo as well as the Queen's birthday celebrations.
oh - you had quite a celebration too, eh!

jaflam said...

Kak Teh,
I managed to catch the occasion on our TV with you commentaries. Great show by our RMR, world class I would say. I would love it better if they show your face as well instead of just your voice. Have a great day in London.

Kak Teh said...

datuk, I have passed the stage where I want to be seen - actually,, I am at that age where I shd be in radio...hahah - heard but not seen.
Thanks.

zaitgha said...

kak teh,

just by reading your posting i got lump in my throat....my late brother dulu pun army jugak....

have a good week kak and take care

nadya said...

kak teh,
i wish im there to capture the moment..tapi jauh sgt la..

can anyone capture it via video and share it on youtube..really want to see n hear the music n all..

kak teh wrote beautifully and i can visualize it.. but seeing the footage is another way to shara the proud feeling.

nadya said...

kak teh,
what time is galeria perdana @ TV 1 and what day?

i dont really watch TV la..too much internet bug. hehe!

i try a google for RMR youtube, manalah tau ada org record n put it on line..tapi takder. but i ffound this, and i dont know if u watch it already or not.. but i found it real cool!.. u should watch, the dancing soldier of ours. nothing to do with your posting, but tag on same group - malaysian army.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1N4vM3eHCQ

drbubbles said...

Kakteh,

I just finished another book on Malay regiment,a book titled "Wira Pasir Panjang" by Zakaria Salleh telling the story of Corporal Yaakob Bidin (182) who fought alongside Lt Adnan and won Military Medal (MM).

Imagine in 1933, the British created RMR just to experiment whether the Malays can respond to the military disciplines and rules......

may said...

thank you for sharing! I wouldn't have known or seen that beautiful sight without your photos. wish I was there to witness it... perhaps kakteh, you might want to film it and put it up on youtube for all of us to see? :-)

Kak Teh said...

zaitgha,thanks for dropping by and have a great week ahead too. Wish I can persuade my hubby to do the grass as its growing into a jungle behind the house.

nadya, the galeri perdana wont be until it is all over which is in June. and so is Majallah tiga. Will let you know when.

dr bubbles , another good piece of information - thanks

Kak Teh said...

may, i certainly have lots of video footage - will try to do it - though cant claim to be aable to do it creatively.

wonda said...

The top picture made me feel like it's in Malaysia. Who thought of the title for the write-up in NST?

Zabs said...

Salam Kak Teh,
Thank you for this N3 (a very historic occasion). After visiting the Palace on quite a few occasions, for the changing of the guards ceremony, it has never occurred in my mind that one day our soldiers will be doing it themselves. They are doing us Malaysian, proud, isn't it?.
Whilst doing our cadet training in BRNC, Dartmouth, long time ago, amongst the International cadets, we, Malaysian are always favored to do guards duties during ceremonies, because I believed, they like the way we march(masuk bakul pulak ni).
Looking forward to see all the events on TV. TQ.

Pak Tuo said...

Dear Kak Teh,

After watching the changing of guard betw.India and Pakistan soldiers at the borders in the Utube,how I wonder do our Army boys does the same act with their counterparts at Malaysia-Singapore borders?

Well,we do have long military history and the army is full with regalia outfits and traditions.

We protects our borders in style I suppose?

Kak Teh said...

wonda, the headline must be the brilliant idea of the subs! I cringed when I read that and I think I will have to send a letter of protest.

zab, I think they have done something that we shd all be proud of. Very smart and very professional - that's what the people here say.

pak tuo, the ones here are from the ceremonial section. They do ceremonial duties such as guarding the istana.

D said...

ok, ok, am making a note of those dates... (*scratching head) - will see when we can make it.

Kak Teh said...

D, mungkin the last day should be interesting, Let me know if you are coming.

Salt & Turmeric said...

Kak Teh, lupa nak cakap. When i posted abt it on my blog, someone commented tht he's not sure if he shud be proud. Dunno if its because theyr Msian or because theyr fr RMR. :( Either way, it makes me sad.

u can see the comment here Guarding Buckingham Palace

Farina

Anonymous said...

I sometimes missed your article in the NST. Would appreciate it if you could keep us posted. BTW, what title did you choose for that report?
(Alice)

[danial][ma] said...

hej! kak teh...hope to catch them at buckingham...will be in london from 8 - 10 june...

Kak Teh said...

salt & tumeric, yes I know what you mean. There has been some controversies over why they should come and guard the palace - but this is just ceremonial and they were invited and expenses paid.

alice, they chose the title. Mine was more tame - like the Malay Royal Regiment at the Palace. I thought they could come up with something better.

[Danial][Ma]
I have added a few more dates. Make sure you catch them.

ephy said...

hi kak teh. i regularly check your blog. oh, i am so wishing i could be there to witness the ceremony. regardless of everything people said about them, they still made me proud.

Kak Teh said...

ephy, thank you for dropping by. I visited your blog and your writing made me feel all warm and nice and made me smile. Keep on writing. Its beautiful.

Kak Elle said...

KT I akan sebak kalau menonton nya..maklum lah bangsa kita kan walaupun I am a singaporean:)

[danial][ma] said...

hej! kak teh, thanks for the dates...

Kak Teh said...

kak elle, i pun macam tu. senang sangat berlinang air mata.

danial ma, i just came back from this morning's event. Do be there early because there's usually too many people.

Anonymous said...

Salam Kak Teh,
I finally managed to be at Buckingham Palace this morning for the Changing of the Guard. Seeing the askar2 marching to the tunes of traditional malaysian songs, I could feel my heart welling with pride! And how beautifully attired and synchronised they were!
I am more repulsed than ever listening to and reading the negative comments on some blogs. So what if RM1.9M had to be spent for them to be here? I say its a small price to pay for the RMR who have done so much for our country. Pride and glory cannot be measured in monetary terms.
We managed to talk to one of them. I'm not sure what his name is but I think he's one of the higher ranks, and a really humble one too.
Well I'll certainly be at the Beating Retreat event in June!

-HZ-

Kak Teh said...

HZ,I was there too. Pushed my way right to the front...so, so , so many people. And no matter how many times I saw them I still feel the sense of pride. It is true what you said, pride and glory cannot be measured in monetary terms. If not for this occassion, some of them would not have had the chance to come here.
They are so humble and nice. and proud to be here.

I will be at the beating retreat too though I have given tonite's windsor royal tattoo a miss.

kak e said...

salam k teh,
my family & i will visit UK during next week's malaysian school holidays. based on your list of dates, unfortunately, we are not able to see RMR's march both in london as well as windsor! we'll be at Atok's place in reading on the morning of 1st june and will only be in london that evening. by morning of 3rd june, we'll be off to birmingham! what a miss...

Kak Teh said...

Salam Kak E, what a pity - the parade is quite something. Suruh Atok bawa round round...
The weather is getting better and hopefully it will stay that way when you are here.

Anonymous said...

With the price tag of RM1.9 mil? I think this is stupid. We can use that money to something more useful and more, this happen exactly when the government said we should spend less to overcome inflation and fuel rising price.

Again.. How stupid.. Sure.. Malaysia Boleh.

JeffLK said...

I am writing to say how proud I am to be able to see our boys at Buckingham Palace, and also in Windsor. I went to see them at both places as I am so proud that they have come. On one occasion I nearly cried when they played our Malaysian songs.

I am a Chinese Malaysian have been living abroad for more than thirty years. It is so sad to see Malaysians who moan against Malaysia wherever they can because I think the country should be separate from its politicians. I am proud to be a Malaysian, and I feel a strong sense of camarederie with my other fellow Malaysians, Malays, Indians, or whatever their colour or origin. I think it is important that we have a strong sense of Malaysianness and love for our nation, even though I believe many people are like me. I hate politicians, espcially those in government who have allowed corruption to run without control and who are so greedy to make money whenever they can.

So sad to read the negative comments on your page. I disagree with much of what the government says, but I love the slogan Malaysia Boleh. It is so positive, and I can’t help noticing that the negative vibes that come from those who sneer at it for whatever reason. There is nothing wrong with a country trying to sound positive and strong with a can do spirit, but if you have grudges against the politicians try to divorce that from the country that we love. So yes, as a Malaysian I am proud to say Malaysia Boleh!

What money are we wasting? Many PR agencies would give their millions to be parading their products at Windsor and Buckingham Palace. And we are able to do that for what? A mere one and a half millions? Two? Even so, I think the British government is footing most of the bill, but correct me if I am wrong. When I was among the crowd I heard the tourists asking each other, where are they from? What country is this? I was proud to be able to tell them again and again that they are Malaysians and we are from Malaysia. Some of these people have not heard of Malaysia, and they asked me where it was and how to get there. They kept asking if the food/weathee is good. Of course I said yes to both. Surely that is worth a lot in terms of good PR for our country!

So thank you our soldiers for coming here. You made me proud! I am proud of you and Malaysia even if I am not proud of our politicians (both inside and outside the government). Don’t worry about those negative noises. For them there is nothing we do that can be right, there is nothing they do that can be wrong.