Friday, May 1, 2015

Gun salutes

Back in the 1960s, Field Regiments had their fair share of gun salute duties. Even after the establishment of 41 BTY, we still had to chip in to do gun salutes. Field Btys were on a rotation basis to fire gun salutes depending which state’s sultan birthday.

I loved gun salutes. I was GPO, young and brash. Gun salute duties took up about a week’s deployment to the state’s capital town. My favourite gun salute was for the Sultan of Kelantan. The two most favourable reasons were The Sultan of Kelantan was our Gunner in Chief and Kapt Mustapha Saad was BK. He was of course a Kelantanese and was deemed very close to the royalties and palace staff. Add the two together, we would have a business as usual holiday in the state. What say with Golok Thailand, just accross the border; a railway line crossing the Sungei Kelantan providing free access pass immigration and customs points.

Golok those days was also a haven, a rouge’s delight. Same same but not the same. Mustapha Saad or Musti as he would liked to be called, look after us well. We did not have to cross illegally via the railway line. We crossed in style using palace staff cars, with local guides to boot. Who wouldn’t want to volunteer for gun salutes in Kelantan? 

Now 41 Regiment has all the perks that comes with gun salutes. But alas Golok is no more a bright border town. I visited Golok recently to see a sorry state of affairs, neglected and gloomy. 

Yes it is still the same same but not the same.

Allen Lai

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