I realise that the military service and medals have no place on your blog, but I only mentioned them as an indication of the enduring love and respect I have for Singapore and Malaysia. I fell in love with the people, the food, the climate (after acclimatisation), the history, the young ladies whose company and families made me feel so much at home. I certainly wasn't a war hero, although several others were, especially the young Ghurka who won the Victoria Cross.
Music meant a lot to servicemen who were many thousands of miles from home, many of them fighting in defence of their Commonwealth allies. Konfrontasi was a low-key conflict and there were virtually no war correspondents or photographers or TV companies covering it. We had no gung-ho! DJs on the Changi Broadcasting Service or British Forces Broadcasting Service, because our conflict was a hearts-and-minds affair.
Allan Thompson who served in RAF Changi Singapore in the 1960s, is a regular contributor to this blog. Here is another fascinating insight where he relates his experience again with the Indonesian Confrontation as background.
"It was about May, 1965, when I went on detachment to 225 Squadron at Kuching in Sarawak for a week at the height of the Indonesian Confrontation of Malaysia. The Commonwealth forces shared the airfield with Malaysian Airways, and a military base had been built, consisting of accommodation bashas with attap roofs and various other buildings for the squadrons, workshops, stores, sick quarters, messes, etc.
When I landed, I was issued with dog-tags which was a reminder that I was now in a combat zone. I was accommodated in a room in one of the bashas with about eight ground crew members of the squadron. There was no bed available for me so I was given a camp bed, sheets, pillows, and a mosquito net.
|Song Selections on Right Bar >|
They were happy days, after a fashion, and I don't think many of us would have missed them for the world. But we were lucky. The fighting men of the SAS, the Gurkhas, the Royal Marines, the RAF Regiment, and the various Army Regiments all had a tough time in the jungle playing sometimes savage cat-and-mouse games with the Indonesians.
Images from Google.
Article by Allan Thompson (Copyrights Reserved).
|Singapore on 19 June 2013, a result of forest fires from Indonesia.|
The haze from Indonesia has made a terrible impact on the air quality around this region. At its worst it registered hazardous at 371psi last night . Is this another 'konfrontasi' from our neighbour? They have never been able to permanently resolve this problem have they?
Image from Yahoo Screen 20.06.2013.