Pasir Laba Camp - one of the oldest camps and the birthplace of SAFTI (OCS) and SISPEC (formerly known as SAFINCOS). Recent years, it was given a major facelift and upgrade, new buildings were added whilst the older ones were given total revamp and looked spanking new (similar to that of the Upgrading programme in HDB estates). The Guard Room was the considered the 'Pride of Pasir Laba' according to the RSM as it was the oldest camp and had the distinction of being under the command of famous RSMs of yesteryear ('Tiger Hong' and Samsuddin)...as RSM puts it in his first briefings '..it was the first guardroom in SAF and a model for others to follow..'
Okay, okay, enough of introductions...another thing Pasir Laba Camp (PLC) had, besides spanking new buildings were, DOGS. You could see a few roaming around the camp grounds in the wee hours in the morning. Not an unusual sight...especially for SAF camps located in far flung corners of the island and remote places.
Our Camp Commandant hatched this ambitious plan to rid the entire camp complex of dogs because of security concerns (well, it seems to him that dogs could talk to humans) and hygiene reasons. Thus, it was decreed that all stay-in personnel in our unit would be rostered to chase dogs in the morning. (Well, no one bothered to stay-in...so those rostered on duty that morning would have to book in super early). In pairs (or teams) each would be armed with a baton and a rattan-made shield to scare away and chase dogs away. Of course, it wasn't effective, afterall dogs may be animals, but they do have brains, haven't they?
It began on one fateful day after our monthly muster parade (which was nothing more than falling in, standing in attention at a flag being raised and singing the national anthem.) Our dear RSM decided to score points with Camp Comdt when went for some 'unauthorised' (take note here) dog-hunting.
Apparently, his RPs had alerted him that there were a pack of dogs sighted near the SOC ground at the edge of PLC (the SOC grounds the OCTs from SAFTI MI mainly used). Delighted, that botak RSM ran towards the SOC grounds, hoping to net a good catch. It turned out to be too big a catch.
There it was, a large dog, a bitch actually. That RSM wanted to literally catch the dog, and he surged forward and WRESTLED with the dog...the rest of the RPs were on hand, either watching thunderstruck or were on hand with empty sand bags ready to net the poor dog. Boy, it was almost WWWF style, as the RSM rolled with the dog on the wet patch of grass (it was in the morning) in his no3 uniform. There he was trying to pin the dog down, and the dog was thrashing about.
The unthinkable happened (more like expected), the poor dog couldn't understand why she was subjected to such cruelty, took a bite and bit him on his left palm. The RSM howled (very much like a dog) and but still managed to dunk the poor bitch into the waiting empty sand bag.
When the incident came into our MP branch to be reported, it had already spread like wild fire throughout the different departments in our unit and within the next few days...it became the talk of PLC. Well, suffice to say, an investigation was carried out...it seemed that the dog was a bitch and was carrying a little of puppies. No wonder it actually bit the RSM...it was exercising its maternal instincts. The sad part was, the dog (having bitten a human) was put down...so a total of more than 1 life was lost...considering that there was a litter growing inside her.
Well, the investigation report was totally biased and skewed (to everyone's disgust) and aimed to glorify the RSM for performing such a perilous deed (well, to everyone, it was a plain stupid and reckless action). Poor thing, the dog didn't even get a chance to defend itself and it was put down.
The best part? RSM demanded we file an injury report and attached the complete investigation to the report for compensation. It was totally atrocious!! He had went for this dog hunting on his own will and subjected himself to unnecessary risk and wanted to claim compensation?!?! Nothing much we could do, but to proceed...and he got his money... Just too bad he didn't get rabies from the dog.