Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Misadventures of Encik L


Enciks, a rare breed in the army, men folk who make it their life work to be the eternal torment of every NCO and the occasional officer as well. Who can say that they’ve never heard of those giants of RSMs and CSMs like CPT (Ret) ‘Tiger’ Hong Seng Mak and CPT (Ret) Shamsudin bin Shadan (CPT Sham incidentally is now a senior grassroots leader in Buona Vista).

The RSM/CSM (Regimental Sergeant Major/Company Sergeant Major for the uninitiated) are perhaps what I would describe as Ministers without Portfolio, i.e. they had to do anything and everything, Cantonese call this yat kiok tek or one leg kick.

From regulating drills and disciplining errant soldiers, the RSM/CSM usually commanded the respect of their men, even junior officers have to rely on the acumen of their Enciks in making the right decisions. There have been many a time when my first CSM, Encik A, saved my glute’s skin and the collective backsides of the company and its permanent staff.

"Misadventures of Encik L" is a series of stories of one unusual CSM who will ever reside in my memory.

The story begins when Encik A transferred out of the company into the Training Office, there was great contention as all of us weren’t exactly excited with a new CSM – the infamous Encik L. When he did arrived, he was immediately caricatured as being a ‘no-hoper’ (he looked a little like a plump giant balding hamster) who wouldn’t last the competitive spirit that governed our company.

As if to confirm our predictions, Encik L wasn’t the most inspiring example of garang-spiritedness when he took the company out on an introductory run.

Early in the morning sun, we’re out running having fun, wayyy-looooww, wayyy-looooww, wayyy-looooww…” The plaintive cry of the snaking column of men and their sergeants wafted through the humid dawn air of Tekong as we keep a measured jogging pace.

Yes, not exactly an inspiring moment, no red rising sun in the background, no hazy mirage, no chirping of song birds in your ears (but helluva lot of giant mosquitoes and other blood-sucking Tekong mutants buzzing around). But this uninspiring moment was just about to take a turn for the worse…

I swear this is true… as the company turned back into the camp, Encik Y turned round and sort of ran backwards so that he could “inspect” his men and scream some vague vulgarity that would inspire the troops to respect him. The moment he finished that and decided to turn round, BAMMM!!!!!!!

WAHH KOWWWW!!!! He ran SMACK into a parked three-tonner!!!!

It was one of those arm flailing, head twisting, Stephen-Chow-moments. Steady dah! Must hurt like hell man. But with all the coolness Encik L could muster, he did some sort of awkward ballet (POI: Encik Y isn’t your model of litheness, rotund is the kindest word to use here) and steadied himself before nonchalantly half-run and half-stumble forwards.

All the platoon sergeants had to whisper sternly to the men “dounch u dare to laugh or u all sign extra” before all retreating behind a pillar to laugh their lungs to hell. At this point, I think Coy 2IC looked as if he was prepared to commit hari-kiri to redeem the company’s near miss with shame.

Seeing a three-tonner now will probably bring on a guffaw from everyone who was there that day…

More “Misadventures of Encik L” akan datang!

- zayam

11 comments:

Merenwen said...

OMG so cuuuuuuute!!!

I apologise for not commenting on your post proper, but really, the hamster is so darned cute with its little rifle! I love it!

zayam said...

haha merenwen, mai keh ki mai keh ki, comment foto or comment post also no ploblem.

But hamster dun tink it is cute, it tinks it is Super Garang Hamster (SGH)

Agagooga said...

Wah all converted to officers

lun said...

they converted? when i heard of them they were still warrants.

kureshii said...

yeah, how do CSMs and RSMs become CPTs? that's quite a big jump. or maybe you mean MWOs (shielded crab with 3 arrowheads)?

is that rifle from some gundam model kit? looks suspiciously familiar...

Agagooga said...

I know SWOs can convert to Major. Maybe it used to be Captain.

lun said...

if i'm not wrong, MWO and below can convert to full left the most. that's why many don't, cos the pay of a LTA's peanuts compared to a MWO

bubblewrapwaffle said...

wah piang oy the pic is so damn cute but the "misadventure" was so goddamn funny i couldn't help but really laugh out loud in the office.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! LOLLOL ROFL!!!

Merenwen said...

I tried to make my hamster pose with with a little toy plastic sword I have but the lil' bugger just wouldn't stay still, and kept flipping back the right way up! How did you get your hamster to keep still?

zayam said...

there is a widely avaliable calming lotion specifically designed for hamsters, look for the brand "Tiger Beer"... works on recruits, NCOs, WOWOs and Officers as well.

As for Tiger and Sham becoming officers, they were promoted to officers in 1976, then both retired as captains in 1987.

What is even stranger is that Tiger started as a clerk in 1 SIR in 1957. Sham started his military life in 1950 with the SVO.

Merenwen said...

You let your hamster drink beer?! OMG so evil!!! ;p