The guest-of-honour was Ltc. Dalgit Singh, CO of this Bedok Camp 1 unit. Of course the Hokkien Pengs joked about “Bai-singhs” and making remarks such as "BIG, STRONG & FRIENDLY", probably adopted from a recent Chartered Bank TV advertisement. There were lots of giggles on the parade square. Even the presence of WO1 “Tiger Ong” made no difference. Later that same evening OC Delta Company, a Lta Lau had all of us at the Company Line for “OC Talk” and after that a punitive lesson called “Change Parade”.
1. Dalgit Singh was a young lieutenant with 2SIR credited for single-handedly killing 6 or 7 Indonesians at Kota Tingi in 1965. Most military pilots would score a "kill" by painting a symbol on the aircraft; however this man was very different. He was always quiet and very stern-looking. From that day, “everybody took cover”.
2. We were told in no uncertain terms that if we lost our rifles; be it a part or a whole, sure “kenna big trouble”. Possible punishments often meant DB (detention barracks). It seemed at that time the SAF was bent on instilling a sense of responsibility; especially over weapons. Recently I came to know of a missing rifle by an infantry man in the Mandai Forest area. There was public coverage and many SAF personnel were deployed to find the rifle. I am not sure what has happened to this chap. In my opinion this episode has taught me something deeper than just the rifle. It taught me the significance of personal responsibility over what we do, and being responsible for its outcome - positive or otherwise.
Cadet C S Lam meticulously cleaning his precious AR-15
The story goes back to mid-1965 when the Indonesian regular army units parachuted into the Kota Tinggi region of Johore, Malaysia. After this incident, there were two other incursions into Johore; a parachute-landing at Labis and a beach-landing at Pontian.
In the next episode, an account of the Kota Tinggi incident and the people involved from 2SIR.