Many of you would know that i spent two (very formative) years in Royal Military College, Malaysia. It is situated in Sungai Besi. Yes, that small cowboy town that you will pass through on the way down south. It is in a Military Camp by the way.
The Royal Military College (also known as RMC) is a school established to train young Malaysians for service in the Malaysian Armed Forces. The RMC campus covers an area of 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) near the town of Sungai Besi with a view of the Mines Resort and the Selangor Turf Club.
RMC consist of Boyswing and Cadet Wing. in 1995, the Cadet wing was moved south to Johor, leaving Boyswing as the only unit in Royal Military College. This was done as the (then) Akademi Tentera Malaysia (ATMA) started operation, which later turned into the National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM). Locally, it is known as Maktab Tentera Diraja.
We refer a current student of RMC as Present Putera, while a graduate of the institution is known as an Old Putera or "OP" in short. The term Putera, literally meaning prince in Malay, is attributed to the RMC's royal status.
|Royal Military College aerial view|
Discrimination In RMC?
RMC is the only boarding school in Malaysia that will allow the students (Puteras) a balanced experience in both inside and outside of classroom activities. Being linked to the Ministry Of Defence and the Ministry of Education, RMC has a special status where both Ministries are involved in the academic and military growth of the Boys (yes, this is an all-boys boarding school).
We live a full military life. Uniforms. Inspections. Training. Punishments. We are governed by military officers and are treated like one. But the one thing that RMC (which we call "College") pride itself with is the multiracial and multi religious mixture of the College. No where in Malaysia you will find a boarding school that is multiracial. During my time in the 90's, the mix was very healthy and it includes all creed and races. "Color" as we know, has no bearing in RMC - what mattered most is the Esprit de Corp or the cohesion of the Boys as an Unit.
Naturally being a tight unit, RMC often excel in sport and Rugby was naturally one of them. The empahsis on physical activities via sports and military fitness has set the base for many of the ex-student (known as Old Putera) to be active and still fit way past their prime. I can say I am one such example with many others that has proven themselves by representing the country in sports like Hockey and Athletics.
RMC, as they say, is not to produce "bookworms" but to allow and prepare the Boys to be leader. The motto of the College "Serve To Lead" are held closely by all Old Puteras until today. Many of the OPs (short form for Old Puteras) has returned to the association to "give back" to the College and to the needy. Bear in mind that this institution limits it's yearly intake to about 120 students - and to date, there are less than 3000 OPs (dead or alive).
Do not mistake us for Military Cadet like those in school. At tender age of 13 for many of those around my age, they were put through hard-formative years that has ingrained the "never give up" attitude. I've joined RMC after my SRP in 1991. Those two years there were when I learnt independence and discipline that has given me very much the edge in everything I do in life nowadays.
One of the main worries my relatives (and parents) has when I joined RMC was the racial profiling. Back in the 90's, things were still OK compared to recent years where racial profiling (and hatred) were being uttered unbearably. In RMC, up till today, you are treated equally by the officers and teachers. In RMC, you are recognised by your regimental number. Your name is secondary. Your race non-existence. You eat, sleep, bath, train and schooled at the same level as everyone else. Though the regimental number were segregated between the Bumis and Non-Bumis, but that is all about it. This College provides the platform for full national integration without prejudice. There is no fakery in the College because the only thing that mattered is how you fit into the Military way of life - not who you are, or what you are.
|Multiracial. Multi ethnic. Multi religious.|
My reason for highlighting this is because RMC is calling for entry into the next intake, typically after the year's PMR Exam.
2010 PMR student (boys only)
Minimum height 152cm
Minimum weight 40.5kg
BMI between 18-27
The College has announced an increased qouta for entrance. It has been revised upwards to minimum of 17%. As highlighted in The Star dated July 24, 2013, the Commandant has called for more Chinese and Indians (particularly Chinese parents) to join RMC. Perception need to be corrected and myself, being a product of RMC must step in and support this cause.
To further clarify:
NO, you do not need to be a military officer upon graduation - but it certainly will give you an advantage in the services if you did (join). Most RMC boys are preferred candidates to be pilot with airlines because we already have the basic training of being in Uniform. Back in the 80's and 90's, RMC boys taken in as cadet pilot spend 6 months less compared to others.
NO, you will not be discriminated just because you are non-bumi. We are all blood-brothers. We help each other out in time of need, even after leaving College since 1993, contacts between most of us are very much alive and well.
NO, you won't convert to other religion just because you are in a Muslim majority School. RMC respects all religion and Puteras of other faith are free to practice their religion. In fact, the College provide transport out to house of worship on Friday (for Hindu Puteras, to the temple in town) and Sunday (for Christians for Sunday Mass or the Buddhist to temple in Brickfields). To add on more, On Friday, were Hindus are vegetarian, there are special menu for food. Beef are not served to Hindus and Buddishts and you will have substitute in form of fish or poultry or lamb.
|1993. Friday nights are dedicated to shining boots for the next day's military training.|
In RMC, students receive full government support in terms of uniforms (down to underwear, but lets leave those green uglies aside), text books and exercise books. We get "paid" a monthly stipend of (my time, RM50 for Form 5, RM10 less per age, downwards) RM100 (now). Honor and integrity is important and theft and mutual respect for each others' belonging is utmost important.
Make The Change
So, parents that are reading this and wonder what's next for their children's education, RMC can be a choice (in fact the first choice) to send the boys to. Take them out of their comfort zone and see them grow to be fine young gentlemen. They come back home and will impress you with their ironing, bed-making and perhaps amuse you on how they can cook with a pail and a heater only.
|How many boys in their teen get to fire a real rifle - and competent to do so.|
If you are interested for your boys to join RMC and be a product of RMC, You can always ask me any questions and I will be happy to help answer them - from my own personal experiences, no less.
|In uniforms that will get the girls' heart fluttering|
As a boarding school, RMC follows the MoE's syllabus. Academic excellence are one of the priority and the teachers in College are hand-picked from the best available teachers in the country. These teachers too come from all background and experiences, which lend to the diversity and "school of thoughts" the students will appreciate. In RMC, we produce Jack of All Trades, and we are Master of at least one thing. Make the change for your kids' education to RMC! (Yes, my son is slotted for intake 2022).