Monday, July 29, 2013

Royal Military College : We Need More Non-Bumi Puteras

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 Aspiration
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). 

Military Discipline

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. 
General Requirement:
2010 PMR student (boys only)
Malaysian citizen
Physical Requirement:
Boys only
Minimum height 152cm
Minimum weight 40.5kg
BMI between 18-27
Calling Non-Bumis
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).


  1. well said. My father is an OP and proud being one ... :)

  2. well said!! c'mom guy!

  3. If I could turn back time, I'll register myself here!

  4. Minimum weight 40.5CM?

  5. Applied, but disqualified. haha. That was some 38 years ago.

  6. artikel yg berguna..padat dgn info wlpon ringkas =) tq sir

    -OP Fazeerul, F Coy, LORDS 9902.

  7. very the touching la sir....
    proud being one

    -OP Hasril, D Coy, LORDS 9902

  8. hi stupe. may i know how did u do to slot in your kids even in 2022 ..? my dad was OP74 :)
    thank you for sharing anyway.

    p/s saw u (and take photo of u & your kids at finishing line) during last pd tri.

    1. 2021 if he qualifies. He has to get in via his own merit :)

  9. Hi my son is just after upsr. Do they take in students for form 1.

  10. Dear Tristupe, my son has applied to RMC for 2014 intake. Now we heard that PMR results may only be released December 23, which is rather late. I take it then that successful candidates for interview will only be contacted in January as RMC needs 2 weeks to write to all shortlisted applicants for the interview. Therefore, he continues to attend school until then? There are book purchases to be considered. How do you advise we proceed on this? Thank you.

    1. Caroline - sorry I just saw this. Did he manage to get in?

  11. Dear Tristupe, my son got 3A and 4B's in his PMR result with a A in science & maths .is there any chances for him to enter RMC.he had already apply for RMC 2014 intake. Thank you.

    1. Hi Veni,

      The selection panels will decide if the results is good enough. Was he called for the interview?

    2. No my son was not called for the interview.

    3. Hi Veni. The minimum qualifications is 7A but for those excell in Co curriculum activities a minimum of 5A may be considered. 3A is far from the minimum qualifications. Tq

    4. Thank you En.Mohd Khairil for your reply.

  12. Hi Tristupe, since you are encouraging many non-bumiputras to apply to RMC but I think you should also know why many selected bumiputras and non-bumiputras quit from RMC within the period of one to six months staying in RMC. Why don’t Tristupe call these boys and interview them and ask them the reasons why they quit, is it because they can't take the regiment training and discipline or cannot take being abused (physically and mentally) by seniors through their inhuman acts and irresponsible behaviour. Is there anyone checking on these seniors? They seem not to care about the image of RMC. To be specific, I heard from boys who left RMC within one to six months, they say the seniors rag them at late nite. These boys do not mind being ragged by seniors if they have to polish their shoes, make their bed, doing some push-ups, washing their clothes all these are fine or even some kicks, punches and knocks on the head. But what they can't take is being beaten brutally (inhuman act) punching the nose until it bleeds, boxing the jaws almost dislocate, kicking hard in the stomach. When the junior stands for his human right the group of seniors come in groups of 6 -8 boys and literally carry the junior into an isolated room and prey on him. If the junior complains to the commanders the seniors are not afraid because they would ask other seniors to continue threatening the junior until he quits RMC. I heard in one case a junior was even burned in his elbow with a lighter and there were bruises and scratches on his body. Is there regular routine checks made in the dormitories? I heard some juniors found knives and sharp objects hidden in the mattresses of the seniors. Why are the juniors leaving RMC within one to six months ? May be RMC should have a person acting as a student to find out what really happens in the nite in the absence of commanders. I wonder how come the seniors are so angry and bitter and can't wait to REVENGE and vent their anger and prey on the juniors is it because they themselves were victim of abuse by their seniors. Looks like to end this cycle, the seniors should have a separate dormitory and should not be mixed with the juniors since all abuse happens in late nite and weekends. Juniors staying in outstation do not go home during the monthly break they are brutally abused. Also seniors are not serious about their studies and it seems preying on juniors is their sole entertainment, may be RMC should look into how to help the seniors whose focus for excellence has been diverted. What is the percentage of straight A's in RMC? If some counselors and experts could be given an opportunity to go into RMC and help the abused seniors I am sure RMC can produce World Class Leaders because of their HOLISTIC PROGRAM. I support RMC motto ie SERVE TO LEAD and Not Abused To Lead. A leader is formed in the process of serving his high rank officers, this is well accepted by all parents when they have decided to send their boys to RMC. As a mother I did my homework by asking and checking around and I have friends who would call me from Penang and tell me that I would regret if I sent my boy to RMC. Deaths took place in RMC in 2010, 2012, will there be any in 2014?
    It is my desire that RMC should shine and be actively involved in producing Good, Responsible, Trained, Humble and Respected WORLD CLASS LEADERS.
    All the information that I have shared are feedback obtained from some parents and friends. Tristupe, please advice us and I think you are in a good position to explain to us since you are an OP. CONCERNED MOTHER

    1. Dear Concerned Mother.

      I read your message loud and clear. I am forwarding your concerns to people I hope will take action.

      Ragging is shameful and in these time and age, it should not happen. What I see is bad tradition that has been passed down and people feeling superior, but in fact, lack self-esteem.

      Allow me to share this with my fellow OPs.

    2. Thank You Tristupe for taking the necessary action to convey the message to people who have the POWER and AUTHORITY to set SYSTEMS and STANDARDS to SAVE the IMAGE of RMC.

      RMC must continue IMPACTING the lives of Putras for many more generations to come. Our youngsters need to be disciplined and groomed. There must be POSITIVE Leadership Skills DEPOSITED into their LIVES. With immediate effect, I hope RMC will identify issues and crisis so that the General Public as a whole can always look up to RMC with Respect and Gratitude for RAISING and GROOMING their Sons to face the FUTURE and to be effective WORLD CLASS LEADERS. I hope the name of RMC will SHINE once again and will clear every fear and doubt from the minds of every parent in Malaysia. SYABAS ! LONG LIVE RMC. Concerned Mother

  13. Dear Tristupe, many tks for taking Concerned Mothers concerns to the kind attention of yr fellow OPs. Just wished for unwanted issues to be solved soon for the wellbeings of the juniors. My nephew has reported for the 2014 intake yesterday, 05/02/14.

    1. Thank you sir/ma'am. Please let me know if there are anything I can help to convey if there are any other issues that may concern you.

      Notably, the institution do not condone bullying and ragging.

  14. Dear TriStupe, my son been called for interview this Saturday (15th Feb 2014) for second intake, am glad if you could share a few tips. Thank you.

    1. Congrats sir. Just go as he is and all be fine. RMC is looking for leaders. This is his chance to shine!

  15. Hi TriStupe,

    I was a former student when they were taking in applicants after UPSR(started in Form 2).It is an amazing school with a lot of pride and character but unfortunately I had a bad experience. I only spent 3 weeks at RMC because I could not stand the ragging from the seniors.I am of an indian background and trust me if you are a non-bumi you will be racially taunted.Don't get me wrong there are some nice students that were very friendly but there were many that were religiously fanatic.I was personally summoned to one of the seniors room and ragged(punished) in front of everyone because I did not get along with many of the muslim boys.I loved the school and the military side of it but the students and seniors tarnish the reputaion of the school.

  16. Sushil - this is very distressing. I am sorry you have to go through this. I believe there is nothing wrong with the religion, it got to do with the individual and their upbringing. Don't lose hope. I am sure you turned out better that you could had.

  17. Replies
    1. Would had been better if I am still there - as a serving officer!

  18. When was RMC stopped taking form 1 intakes? (I mean, the year they started to takes only form 4 boys)

    1. They stopped in 1991. The last batch of Form 1 intake graduated in 1995. So in 1991, there are two intakes - the F1 and the F4.