Arwah ayah saya bersama Sarjan Hassan di Port Dickson
Menurut arwah ayah saya, Sarjan Hassan memang seorang yang berani. Sarjan Hassan seorang yang gempal dan tidak banyak bercakap, dan arwah ayah saya mengakui Sarjan Hassan memang seorang pahlawan yang hebat semasa Perang Dunia Kedua sepertimana yang digambarkan P. Ramlee dalam filem Sarjan Hassan.
Menyentuh mengenai perisytiharan Port Dickson sebagai Bandar Tentera Darat, arwah ayah saya menyarankan agar kem-kem dan jalan-jalan di Port Dickson diberi nama kepada pahlawan-pahlawan negara yang telah banyak berjasa.
Banyak cadangan telah diberikan oleh bekas-bekas tentera apabila diisytiharkan Port Dickson sebagai Bandar Tentera Darat pada tahun 2009, adakah ianya hanya sekadar perisytiharan?
Army Town Proclamation Is Nation's High Recognition Of Soldiers' Contribution
PORT DICKSON, Oct 8 2009 (Bernama) -- The gold lettering carved in black marble at the camp's main entrance reads "Pusasda, Tempat Lahirnya Pahlawan" (Pusasda, The Birth Place of Warriors), with the "Harimau Berjuang" (Fighting Tiger) logo in the centre.
It was at this camp that 25 young Malay men were trained to become the first group of soldiers which later led to the establishment of Rejimen Askar Melayu Diraja (Royal Malay Regiment) on March 1, 1933.
The Royal Malay Regiment (RMR) later evolved to become a modern, professional and prestigious unit of the armed forces.
Known as Haigh Lines during the British administration, it is now named Pusat Latihan Asas Tentera Darat (Army Basic Training Centre) or Pusasda.
Its marching field holds nostalgia for recruits who later graduated to become soldiers charged with the responsibility of defending the country.
Port Dickson is also home to several army camps like Kem Lateda, Kem Pulamor, Kem Pusarti, Kem Pusat Olah Perang, Kem Sebatang Kara, Kem Segenting, Kem Sunggala, P.D. Garrison, Kem Sekolah Pengurusan Tentera Darat, Institut Kejuruteraan Jentera dan Elektrikal Tentera Darat, Kolej Tentera Darat, Kem Pusat Olah Perang Tentera Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu and Muzium Tentera Darat.
As such, the proclamation of Port Dickson as Army Town by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak on Oct 29 is apt.
The name of the town known as Tanjung and Arang was changed to Port Dickson in honour of Sir John Frederik Dickson, a high ranking British officer.
"The nostalgia comes flooding back. The Royal Malay Regiment was born here," said Warrant Officer (B) Sabaruddin Shaharuddin who served the 2nd Regiment, Royal Armour Corps at Kem Sunggala from 1987-1989.
Touched by Najib's proclamation, Sabaruddin said it would strengthen the team spirit (Espirit de Corps) of soldiers who chose to retire in Port Dickson.
For Lt Col (B) Malakan Kamaruddin, the proclamation was special as his late grandfather, the Undang Luak Rembau Datuk Abdullah Dahan was one of four founders of RMR in Port Dickson.
Malakan who joined the army in 1958 and was trained at Pusasda said many renowned soldiers trained there, including Lt Adnan Saidi and Sarjan Hassan.
"You think that Sarjan Hassan is a fiction by P.Ramlee? There was actually a Sarjan Hassan in camp, he was brave and I knew him.
"He was plump and did not talk much but his exploits during World War Two was the same as in the P.Ramlee movie."
He proposed that the name of camps and roads be replaced to that of soldiers who brought glory to the country.
Lt Commander (B) Mohammad Azmi Mohd Said said the army history of Port Dickson could be used to develop tourism as Muzium Tentera Darat had been expanded.
The Armour Corps also possessed several horses which could be utilised for tourism activities including shooting practice.
He said to mark the proclamation as Army Town, souvenirs in the form of cannon and firearms replica and keychains should be produced for sale to tourists.
Ex-servicemen who chose to retire in Port Dickson had urged the government to set up facilities so that they could start their own business.
"They also asked for swimming pool, housing, gymnasium and WiFi internet ," Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said recently.
There was also a proposal that a Universiti Pertahanan Nasional (UPN) campus be set up at Port Dickson to enhance its reputation as a resort town.
Dicatat oleh Den di 14.8.12