For the Sake of the Beloved Country, Members of the 5th Division Celebrate Eid at the Border

For the Sake of the Beloved Country, Members of the 5th Division Celebrate Eid at the Border

KENINGAU: Being away from loved ones during Eid is a difficult experience, but that’s the sacrifice that members of the 26th Royal Malay Regiment Battalion (26 RAMD) have to endure. Despite feeling the longing for family, the members of 26 RAMD under the command of the Fifth Infantry Division (5th Division), who were met at the Tactical Headquarters Keningau here, prioritize their responsibility of safeguarding the nation at the Malaysia-Indonesia border. “Being with family during Eid and being at the border are two different atmospheres, even our attire is different.

But we celebrate and can still contact our families during this celebration, so it eases our hearts. “Nevertheless, this is something I do to support the responsibility of safeguarding the country,” said 26 RAMD Officer, Lt. Col. Mohd Fuad Md Ghazali. A native of Bagan Datuk, Perak, he mentioned that during his 30 years of service, he has celebrated Eid at military camps several times, but this is the first time celebrating at the border as the frontline.

The 26 RAMD team has been carrying out Op Balasah for the past three months at the border, involving 12 control posts including Serudong and Long Pasia with the operational center at Tactical Headquarters Keningau, to curb negative elements including cross-border crimes. Captain (Dr) Nur Alia Syuhada Zakaria, who is celebrating Eid for the first time at the border, mentioned that close camaraderie has been established among the team members from Camp Kukusan, Tawau, the majority of whom are men, making the celebration lively and warm.

“As a team, both men and women face challenges together. It’s enjoyable here but of course, there’s sadness too because my parents are far away in Kelantan. “My parents understand my responsibility here and advise me to take care of myself,” said Nur Alia, who hails from Kota Bharu and has been a soldier for four years. She mentioned that stuffed glutinous rice in palm leaves is the dish she misses the most as it’s hard to find in Sabah. Warrant Officer I Ismail Mohamad stated that even at the border, he and his team members still decorate the camp and cook dishes like stuffed glutinous rice, rendang, and lemang.

“My mother is far away in Kedah, when I call her, she feels sad that her child is far away in Sabah, but she understands my responsibility here. My wife and child are also in Tawau (Camp Kukusan) and not with me during this celebration, but the members of 26 RAMD are like siblings, we celebrate together,” he said, adding that this is his first experience celebrating Eid at the border. Hailing from Baling and having served for 22 years, he urged the public to appreciate the sacrifices of the military personnel by maintaining harmony among the multiethnic population. The Commander of the 5th Division, Major General Datuk Malek Razak Sulaiman, mentioned that the Eid celebration was held to boost the spirits of the 26 RAMD members, and he personally visited to inspect the preparations.

Having endured 42 years of challenges as a soldier, including duty at the Malaysia-Thailand border, he deeply understands the feelings of his subordinates. “In the past, celebrating Eid at the border was more challenging because there were no communication facilities with family like now.

“The Eid cards served as a remedy for longing, and we all waited eagerly for the arrival of those cards. There were no Eid songs back then because the radio wasn’t like today,” he recalled. However, he emphasized that even as times change, what remains unchanged is the spirit of the nation’s warriors that never fades. “Even though we celebrate Eid at the border, we are willing to do it for the sake of defending the country we love!” he said, reflecting the spirit of ‘Nerang Separang,’ the division’s motto meaning ‘swift to attack’ in the Bajau language.


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