My General Staff Officer
The General Staff Officer (GSO), a lieutenant, was a careered soldier. Knowing our schedule well, he would solicit us to play carrom with him for two dollar per game. Explained to him that our pay were negligible, having just enough for transport fares and cigarettes. He said "well, then we settled on two sticks of cigarettes per game". We obliged. So, there we were, playing carrom from morning till evening, almost everyday. We have look-outs, in case other officers dropped-by.
The Manpower Officer (MPO), a second-lieutenant, was not happy with what was going on in the office. He summoned me to his office, asking for an explanation. Told him that we acted on instructions from the GSO. He instructed me to inform the GSO to stop all those nonsense. For the next week or so, we avoided the GSO, pretending to be busy so as to cool down the MPO a bit. We kept him in the dark. After that, we started all over again. The MPO gave up.
The GSO was a compulsive gambler. He would gamble on everythings and with anythings. When we were required to do guard duty, patrolling the camp at night with him as the duty officer, he would solicit some guards to have a game of poker. Whenever someone was on leave, he would call him up, arranging for some card games. All of us would pop into his car, telling the military police on duty at the gate that we were paying a visit to someone who had been hospitalised. In the long run, it aroused the suspicious of the military police, asking more in-depth questions but nonetheless, we were given the benefit of doubts.
Under military laws, whenever we were reprimanded by officers, we could answer with either "yes, Sir" or "no, Sir". Other than that would be considered as talking back or argued and we could ended up with 40 days of detention, handed down by the officer concerned without having to be court-marshalled. Our GSO was totally different from others. We poked funs on him, addressing him with all sorts of funny names instead of 'Sir'. He just laughed it off. Sitting face to face with each other, I would kick the shin of his leg with my army boots, he did likewise. It went on and on, in the end we started to wrestle each other physically. From the Defence Ministry's point of view, with these kind of behaviour, he should not had been commissioned as an officer in the first place but to us, he was the 'darling' officer of the camp. He blended well with us.
Later, he was transffered to other camps. The last camp attached was on an island, away from the mainland. Handphone was not available at that time. To call mainland, there were coinaphones. As the officer-in-charge, he possessed the keys to all these coinaphones. He collected the money without reporting. He was placed under camp arrest and because his in-law was a senior officer, he was discharged from the army with a bad record.
I met up with him years later. Told me, his son had grown up and his wife divorced him years ago. As a university graduate, he was not able to secure a good job because of his past wrongdoings. I felt sorry for him but at least I could still see the don't-worry-be-happy kind of attitude in him.
Good luck, Sir!