Budak Boy

Budak Boy.

That’s the name you give to the boys from the Boys’ Wing, of the Royal Military College. My former classmate at St John’s became a ‘Budak Boy’ and is now married to a member of the Johor Royal Family. When he came over to where I was at (Sekolah Melayu Jalan Stesen), he was a Senior Under Officer.

When I was an Officer Cadet, there were Budak Boys in my squad. One of them was far older than we were because he went AWOL in Australia while being a MINDEF scholar – so he was given a choice to either pay back the scholarship, or join the Armed Forces. He chose the latter. But being a Budak Boy, he was the King of Dodgers.

Budak Boys are famous for dodging. Apart from this old Budak Boy, there were at least 5 other Budak Boys. We also had 5 Other Ranks amongst us – all were Corporals who made it as Officer Cadets. So, we had 11 dodgers. They can have conjunctivitis, swelling of the feet, and all the illnesses mentioned would appear everytime there is a Road March, Forced March, Jungle Exercises – and I learnt quite a few tricks like: how to use the same drill attire daily, clean, iron and reuse, without using the other pair which is being laid-out for daily inspection. Yes, we were only given two Number 4 uniforms (drill attire), one is permanently laid-out inside the wardrobe while the other one gets used more often than a popular cheap whore. So, there is a trick on how to wash the uniform without causing much crease for easy ironing later. We would use the same one day in day out.

One of my squadmates, a Budak Boy, is a true champion. During the 14 months that we were undergoing training, he was the only one who could occasionally go back to his hometown, or be in an out-of-bounds area without getting caught, or escape when caught. Upon joining the service, we all had to surrender our identity card, and assume a military ID (called BAT C10A, a temporary ID). This guy had reported the loss of an IC and had a new one issued to him. So he surrendered one and kept the other one. He would also get his mother to send telegrams to the Officer Cadet School to inform of the deaths of his grandparents (all four, one at a time), and of uncles and aunts. The thing is, they have all died years before he joined the service. So he would have a jolly time back in Penang for several days while we go through our daily tortures.

A week after I reported for training, my father came to visit me. I had disappeared the previous week to report for training without his knowledge. Bukit Aman had informed the camp, through MINDEF, that he was going to visit me one Sunday. That had the whole camp in panic as a 4-star General, the chief of a service, was going to visit the camp. The Commandant, Instructors, even the mess staff had had their weekend pass cancelled, and the quarter guard had to undergo short training sessions.

Anyway, after my father had left, we all congegrated near the parade square. One squadmate commented on how the whole camp was thrown into action stations when my father came to visit.

“Menggelabah Komandan bapak Rahmat datang. Siap quarter guard lagi,” said this squadmate. Then the squadmate who was always going back to his hometown said, “Eleh, itu bapak Rahmat. Kalau bapak aku datang, semua orang cabut lari!”

We wondered and asked him why. His reply was simply:

“Sebab bapak aku dah mati!”

Budak Boy.

They can even joke about things like that.

Oh, he is now a Major in the Air Defence branch.

How do they get instant conjunctivitis? They masturbate and rub semen into their eyes.

How do they get swollen feet? They wrap their feet in minyak bawang overnight.