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yeah . . . just another blogger ... Alumnus VI KL; MU KL Retiree since 2001 Former workplaces : Public Services Commission, Malaysia. Ministry of Education, Malaysia. Oxford University Press. Penerbit Fajar Bakti Sdn Bhd.; Gapura Cita Sdn Bhd. Positions before retirement: Translator, Editor, Editorial Manager, Director, Publishing Consultant. Principle: Likes to live simple....... and will stay simple.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

RMAF Museum

Assalamualaikum and Greetings

'To be or not to be . . .'

The soliloquy ' to be or not to be ' in Shakespeare's play Hamlet has always been considered as the most famous in English drama. 

These exact words came to my thoughts and lingered on my mind when I went-a-visiting the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Museum at Jalan Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur. 

With due respect to one and all concern with the upkeep of this museum . . . my question then was: Is this museum ' to be or not to be? ' 

I visited the RMAF Museum on Wednesday 10 September 2014 after being convinced by a relative of mine, an ex-military officer, Lt Col Basri Omar (rtd) PGB, that I will surely love to see the exhibits at the museum.

Love to see the exhibits I did. It was indeed pleasant to note that many extinct aircraft / carriers of historical value are still available for public viewing . . . but then that was to be about all.

Enjoy my visit to the fullest satisfaction as a museum enthusiast? I shall prefer to reserve my opinion if not my judgement on that one.

I am jotting this down not to belittle the effort by certain quarters in the air force to uplift and upgrade the RMAF Museum standing to at least be at par with if not higher than that of other local museums in the country. 

The Army museum at Port Dickson or the Police museum in KL for instance will be fair examples of some better kept museum.

A museum by common definition will indicate a place where objects / artifact of historical, cultural, artistic or scientific interest are kept. These objects / artifact are for the public to see. 

The RMAF Museum is not lacking in the collection of objects / artifact to show (in fact some objects of 'museum piece' standard could be found right here) . . . but the upkeep / maintenance of some of these objects leave much to be desired (especially that of the aircraft in the open field!)

It is rather unfortunate I had to start my coverage with not so pleasant an intro. My observations could be far-fetched for an otherwise potentially good museum . . . given a better space and atmosphere to perform in. 

Moving on to something more positive . . . I would want to sum up this short intro of mine on a more encouraging note.

I would like to congratulate the RMAF Museum management team headed by its Director, Lt Col Roslan bin Manan RMAF  and ably assisted by Major Sukumaran P. Karunandi RMAF (ex-Nuri, Black Hawk, Alouette Pilot) for a job well done. The support staff were noticeably capable and helpful too. 

RMAF Museum Director

Lt Col Roslan bin Manan

Director n Deputy of RMAF Museum

Lt Col Roslan Manan RMAF(left); Major Sukumaran P. Karunandi RMAF

Good Support

Hafizzul (left) with Sukumaran

Several busload of young students were seen entering the premise. They arrived from as early as when the museum opens for daily operations.

They were from schools in the vicinity of the city including greater KL as well as from areas on the outskirts. 

The children were noticeably excited . . . and deeply interested in what they saw . . . the planes of course!

Their awesome experience . . .  a combination of both raw excitement and crisp imagination . . . should be nurtured and kept actively fresh in their heart, mind and soul . . . to be turned into a love for national heritage. 

. . . and . . . they are our younger set of Malaysians who will steer the nation in the long run! 

The school children left quite late in the afternoon . . . after enjoying themselves for quite a while . . . toying with the big boy's toy.

After all . . . it is not every day that one has the opportunity to get as close to as many aircraft of various make and model at one instant.

Many adults were also seen at the museum. They too were obviously 'fascinated' by what they saw.

L to R:

Voon, Sukumaran, Writer

I come to understand that these gentlemen were ex-RMAF pilots . . . Nuri and all . . . veterans and experts in their own right.

Let us now salute the 'stars' of today who were made from yesteryear's achievement and glory.  

[In actuality they came for a 'tv shoot' assignment . . . a national heritage documentary by a production house.] 

More lively  promotions of the RMAF Museum to the general public would definitely help attract more visitors to the museum.

When fully rejuvenated . . . the new look museum could perhaps be established as a 'compulsory' destination of visit to every RMAF personnel / new intake . . . at least once (or twice?) throughout their career with RMAF . . . (a moral obligation from within!)

It might also be useful to mention that the aircraft 'simulator' section / area be upgraded to create a more relaxed ambience.

The section / area must have 'd oomph' to capture the visitors attention and rouse their curiosity. 

It must at the same time appear challenging to the layman.

It will be no surprise when this 'simulator' thing turn out to be the 'star' attraction for visitors to this museum in the near future.

Indoor exhibits and artifact kept in various buildings of the RMAF Museum premise looked reasonably well maintained. 

All said . . . clearly the RMAF Museum management team . . . had rendered fantastic services in keeping the museum intact even while faced with many obstacles, and experiencing much restrictions and limitations. 

I trust with such continuous grit and spirit in getting the job done . . . the number of visitors to RMAF Museum will increase tremendously over the immediate years.

When this happens all of you will relish in the truthfulness of the saying :

What you sow you will harvest . . . 

You will reap the rewards of all your hard work!    

Thus in saying thank you to you and team for being both very professional and hospitable host, I wish you a successful ultimate in an unending endeavour. 

Writer with Museum Director Lt Col Roslan RMAF

Good luck to Lt Col Roslan Manan RMAF and Major Sukumaran P. Karunandi RMAF and all the team members.      


To all fellow Malaysians out there . . . do support our very own Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Museum. Our very own heritage!