10 DECEMBER 2022
OPA Sarawak Homecoming 2022
“Homecoming”, a theme that gathered, rejuvenated and rejoiced 39 attending Old Puteras (OPs) and the rest of their families that made out 103 guests on Saturday, 10th December 2022 at Kem Muara Tuang in Kota Samarahan, near Kuching, Sarawak.
Although 39 was a small number, the real strength of OPs throughout Sarawak whom materialized this event were more than 150 OPs (current participants in OPA Sarawak whatsapp group). This notion was demonstrated by the amount of support by indirect assistance on promotion & publicity, purchased of merchandises and sponsorships.
The event was jointly-organized by army personnel of the Markas Panglima Medan Timur Tentera Darat and Old Putera Association Sarawak (OPA Sarawak), a separate entity yet a strong affiliate organization of The Royal Military College Old Putera Association (OPA) based in Subang, Selangor.
OPA Sarawak was officially registered to the Registrar of Society (ROS) on 31st May 2022 but its existence was older than that. It was formerly known as OPA Sarawak Chapter, a subsidiary of OPA.
It has been existed for at least 15 years. Lead by OP Ir. Zawawi Talha @Embong, activities held were objectively on localized-basis, from charity donation drive to a grand dinner in 2010 officiated by the present Sarawak Head of State, Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Bin Mahmud, formerly Sarawak Chief Minister then.
Membership of OPA Sarawak is not only meant for Sarawakian OPs, it is applicable to all OP regardless of their origin. However, most of its members had prior served or studied in any parts of Sarawak.
Back to the essence of this article, the event was greeted by a morning sprinkle which created a very soothing weather condition by noon. Speaking of blessing, the event might had faced a scorching hot condition should the morning weather appeared less cloudy. Nonetheless one need to accept it since the event was held within the monsoon season.
Respective guests were at the venue as early as 0645H and received their Event T-shirts and had their breakfast at the officers’ mess.
The first affair of the event was a group photos forefronted by the event Guest of Honour (GOH); YBhg. OP Mejar Jeneral Dato’ Reizal Arif bin Tan Sri Ismail, Chief of Staff, Markas Pemerintahan Medan Timur Tentera Darat, Kem Muara Tuang.
Guests were then directed to spectate the firearms demonstration by the army personnel. It has drawn a very exciting experience especially for the OP kids which hopefully aspired them to follow their fathers’/grandfathers’ footsteps by enrolling as “Budak Boy” when the right time comes.
Besides that, guests were also exposed to jungle-survival demonstration and OP wives were stunned when the army personnel patronised them on how to cook the army way. Hence, there was a booth giving a free survival food-tasting of roasted squirrels, monitor lizards and monkey flesh; fresh from the untouched greeneries of Muara Tuang Army Camp.
As noon approached, all guest were once again invited to a very accommodating lunch cum souvenir-giving/closing ceremony at the same officers’ mess, they had breakfast much earlier.
In conclusion, greatest gratitude to the Almighty for a zero unwanted incident during the event and a heartfelt appreciation to all army personnel lead by unconditional collaboration from YBhg. OP Leftenan Jeneral Datuk Mardzuki Bin Muhammad, Panglima Medan Timur Tentera Darat.
“Serve To Lead”
By OP Ir. Zawawi Talha @Embong (E Coy 1973-74)
31st December 2022
Persatuan Bekas Putera Maktab Tentera Diraja, Sarawak