Lt Kol Datuk Abdul Hamid bin Ibrahim, (Bersara) was born in Johor Bahru, Johor on 10 September 1937. He had his primary education at the English College, Johor Bahru, Johor. He joined the Boys’ Wing, Federation Military College, Port Dickson in 1953, where he had his first taste of military life. After Form V, he was selected to attend the officer cadet training at the Officer Cadet School, Eaton Hall, Cheshire, UK in 1956 together with 19 others and later at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK. He was commissioned on 2 August 1958 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Malay Regiment and started his military career as a platoon commander in the 5th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment which was then based in Alor Star.
His career in the Malaysian Armed Forces was short since he requested for early retirement, after serving the Armed Forces for only 17 years. He was promoted to Lt Kol and commanded the 1st Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment from 15 Dec 1969 to 2 April 1971 after which he was posted to the newly formed Armed Forces Staff College, Haigate, Kuala Lumpur as a Directing Staff. His last appointment was as a Staff Officer in the Ministry of Defence.
After leaving the Armed Forces in 1975, he joined a consulting firm before starting his own company dealing with management search. During this time he began his involvement with the ex-services activities and joined as a member of the “Persatuan Bekas Tentera Malaysia” (PBTM). In 1980 he was elected as a Vice-President of the PBTM, a post he held for three 2-year terms until 1985. Whilst as a Vice-President, he was appointed a Senator for a two 2-year terms 1983/1987, a post which was earlier held by the President/Deputy President of PBTM.
He was also the President of the “Old Putera Association”, the alumni of the ex-students of the Boys’ Wing, Federation (later, Royal) Military College, for the 2-year term 1975-1977.
At the international level, he was actively involved in the activities of the World Veterans Federation (WVF), based in Paris, France since 1982, intitially representing PBTM. He was elected as Vice President in 1988 and held the post until his election as Treasurer General in 1997. In 2000 he was elected as its President, the first Asian to be so elected, and re-elected in the subsequent four 3-year terms in 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012.
In 2000, he initiated the formation of the “Kelab Pegawai-Pegawai RAMD” aimed at providing a vehicle for the activities of the officers of the regiment. He was the President from 2000 to 2006.
In 2005, he formed the “Armed Forces Veterans’ Council” with the object to co-ordinate the activities of the various Armed Forces veterans’ associations and clubs. He was the President till his passing. In 2010, he was elected as a council member and later as the Honorary Secretary of the “Persatuan Pesara Kerajaan Malaysia”, (PPKM).
For his service to King and Country, he was bestowed the honour “Pahlawan Jasa Negara” (PJN) which carries the title “Datuk” in conjunction with the 81st BIrthday of SPB Yang DiPertuan Agong on 02 Jun 2002. In addition, he was also duly recognized by a number of other member countries of the WVF.
Datuk Abdul Hamid had truly associated himself, or for that matter his life, with the affairs and the well-being of the Armed Forces veterans through the various veterans’ associations after leaving the Armed Forces in 1975. He had provided the care, dedication, service, initiative and leadership at the national and international levels which surpassed the call of duty. To him we pay this tribute and may he be remembered as a true veteran.
Datuk Abd Hamid left us on 5 October 2014 at 2215 hours at the Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan, Kuala Lumpur after battling with cancer, diagnosed in July 2014. He was laid to rest at the “Tanah Perkuburan RAMD” in Port Dickson on his request and approved by the RAMD Regimental Committee, on Monday, 6 October 2014 at 1130 hour, organized by the RAMD Secretariat, Army HQ, attended by fellow veterans from the RMAS, RAMD, RAFOC, friends and Ketua Pengarah JHEV. Also present were representatives from the Singapore Armed Forces veterans’ association.
He was married to Datin Samihani bt Abdullah and blessed with four children and eight grand-children. May Allah bless his soul and place him with those who are so blessed and loved by Him.