FORMATION, REVIVAL AND FUTURE
The need to form an organization which would maintain the ties and friendship amongst the retired officers of the Armed Forces from the three Services was recognised by a number of officers in the mid 1980s. It was not until 1986 that a group of retired officers led by former Chief of Defence Force YBhg. Jen Tan Sri Mohd Ghazali bin Dato’ Mohd Seth, decided to seriously work on the formation of such a club. Amongst those involved were former Chief of Air Force Allahyarham Lt Jen Dato’ Mohammad bin Taib, RMAF (Bersara), Kept Hj Jalaluddin bin Idris, RMN (Bersara) and Allahyarham Kol Mohd Zain bin Mohd Daud, (Bersara).
RAFOC was officially registered with the office of the Registrar of Societies, Kuala Lumpur on 9th September 1987. During the early years of its formation, RAFOC was able to organize a number of social and sporting activities amongst the retired Armed Forces officers from the three Services as well as sporting activities between the retired Armed Forces officers and the serving Armed Forces officers. Due to lack of interest and purpose, RAFOC has been dormant for the last few years.
In November 2009, a number of retired officers (outside RAFOC) organised a reunion dinner, which was aimed at arousing the esprit-d-corps and comradarie of the retired Armed Forces officers from the three Services. It was well attended by over 700 retired Armed Forces officers from the three Services and their wives. The dinner was graced with the royal presence of DYMM Tuanku Raja Perlis (as a retired Armed Forces officer) and DYMM Tuanku Raja Perempuan Perlis. YB. the Minister of Defence and his Deputy as well as the Service Chiefs or their representatives also attended the dinner. A number of former Chiefs of the Defence Force, former Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, were also there.
As a result of the dinner, it was felt by many that the retired Armed Forces officers should have a vehicle to organise such a reunion in the future. It was decided by the organisers of the reunion to revive RAFOC instead of registering a new club/association. In view of this, RAFOC, which was given notice for de-registration, was allowed to reactivate its activities and to hold its Annual General Meeting, to meet the requirement of the Registrar of Societies.
On 26th June 2010, RAFOC held its Annual General Meeting with the attendance of 68 members, exceeding the 50 required as the quorum. With the success of the meeting and the gradual increase in its membership which now exceeds 200 members, RAFOC can now play its role, primarily as the vehicle to organise activities for its members as well as the retired Armed Forces officers’ community. Hopefully with the majority of the retired Armed Forces officers joining as members, RAFOC can take its role to represent the retired Armed Forces officers’ community in its entire entity. Only then, RAFOC can be heard. Only then, RAFOC will be relevant. Only then, RAFOC can serve its purpose. Until then, RAFOC can only function as a vehicle to organise activities for its members and the retired Armed Forces officers’ community.
FROM “KELAB” TO “PERSATUAN”
At the last two annual general meetings held in 2011 and 2012, members approved the change of name of RAFOC from “Kelab Pegawai-Pegawai Bersara Angkatan Tentera” to “Persatuan Pegawai-Pegawai Bersara Angkatan Tentera”, yet maintaining the acronym “RAFOC”. Many felt that the word “Kelab” gave the connotation that the objects of RAFOC were merely social and recreational and did not reflect the other objects of RAFOC, namely, to look after the well being and interest of and to be the voice of the retired Armed Forces officers’ community on matters that affect them and the Armed Forces that they have served.
The Registrar of Societies Malaysia has officially approved the change of name of RAFOC with the use of the acronym “RAFOC” on and with effect from 31 October 2012. The change of name was officially announced by our RAFOC President during our Annual Dinner held on 3 November 2012 in Dewan Perdana Felda, Kuala Lumpur with the presence of YB. Menteri Pertahanan.
Under its new name, RAFOC will continue to play its role in providing the occasions for the retired Armed Forces officers to get together and to mobilise them to such occasions. RAFOC will continue to look after the well being and interests of the retired Armed Forces officers’ community and to liaise with the relevant authorities in ensuring such. RAFOC will continue to enhance the cordial relationship between the retired Armed Forces officers and the current serving officers of the Armed Forces. RAFOC have done all these and will continue to do so. All these objects are in our constitution, which has not changed except for the word “club” to be substituted with the word “association”.
RAFOC hopes with the change of name, more retired Armed Forces officers will register as members of RAFOC. RAFOC needs the number in our membership for it to keep going and for it to truly represent the majority of the retired Armed Forces officers’ community.
RAFOC will continue to be relevant and to serve its members.