CDISS NDUM | Commentary

 

FILM VIDEO ON THE MALAYAN SPECIAL FORCE IN THE CONGO


Prologue.


Two Malayan Film Unit (now Filem Negara) were attached to the original Malayan Special Force: Honorary Maj Zain Syed Hassan and Hon Lt Amir Samsuddin. They were with us in November and December 1960. This video produced from the 35mm cine-camera by the duo capturing the first two months of the MSF arrival and activities in Leopoldville (Kinshasa). Maj Zain also acted as our Pro. He organised two visits for the MSF, the first was the outing to Lac Ma Valley where you see the troops enjoying paddling the Paddle Boats and the second a visit to the Polar Beer factory where we were entertained to a cultural show, including a dancing display by the two Congolese sisters. Congolese love dancing and their music.

The VIP seen coming out of the aircraft was President Joseph Kasavabu and the one who greeted and accompanied him was his Army Chief of Staff, Col Joseph Mobutu, later promoted to Maj-General.

The highlight of the video was The Presentation Parade to the UN Supreme Commander, Lt-Gen Carl Van Horn. It was a splendid parade considering we only had two days of rehearsals. It was held at the Ndolo Airport in the city, the equivalent of our Sungei Besi Airport. The spectators were mainly ONUC Senior staff and the Diplomatic Corps. The only Congolese was Maj-Gen Joseph Mobutu, then the new Strongman and defacto leader of the Congo. He had a reputation of boycotting all UN functions prior to this. His presence at our parade showed his respect for the MSF.

One interesting point in the video was the excitement of receiving mail from home, which the present Internet generation can never experience!

Lt Col Tan Siew Soo (Retired)

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2024-02-26 23:57