Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Plight of an ex-British soldier

Abdul Rahim and wife

18191973 LCpl Abdul Rahim Bin Abdul Karim enlisted in the British Army on 24 August 1962 in Singapore and served as a driver in the Royal Army Ordinance Corps (RAOC). As fate had it, he was struck by a sickness that eventually paralysed him. He was medically boarded out and on 6 June 1969 he was discharged from service - after having served for 7 years and 73 days. He went home to his village in Kuala Kangsar. Paralysed and with three additional mouths to feed, he must had found the going tough. The British Army regulation of not giving any form of pension to medically-boarded out personnels whose sicknesses / injuries were not due to service seemed cruel indeed. Abdul Rahim was not paid any pension. Early this year, after 31 long years, the family was making an effort to find out whether Abdul Rahim is entitled to a pension. Late though it may seemed, it is better late than never. On 5 September 2010, his son Norazman who is currently working in Kuching called me to find out whether I could help out. I couldn't turn down the request of a person in need. So, the next day I drove over to locate his father's house in Kg Talang Masjid, Kuala Kangsar, Perak. I found it without much difficulty. After acquiring the relevant details and documents, I left for Taiping an hour later. The chances of getting a invaliding pension seems bleak as it is clearly spelt out in the regulation. We are hoping for a charitable Briton to bend the rules a little and give Abdul Rahim some form of monetary allowance / compensation. I have sent a letter to that effect to the relevant authority in the UK. Meanwhile let us keep our fingers crossed.

Update: 8 February 2011

Following my inquiry letter to Service Personnel & Veterans Agency in the UK regards gratuity payment to Abdul Rahim, I'm afraid, I have reached the end of the road to help this ex-British Army soldier. The explanations given by the SP & VA are very clear: He is not entitled to a Disability Pension and the gratuity, though the amount of $172 was negligible, nevertheless was already paid out to him. What remain is the hope of getting some little monetary aid that are being dished out to the ex-British soldiers in Malaysia at the moment.


  1. If attempts to get monetary allowance / compensation from the British Army failed, then I will turn to JHEV.

    Have you seen my facebook? The picture I took this afternoon is there.