The Ma­jor’s daugh­ters

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Family -

THEY say the ap­ple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but the late Ma­jor (rtd) Amat Puad was cer­tainly not pleased when his daugh­ter an­nounced that she was join­ing the armed forces. He brought up his fam­ily in mil­i­tary style but he didn’t ex­pect his daugh­ters to go into com­bat.

Capt Nur Afida Ah­mad Puad, 34, still re­mem­bers the day she told her father she in­tended to join the armed forces.

“It didn’t go down too well with Abah. As a mem­ber of the Ter­ri­to­rial Army Reg­i­ment, he was wor­ried about my safety, should I be mo­bilised to the jun­gles. He was also con­cerned if I could com­plete my mil­i­tary train­ing,” re­calls the third child of nine sib­lings.

It was only af­ter Capt Nur Afida proved her met­tle and was com­mis­sioned as sec­ond lieu­tenant at Kolej Ten­tera Udara in Kepala Batas, Kedah, that her father was con­vinced she had cho­sen the right path. She is now an air traf­fic con­troller with KD Ra­jawali at the Royal Malaysian Navy in Lu­mut, Perak.

“Abah was so proud and couldn’t con­tain his ex­cite­ment af­ter I be­came an of­fi­cer. Soon, he started to en­cour­age my sib­lings to en­list too,” says Capt Nur Afida, who has served for over 15 years.

Three other sis­ters have also joined the armed forces. Ma­jor Nurhuda Amat Puad, 37, is an of­fi­cer with the pay corp de­part­ment of the armed forces at the De­fence Min­istry in Kuala Lumpur and Capt Dr Nur Ami­rah Amat Puad, 35, is a fam­ily health spe­cial­ist at Kem Per­dana Sg Besi in Kuala Lumpur. Lieu­tenant Nu­razuwa Amat Puad, 31, is a naval of­fi­cer with KD Sul­tan Is­mail in Tan­jung Pen­gelih, Jo­hor.

“From young, we ad­mired Abah in his mil­i­tary uni­form. He looked dis­tin­guished and re­spectable. We as­pired to walk tall and serve in the army, just like Abah,” shares Capt Nur Afida.

Their father died of a heart at­tack in March, but his legacy lives on.

Nu­razuwa re­calls how her father em­pha­sised val­ues such as dis­ci­pline, obe­di­ence and re­spect.

“At home, Abah was the com­mand­ing of­fi­cer and we were like sol­diers. No TV, ra­dio or story books dur­ing school days. He was par­tic­u­lar about our choice of at­tire too. Our rooms had to be neat and tidy; our beds were made like hos­pi­tal beds, with sharp cor­ners,” re­calls Nu­razuwa. Those spar­tan days are long gone but Nu­razuwa and her sib­lings have come to ap­pre­ci­ate their late father’s strict ways. The girls say they are mo­ti­vated, or­gan­ised and coura­geous be­cause of how their father brought them up.

“Though a dis­ci­plinar­ian, Abah was a lov­ing father. He taught us how to be com­pas­sion­ate and re­spon­si­ble. He al­ways re­minded us to be strong, car­ing and loyal in our un­der­tak­ings – be it work or fam­ily mat­ters,” says the mother-of-three, who will be spend­ing Fa­thers Day with her fam­ily in Jo­hor Baru.

The late Me­jar (rtd) Amat Puad was with the Ter­ri­to­rial Army Reg­i­ment till his re­tire­ment. - re­copy

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