The Major’s daughters
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