Thursday, July 17, 2008

Battle of Balaclavas

As a young ship's officer, I often wore a balaclava to protect myself from the biting cold during "anchor stations" in bad weather. A balaclava or ski mask is essentially a form of woolen headgear covering the whole head, exposing only the face and often only the eyes. It was first worn by soldiers at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War in 1854, which was also the scene of the famous Charge of the Light Brigade where an entire section of British cavalry was almost wiped out after a reckless and foolhardy sabre charge at Russian artillery. It later transpired that the fiasco occurred chiefly due to faulty intelligence reports, miscommunication and deep animosity between two aristocratic battlefield commanders, the Earl of Lucan and Lord Cardigan (who also had a piece of woolen clothing named after him) out to impress their boss.

Nowadays, the balaclava is usually worn by Alpine skiers, covert security forces to prevent identification and very shy criminals out to rob a bank or something.


PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim was arrested yesterday by balaclava-clad police commandos (photo) in 15 cars in a scene reminiscent of a similar arrest 10 years ago, but was not charged and has subsequently been released on police bail. The manner of this high handed police action, one hour before the stated deadline he was to report at a police station was absolutely amazing and has been described by his wife Dr Wan Azizah as an overkill and "absolutely unnecessary". This is now a subject of much discussion in the blogosphere. Read Rocky's take, "The Bala-clavas are back!", here and Lim Kit Siang's "Police Black Eyes", here.

In another development, fellow blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin was also reported to have been arrested and charged in court for criminal defamation earlier today (read the Malaysiakini report, here), but he is now believed to have been released after he posted bail.


  1. shame on the police, this is so poorly planned, it cannot be the work of any cunning, calculative and manipulative political strategist. I agree too that it's completely unnecessary. Thanks for vindicating Anwar already.

  2. i dont understand why the police could not wait for a bit more time.i'm pretty sure there's something wrong somewhere.poor guy.

    this somehow makes the police look bad before the public.

    the real question is;who give such order to detain Anwar earlier than the police should?

  3. capt. sir

    i learnt something from this posting today

    >> the history of balaclava..and
    >> the role of our police commandos.


  4. capt., it looks like we are paying taxes for those 'gangsters to protect those politicians from their imaginary foes! not from robbers who robbed your friend! I sincerely believe that this arrangement had been make to allow saudara DSAI the extra votes he will get come the next by-election!!DSAI, they may force you to lose some dignity, but the blessings in return will be ordained!!

  5. Capt,

    First,Dy Home minister said what's the diff between 20 and 50 minutes (talking abt early arrest of DSAI). Then Najib said same thing.I can accept such answer only from Ketua Cawangan UMNO. By the way, we should invite Najib to a function at 9am. When he turns up at 8.45 we should say sorry you're too late.


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