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Duty vs Moral

(Image source:

I watched Black Hawk Down recently and despite the low projection of Malaysians’’ involvement in the rescue (what did you expect?); the movie was overall detailed enough to how a simple mission went awry and end up becoming commander’s worst nightmare.

19 US soldiers died in the mission gone awry but there were many who managed to do their job well – defending their comrades or taking part in the rescue mission. One particular action stands out.

In the Battle of Mogadishu, Master sergeant Gary Ivan Gordon and Sgt. First Class Randall ‘Randy’ David Shughart volunteered to secure the second crash site when it was clear that the High Command did not want to risk sending another Black Hawk for rescue mission to the site.

Both Gary and Randall knew that it was a one way ticket for them – the remaining of the forces on the ground was still tied up in the battle with the Somalians at the first crash site.

(Master sergeant Gary Ivan Gordon. Image source: Wikipedia)

Gary and Randall managed to rescue the downed pilot Michael ‘Mike’ J. Durant but as ammunition ran out and the number of angry mob grew, they got killed in action.

For their heroic effort, they were awarded a posthumously the Congressional Medal of Honour – the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government for someone who distinguishes himself “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States

There are always opportunities for everyone to distinguish themselves and act beyond the call of duty. When I was in Kabul and the project got delayed, my initial feeling was heavy but I knew that there is a job to be done. Working in a very hostile country where suicide bombers were of a norm, we worked non stop for 3 days without sleep to get the job done and well.

At the end of the day, you may have attitude problems and your moral standing may be called in question but you are doing your job well and beyond the call of duty, then there is nothing to say that you have failed and so you must leave.

This is what I thought when I read the Khir Toyo’s call for Elizabeth Wong to step down on “moral grounds”.

Who in the blue hell is Khir to be talking about moral grounds? The man is not an angel himself and been tied up with many allegations of corruption when he was the Selangor Chief Minister. If indeed one needs to step down on “moral grounds”, then a large portion of the ruling party politicians will be stepping down as well, probably starting with Khir Toyo himself.

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2 thoughts on “Duty vs Moral”

  1. When we suffered from Highland Towers, Ausie govt sent their experts to help. Now the Ausie govt are suffering from bush fires and were ignoring them and sending Gaza help..How awkward.

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