by Nicholas Yong
TO HEAR Colonel Ishak Ismail, 46, tell it, his decision to become a regular officer in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) was greeted with some incredulity.
Yesterday, his time in the military was capped in historic fashion - he has become the first Malay general in the SAF.
His promotion marks a milestone in Malays' efforts to be fully accepted in the military, a controversial issue ever since it was disclosed in 1987 that the SAF adopted a cautious approach in placing them in key positions.
Four other colonels were promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General or Rear-Admiral (One-Star) this year.
They are: Commander, Air Defence and Operations Command, Colonel Kwek Kok Kwong; Head, Joint Communications and Information Systems Department, Colonel Lee Shiang Long; Chief of Medical Corps, Colonel (Dr) Seet Hun Yew Benjamin; and Commander, Maritime Security Task Force, Colonel Tan Wee Beng.
The SAF is promoting 464 officers from the army, navy and air force to the next higher rank with effect from July 1 this year.
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