Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
In the middle of 2009, Robert Bonner from the official website of The Manchester Regiment of the British Army found my blog http://pgbwarrior.blogspot.com/ Since then I have been communicating with “Apai Tuai” George and the later. ( “Apai Tuai”is an Iban title respectfully given to an elder.)
Through the blog they knew about my attempt to research the exploits of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers and their involvement in the First Malayan Emergency 1948 – 1960.
“Apai Tuai” George was with the Manchester Regiment in Malaya in the early 50s and he personally knew some of the Iban Trackers such as Cpl Adrian Tandang, who died later in a contact with the CTs. He has fond memories of them.
My two-way relationship with Apai Tuai George has been very fruitful. He has given me a lot of invaluable informations that have thrown lights on the otherwise mysterious Iban Trackers in Malaya.
The Manchester Regiment had suffered a number of KIAs. Six of them were laid to rest in Kamunting Christian Cemetery (Taiping).
Apai Tuai George had requested if I could take pictures of the burial sites and send them to him through their website, which I finally did on 3 December 2009. Sorry George for the delay.
I went down to Kamunting Christian Cemetery that morning. The Cemetery is situated along the Taiping - Kamunting road - just about two kilometres from the centre of Taiping town and about 200 metres from TESCO and Taiping Sentral. It is sandwiched between residential / business lots and a BHP petrol station. The Cemetery is no longer in use. There are a number of Commonwealth Forces KIAs buried there. When I came in, I met two Tamil men (father and son) who were apparently the caretaker of the place. They seemed to know the locations of each and every headstone there. When I inquired about the six Manchesters, they brought me to the locations without hesitation.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Kota Sentosa 15-acre site for heroes
With monument and cemetery plot identified, remains of rangers and trackers set to return home
KUCHING: The dream of bringing home the remains of Sarawak Rangers and trackers who were killed in the peninsula and Singapore during the Emergency is now a step closer to realisation with their final resting place identified.‘Ops Ngerapuh’ organising chairman Lt Col (Rtd) Robert Rizal Abdullah announced yesterday that Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) chairman Datuk Talib Zulpilip had helped to locate a piece of land for the Heroes’ Monument and the cemetery near Kota Sentosa.
“A 15.4-acre state land has been identified by the Land and Survey Department as the site for the Heroes’ Monument where the remains of the Iban trackers and Sarawak Rangers killed and buried in Semenanjung and Singapore during the First Malayan Emergency will be relocated to,” he said in a press statement yesterday. Robert said according to Talib, who played an important role in helping the committee realise the plan, “the next phase is to get it officially approved and alienated to SEDC for that purpose”.
“The proposed design and layout has also been made. It will have to go through the committee before it is approved,” said Robert.
He said a fund-raising campaign would be launched and he hoped the states where they had given their lives to would also contribute to the fund.
Any remaining balance from the fund would be used to improve the welfare of trackers and members of the Sarawak Rangers still alive today, said Robert.
He said part of the fund-raising effort was the sale of multi-coloured T-shirts now in progress. According to him, a percentage of the sale would go to ‘Ops Ngerapuh’ Fund. Those who wish to make orders can call Lian Hun at 016-8950203.
Robert was inspired to organise the return of the dead Sarawak Rangers and trackers by the late Lance Corporal Ungkok Jugam, a Sarawak Ranger whose grave was found on a patch of green on a road shoulder in Jalan Langgar, Alor Setar last year.
Ungkok, who is from Lubok Antu, had served at the height of the first emergency in Malaya from 1948 to 1960. He was reburied in a more dignified grave at St Michael’s Catholic Church at Jalan Sultanah on April 28, 2009.
Since learning of Ungkok’s case, Robert had tracked down 21 Sarawak Rangers and trackers, including one border scout. They are buried at Batu Gajah Christian Cemetery, Cheras Road Cemetery, Kamunting Road Christian Cemetery, Batu Gajah Christian Cemetery and Kranji Military Cemetery in Singapore.
Robert’s plan had received the support of the state’s leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang.
Proposed Layout of the Heroes' Monument
Sunday, 16 August 2009
A rehearsal for the passing out parade in Siginting Camp, Port Dickson.
The Early Beginning
Saturday, 1 August 2009
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Op Ngerapuh - Bringing the Remains of Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers Home (Sarawak)
On 18 July 2009 I was told by my committee members in Kuching that the Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Alfred Jabu ak. Numpang wished to see me and the committee members. Understandably, it was to brief him on Op Ngerapuh and what we have planned for and done, before he begins work and see the Chief Minister after a long medical leave.
The following members accompanied me: the Chief Editor M Rajah, Editor Aden Negrace and Churchill of the Borneo Post daily, Major Monday Juhid, Director of Jabatan Hal Ehwal Veteran ATM Sarawak Branch, Major (Rtd) Micheal Riman PGB and Roland Duncan Klabu. The nation's most celebrated hero WO 2 (Rtd) Kanang ak. Langkau SP PGB was in attendance.
YB Tan Sri was most happy with the plan and assured us of the State Government's solid backing and will undertake to do what is required in order to push for the next move.