LCpl Ungkok ak. Jugam was a soldier of the elite Sarawak Rangers operating alongside the Commonwealth Forces at the height of the First Emergency in Malaya from 1948 to 1960. Attempts to find out how he died was unsuccessful.
However, it was believed that he died in a battle with the communist terrorists in the location where he was buried. His body was never found. The place(in the picture) was then thick jungle. Today, as you can see, it is part of a bustling City of Alor Setar (Km 4, Jalan Langgar).
The British Army tried to move the grave but was unable to because they couldn't locate his next-of-kin - a criteria which must be met.
According to some locals, the dual highway was built between 10 to 15 years ago. As the grave was smack in the middle of the highway, somebody had moved the headstone to the side of the road.
In November last year, I found a write up and the picture of the indignified grave you see below. Shocked, I vowed to take it up to the highest authority.
In conjunction with my book launch by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, on November 6, 2008, I briefed him about the case and at the same time suggesting that Sarawak set up a Heroes Memorial in Kuching and bring back all the remains of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers killed during the First Emergency and buried in Malaya and Singapore. He agreed to this plan. However, he said, all the next-of-kins must give their written consent.
Sarawak, in particular, the Ibans, must remember the deeds of their forefathers who had been most courageous fighters and the greatest trackers in the world. This is a legacy that the Ibans must preserve for the future generation to see and remember by. Without this memorial, this piece of history will disappear with time.