Sunday, 19 December 2010

Soldiers of the Sarawak Rangers (1953 - 1963). Part 1.No. 1 Platoon.

Following the successes of the para-military Iban Trackers in the insurgency war in Malaya from 1948 till 1952, it was felt there was a need to reform them into a full-pledge military unit So at the end of 1952, they were reorganised into two experimental platoons. In March 1953, they officially became the Sarawak Rangers, which like all other military units was subjected to the Military Laws. They didn't disappoint. Almost immediately, in their first operation, they made their first contact with the CTs and had their first success. All these while I had been talking about the faceless Sarawak Rangers. We had heard of their exploits, the many bravery awards they had been bestowed with. Twenty one of them were killed during the 12 years of fighting from 1948 to 1960. Amazingly small numbers, bearing in mind that they were at the front most of any operations. They were just names only. Here I'm trying to give them the faces but sadly, most are nameless. There are no records available in Malaysia that I could use to identify each and everyone of them. I am hoping for the surviving members to help me identify their comrades.

Rgr Sengalang ak Uyang
9001145 LCpl Makam Barieng

Kpl Adrian ak Tandang

Rgr Kriding
Cpl Anyau
Rgr Salleh
LCpl Nyanau
Rgr Sridu
LCpl Bujang
Rgr Bejong
Rgr Yangka

Rgr Yuni
Rgr Klipan

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

"Kecepak" plant - a cure for athritis and general body pain?

A "kecepak" plant
A month or so ago I had posted this picture in my facebook. A friend, Chang Yi mentioned this kecepak plant is good for the digestive system. Just boil the whole plant - roots and all and drink the juice twice or thrice a day. But be warned. The juice is very bitter. I decided to try it out as I have ample supply of this plant at my backyard. I love the ripen fruits - a passion I had as a kid in the long house. I uprooted a plant, cleaned and boiled it well. I managed to make a bottle of the juice which could last me about 4/5 days (2 cups a day). I couldn't see any effect it had on my digestive system but my nagging athritis and body aches disappeared within the hour! I was surprised. Was it due to the kecepak juice? I decided to experiment. I stopped taking the juice for about 2 weeks. After a couple of days my athritis pain came back. I waited for the pain to become unbearable before boiling another plant and started taking the juice again. Again, the pain disappeared within the hour. Could any one out there try this out and let's compare notes?

Monday, 6 December 2010

My Black Saturday

A BLACK SATURDAY We have heard of a Black Monday but have you heard of a Black Saturday? I did last Saturday 4 Dec 10. I and Mrs drove to KL from Taiping, Perak at 4 a.m to attend a Hai-O seminar scheduled at 9 a.m on the same day. It was a very long and tiring day for us. The seminar was over at about 12 p.m. followed by a Hai-O 18th anniversary and presentation of awards for the new Crown Diamond Managers which lasted till 9 p.m. We decided to go back to Taiping right away. On the way we stopped by the Jejantas R&R (near Sg Buloh) for a bath to refresh ourselves and then performed the solat. The Mrs decided to drive first. I was to take a nap so that I could take over the driving when she became too tired. Half way, she realised she was sleeping on the steering wheel for a fraction of a section but that was enough to attract the car behind us to give her a honk. She had apparently veered towards the divider. From then on I took over the driving. All was well until we reached Taiping. By then it was 1 a.m and I was dead tired. My eyes was heavy and my concentration was at its lowest. About a kilometer from our house I tried to overtake a car without giving the overtaking signal and almost ram a motorbike who was trying to overtake me. Then 200m from my house I reached a T junction. I stopped as I saw a car coming from my left. Another car coming from my right wanted to go into my road but couldn't as the road was not wide enough. To make matters worse, the car coming from the left also wanted to turn into my road. Seeing the situation we were in, that car stopped, giving me enough room to move out. As I was about to drive through the gap, a couple of pedestrians crossed infront of my car. I braked in time to avoid running over them. My God!!! What a day!!! As soon as I reached home, I hit the bed and tried to forget what had happen. That was my Black Saturday.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Brig Gen Stephen Mundaw - the first Iban General.

Mark this date: 1st November 2010. This was the day an Iban Officer was promoted to a General. He was the first Iban to become a General in the Malaysian Army since Sarawak became independent in Malaysia on 16 September 1963. If you want to look further; he was the first Iban General in the long history of the Malaysian Rangers when its predecessor the Sarawak Rangers was formed by Rajah Charles Brooke in 1962. With this promotion, inadvertently, "an Iban allocation" might have been created. When Stephen leave, another will have to take his place. Are there any Iban officers around who are capable of taking over his place? I don't see one around. There are currently two serving officers but they are muslim converts and that will not fit in the "Iban Allocation". This point out the glaring fact that there are very few Ibans Officers in the Malaysian Army today. The Ibans community must do something to ensure this "Iban Allocation" is always taken up by a full-fledge Iban General. The grooming circle must start to ensure there is always a candidate at hand. Congratulation and well done Brig Gen Stephen Mundaw. You have done the Ibans proud. Do what you must to ensure you have a candidate to take over your hot seat when you leave in a not- too-distant future. Meanwhile we wish you the best in your undertakings.
The Chief of the Army and Stephen's better half pinning the rank insignias on Stephen Mundaw.
A Datukship for Gen Stephen
It was expected. However, the speed it came was unexpected. 
General Datuk Stephen Mundaw was awarded a Datukship by Sarawak in conjunction with the 
Governor's birthday on 24 September 2011. It was considered a feat, considering that getting awards from Sarawak is never easy.

Congratulation Datuk. We are proud of you.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Update No. 2 for National Heroes Mousoleum Project.

As a follow up of the first meeting on 23 October 2010, a special committee comprising of six SPs and PGBs from the Army and the Police Force sat again on 30 October 2010 to decide and finalise on what actions our Association need to take regards the National Heroes Mousoleum and registration of the SP and PGB Association of Malaysia.
We decided on the following actions:
1. Register the Association first.
2. Only after the registration will we write to the National Heroes Mousoleum main committee in the Prime Minister's Department on our requirement.
I chaired the meeting / discussion

Monday, 25 October 2010

Update No. 1 for National Heroes Mousoleum Project

I was chairing the meeting. Col Roslan PGB, Dato' Abdul Kadir PGB, Lt Kol Jalil Makmor PGB, PW1 Ahmad Adnan PGB. Dato' Salehuddin PGB, Kapt Hamid SP, PW2 Ielias PGB at the far end. Maj Sameon PGB giving out his opinion.
As a follow up to my pledge to bring the matter up to the attention of the highest Authority, I called for a meeting with as many SP and PGB holders around KL and Johor as possible. I do not want to be seen shouldering the problem alone. As an Association, we must collectively solve any problem that affect all of us.
The first meeting was held on 23 October 2010 at 10.00 a.m at the Ex-Services Association of Wilayah Persekutuan, Jalan Bellamy, Sg Besi, KL. A decision was made in the meeting to form a working committee to discuss the matter in depth, come up with a solution, put it in writing and to be handed over to the highest Authority - the PM or the Defence Minister.
I was made aware that a similar project is already on the drawing board, under the purview of the Prime Minister's Department.
Following are the details:
1. Location: Near to the National Monument, behind the Administative and Diplomatic Service Association Club and secretariat building along Persiaran Sultan Salahuddin.
2. Size of Area: 6 hectar site.
3. Estimated Cost: RM18 million.
4. Under the purview of the prime Minister's Department and City Hall.
5. City Hall is to design the landscape.
6. The government will decide who are to be buried there.
7. To cater for 500 burial plots - 250 for muslims and another 250 for non-muslims. These two areas will be segregated by a buffer zone planted with big trees.
8. Implementation: Under the 9th Malaysia Plan.
If this plan has been firmly decided, then what remain for us to do is to ensure recipients of the SP and PGB are included among those who will be given a place in the mousoleum.
Personally I feel, the area is small. There will be little space for future expansion. Though the location is ideal, it would be better if it could be relocated to a bigger area to cater for expansion and building of facilities such as the "Hall of Fame" and mini museum where pictures and stories concerning the heroes could be displayed for the future generation to know and read. Another meeting to discuss the details is scheduled for 30 October 2010 at the Ex-Services Association (PBTM) Jalan Bellamy, KL.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Trip to Mulu National Park, Miri, Sarawak (World Heritage)

We left Penang for Kuching on 7 October 2010 and stayed the night in Kuching's Harbour View Hotel. The next day we left for Miri and stayed at Dynasty Hotel, where we were going to have our reunion dinner on 9 Oct 2010. The dinner was great - meeting old classmates and schoolmates we had not seen for 45 years. Most of us were more than 60 years old. Many younger schoolmates also attended. Next day on 10 October 2010, we went to visit our old school. The school, now a college, was almost beyond recognition. RM30 million was pumped in to rebuilt the school. The old hostels had gone. The old building that remain (for the time being) were the two blocks of classrooms, the Assembly Hall and the School Administrative office. We walked down to the cliff, through the old tennis and basketball court. We could see much from the top. We were told that the rocky beaches that had been our playing ground had became private property and had been fenced off by Shin Yang. What a tragedy!!! On 11 october 2010, we went to Mulu National Park - a twenty minutes flight by Mas Wing. Unfortunately we couldn't stay in Mulu National Park as at that time electricity supply was disrupted. We couldn't imagine staying in rooms with no airconditions and even fans! The pictures of my uncomfortable nights in my longhouse (no electricity) came to mind. So we moved to Mulu Resort, an international standard hotel. Rentals of rooms were however quite high - RM385.00 per night. For visitors who want to rough it out, there are plenty of cheap alternatives. On the whole, we enjoyed our two nights stay there. We regretted we couldn't see more of Mulu. Rest assured, we will return one day. On the way up Melinau river to see our first Penan village and caves. The river was quite shallow and the boatman had to be experienced to know which part of the river to negotiate, otherwise the boat could get stranded on the gravel riverbed. The OBMs used were the short shaft.
Some of the beautiful stalactites and stalacmites in King's Chamber.
Some have joined together. It is said that a centimeter took 100 years to form. Imagine how long it took to form these stalactites and stalacmites. Now one knew how old the cave is.
You have to be reasonably fit to climb up to the caves. This one has 200 steps.
On completion of the trip, we had a group photograph with our boatman and his assistant.