Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Op Ngerapuh Stranded?

What is stopping Op Ngerapuh (relocating the remains of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers killed during the First Malayan Emergency 1948 - 1960 and buried in Malaya back to their homeland in Kuching)? Why has Op Ngerapuh ran aground?

Based on the numerous calls of support I have received, it is a project the people of Sarawak wants. I have done my utmost. I have seen the Chief Minister, the Deputy CM and other Ministers. They have vowed their support. My committee and I have got the consent of the next-of-kins of the deceased to exhume and bring the remains back to Kuching and rebury them in a Heroes Memorial. We have acquired a 15.4 acre site not far from the City of Kuching.

After having done all these, somebody seemed to have put the brake on the project. I have written to the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak and the Defence Minister of Malaysia for implemention of the final phase to exhume the graves and bring the remains back to Kuching. Sadly, it has been a couple of months now and there is no encouraging words. What are in their minds? I'm I being a busybody? Am I looking for publicity and popularity? My answer is a big NO. I'm just a humble ex soldier who is trying to be a good citizen and do his part to contribute something worthwhile to his race - the Iban community. I want to set up a Heroes Memorial to remember the world-famous Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers who had fought well and sacrificed their lives in a foreign land and had made Sarawak and in particular the Ibans proud. Their sacrifices and heroism must never be allowed to disappear and be forgotten by the past, present and future generations. That is all I want to do. I am not hoping for something in return. I still remember what President JFK had said. " ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY."

I feel down at the moment. What shall I do next? Shall I get the Dayaks Organisations to pick it up and put the pressure on the government?

Any ideas out there?

2 February 2010

I was called by the Astana Sarawak to receive a State Award " Pegawai Bintang Kenyalang (PBK)" on 3 February 2010. I flew down with my wife from Penang on 1 Feb 10 and stayed at my favourite hotel by the Water Front.

After the rehearsal on the morning of 2 Feb 10, a colleague, Laksmana Madya (Rtd) Marzuki Andong and I went to pay a courtesy call on our junior schoolmate who is now an assistant minister. On arrival at his office we met another schoolmate, Philip Assan. It was a mini reunion for the four of us.

I took the opportunity to pour out my problems regards Ops Ngerapuh to the YB Assistant Minister. He promised to help. I didn't doubt his pledge as he was the one who has acquired the 15.4 acre site for the Heroes Memorial in Kuching.

So, there is hope yet for Ops Ngerapuh!

23 February 2010. 8 pm

The Prime Minister, in his speech during a visit to one of the Iban long houses in Sarawak, announced that he will help to bring back the remains of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers killed during the First Emergency (1948 - 1960) in Malaya back to Sarawak.

I am crying with joy now. At last our efforts to lobby the case with the Federal Government has been successful. It is now in good hands. The next move depend very much on what the government intends to do. Is there a need to launch our fund raising? We will see. Syukur Alhamdullilah.


  1. Squad,
    All I can say sympathy! I know how you feel. I've been struggling to get the government to consider giving an alllowance to the recipients of JPP, PTU & KPK...without success.

  2. Squad,

    I may be down but I'm not out yet. I am contemplating of handing this project over to the Tourism Ministry of Sarawak. It is better handled by the politicians and the Ministry. They have the means and the punch.

  3. As a Sarawakian I am glad there is some one like you who has taken the intiative to recognise the supreme scarifice of Sarawak Rangers. Rome was not built in a day. You must perserve.

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for the moral support. Right now I need it to lift my sagging morale.

  5. Dear Col, its good if we can 'war-war' kan this effort to your counterpart in overseas, asking for support from them, especially those who had fought with these people during the period...Rano

  6. Dear Rano,

    I am in contact with a Regiment (The Manchester Regiment) with whom the Trackers and Rangers had been attached to in the 50s.

    What kind of "support" are you thinking of?

  7. Col Bob/Robert,
    You're really a ticking and tinkling star for all of us the forgotten ex-servicemen and that will be forever forgotten by the State Government of Sarawak.

    A good example is our Mini Estate Land Development in Miri, which was taken forcefully from us and given to one Private Company, who never even shed a drop of sweat and let a drop of blood at all either.

    A very repugnant experience indeed and a rouge treatment by the our own State Government whom we had defended against the Paraku before. Wish we could avenged the lost, but !!!!.

    We needed that badly, but some are very greedily indeed than us.

  8. Dear Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban,

    You have my sympathy. I can only say: Don't give up yet. Keep on "barking" and appeal to the right people.

    Sorry, if I may ask - do I know you? Have we served together in the Army?

  9. LT. Kol.(B),

    Tabi serta basa ti besai ka nuan ti ngembuan hati serta perening ti jauh pasal pengawa BALA BUJANG BERANI kitai Dayak Iban di Sarawak ti berambun ka nyawa nan ka menua ari ti dipegai komunis.

    Enti bala ketuai kitai Dayak/Iban bisi ngemubuan penemu serta penyinu hati ka jasa kita patut sida tau berunding baka ni deka meri tulong/sagu hati/upah serta utai ti patu ti dipeda belama ia datai ka anak-uchu-ichit kita ila sekeda ari utai ti ko hati aku baka tu:-
    a) Pingat- SP = Tun
    PGB = Tan Sri
    Ia ti bukai asal bisi Bintang Berani diberi, Dato Sri/Dato/Datuk enggau utai bukai. Sekeda ketegal belagu, ba sukan bulih Datuk ketegal nampak ka nama menua Malaysia tang nadai perintah ingat ka bala kita ti udah berambun ka nyawa ngetan ka menua, lebih agi Politician Dayak Iban semina belaya ba politik ti dah badu nyadi wakil rakyaat sapa agi deka salute sida BUT I SALUTE OUR HEROES LIKE YOU.

    TQ, Aku orang Sri Aman.

  10. Tabi Anonymous,

    Thank you for having thought of us very highly. It is our dream that the leaders of this country could do the same.

    As for the awards, it is not for us to say or demand. We are at the mercy of the political leaders.

    Perhaps we soldiers are seen to be the country's "ulun" /slaves. We must do what we are told to do and it is our duty to protect our country. Once we have retired, we are forgotten and deemed useless. That is why so many have made headlines - all for the wrong reasons.