Soon after his training in Port Dickson, he and his comrades were attached to a British Battalion and were involved in Search and Destroy operations to eliminate the communist terrorists in Johor, which included freeing the town of Labis from their clutch.
The Iban Trackers had been a success. On 1 January 1953, they were reformed into two experimental platoons of Sarawak Rangers (Malayan Unit) – to give them a full military status. They continued to serve in the front line as trackers with the various Commonwealth Forces. On 31 March 1960, Sarawak Rangers (Malayan Unit) was disbanded and reformed into Sarawak Rangers (Far East Land Forces) to become a part of the British Army. Like the Gurkhas, they could now be sent to any war theatre anywhere in the world. On 15 September 1963, however, they were disbanded. On 16 September 1963, in conjunction with Malaysia Day, they were reformed into the modern-day 1st Battalion The Malaysian Rangers.
Tracker Unau went on to serve in Malaya for 8 years. Finally, in 1959, after many encounters and battles he had had enough and returned to Sarawak.
Unable to simply watch the communist insurgency in Sarawak, he joined the Police in 1972 as a Border Scout. Similar to what he had done in Malaya, he also played a key role in helping infantry units in tracking down terrorists.
Finally on 31 December 1988, at the age of 55, he called it a day and retired. Unau had been at the front line for 25 hot years. Sad to say, he was not given any pensions. It was a slap in the face – his sacrifices and services had not been recognised. In 1998, he moved to live with his children in Johore Bharu. A year later in 1999, his whole family embraced Islam. He adopted a muslim name Abdul Rahman Unau Bin Abdullah.
There are many ex-Trackers and Sarawak Rangers who are living similar lives as Tracker Unau. Seemingly, their services and sacrifices are not recognised. Those who are still alive today are living on meager allowances paid out by the Veterans Department. It defies my logic that fighters like Unau are not eligible for a pension, even though he had given the prime of his life to the nation. For the few who are still alive, can’t we appreciate they had done? Give them some form of pensions / monetary aid or whatever you may want to call it. After all, they have very little years left to see the daylight on this planet. Let them be happy and in the knowledge that the services they had rendered to the nation is well remembered and appreciated.