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.