Friday, 23 December 2011

The Iban Warriors' Memorial - Landscaping and Maintenance Needed.

Malaysians are notoriously known for their geniuses in building / constructing beautiful and amazing facilities and structures and next, abandoning them. We can see examples of these everywhere in the country. Public facilities such as children playground are left to rust and rot. Public facilities in public parks and gardens are in similar state.

I knew the new Iban Warriors' Grave that was built in July 2011 will meet the same fate. So on 23 December 2011, I went to have a look with two of my committee members. Sure enough! It was in a deplorable state. No one care about it. The place was strewn with dead leaves and the grass was never cut! If left unattended, the long grass will cover up the head stones.

I will have to find out who is responsible to maintain the Memorial and write to remind them.

How it looked like 5 months later (23 December 2011)

How it looked like on the first day of the reburial on 27 July 2011.

On 26 December 2011, I wrote the letter below to Mayor of Kuching City South with a copy to Commander 1st Infantry Division in Kuching, who is also Chairman of the Rangers Corp.

Update No. 1
About two weeks after my visit, a friend went to see the place and was disappointed too at the appalling condition. Something had to be done. I told an acquaintance who is a Deputy Tourism Minister in Sarawak about what I had observed and written to Mayor of Kuching City North, who, according to the signboard at the entrance to the memorial is responsible for the up-keeping of the place.

16 February 2012
I received an email from Mr. Lim Kian Hock, Chairman of STF Heritage Development Committee in Kuching, saying that actions are being taken to rectify the shortcomings in the memorial. It is clear that the Heritage Development Committee has taken over the responsibility from Kuching City North.

Mr. Lim said he has informed the State Secretary on the matter.

There was a meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism on 16 Feb 12.

A more detail meeting with the Technical Committee is scheduled on 24 February 2012. I will be sending a representative for SRVA to attend. It will be here that the exact details will be decided on.

Thank you YB Datuk Talib Zulpilip for taking up my case. I knew I could count on him to deliver. 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Proposing the Revival of Sarawak Rangers to the State Government of Sarawak.

I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Come 22nd December 2011, I will be presenting my proposal paper to one of the Iban Ministers in Sarawak's Cabinet, YB Tan Sri William Mawan ak Ikom. The Chief Minister had given him the responsibility to hear out my proposal to revive Sarawak Rangers, the pride of Sarawak in general and to the Ibans in particular.

I see the impact it will have on Sarawak. It will not only create hundreds of job opportunities but it will also create business opportunities. Most importantly, I see it as a unifying factor to bind all Sarawakians closely together.

Personally I see this as a most satisfying endeavour. I would never have thought that a small and inconspicuous man like me could make himself heard by the political leaders. It is my dream to see the revival of the Sarawak Rangers. I hope the political leaders see the positive aspects and not be clouded by any negative views. We are not trying to set up a war machinery but a unit to compliment the security, tourism and welfare aspect in the country.

Update No. 1
On 22December 2011, my team and I presented our proposal paper on the revival of Sarawak Rangers to Sarawak's Social Development and Urbanisation Minister, YB Tan Sri William Mawan, who was enthrusted by the CM to hear our proposals.

He gave us the nod and went further as to pledge us some financial aid once we have registered our Sarawak Rangers Veterans Association (SRVA) with the new Veterans Council that is awaiting endorsement by Parliament and the King.

The next stage will be presenting the proposal to the highest leadership in the State, the Chief Minister himself. That should be in January/February 2012.

We are still keeping our fingers crossed.

L to R: Lt Col Monday Juhid Director Army Veterans Sarawak Branch, Capt (Rtd) Johari Ibrahim, Sec Gen 1, YB Tan Sri William Mawan, Me, President SRVA, Capt (Rtd) Dr George Kurka, Deputy President and Major (Rtd) Wara Mejeni, Sec Gen 2. Major (Rtd) Micheal Riman, Treasurer General is not in the picture.

I'm presenting our proposal on reviving / re-forming Sarawak Rangers. 

My Deputy President, Capt (Rtd) Dr George Kurka briefing YB Tan Sri William Mawan on our Sarawak Rangers Veterans Association (SRVA) - its concept and the roles it will be playing.

Saturday, 17 December 2011


Sarawak Rangers Veterans Association (SRVA), which I am setting up to help ease the burdens of the ex Iban Trackers, Sarawak Rangers and the Malaysian Rangers, though not officially registered yet has already received a couple of S.O.S from members who have met problems.

CASE NO. 1:         Tracker Dickson Sawing 74 years old, who had found employment as a security guard in Ulu Tiram, Johor, had suddenly fallen ill and partly paralysed after eating a handout given by a good samaritan. He had been living in a shack and out of works for sometime. He was living on handouts from neighbours. The news found its way to me via an acquaintance, Major Ding the Second-In-Command of 3rd Malaysian Rangers based in Kem Oya, Sibu, Sarawak.

The good thing about Malaysians are that, sometimes, in time of needs, there are always people with big hearts who are always willing to help other people in need.

In the case of Tracker Dickson, an ex Navy personnel took Dickson's case and highlighted it in the media. Major (Rtd) Murugayah, who was an ex Malaysian Rangers himself, followed up the case. Major Ding. the Second-In-Command of 3rd Malaysian Rangers called to tell me about the case and said they are going to fly Tracker Dickson back to Sibu, put him up in one of the empty married quarters until such time a house is built for him and wife on their piece of land in Sri Aman, 2nd Division of Sarawak. That is very kind of 3rd Rangers.

However, I was told that, Tracker Dickson will have to stay in Johor Bharu to undergo medical treatment until he is fit to travel. When I contacted Major (Rtd) Andy Murugayah, he said he is willing to pay for Tracker Dickson's and wife's fares to Sibu. Here's another good Samaritan.

Meanwhile Tracker Dickson and wife is now under the care of 1st Malaysian Rangers based in Majidee Camp in Johor Bharu, Johor.

CASE NO. 2:     Sgt (Rtd) Ambau Gerasi, an ex Sarawak Rangers personnel has been in Kuching General Hospital for a medical treatment. Since he is fit to travel back to his hometown in Kapit, he was discharged. However, he needed monetary help to pay for the shipment of his special bed which was presented to him by Persatuan Bekas Tentera Malaysia (PBTM), an ex Army Association, back to Kapit. The cost of shipment is RM450.00. We are awaiting for a good Samaritan to help out.

These are some of the assistances that SRVA can undertake once we are fully operational and have the fund available at hand.

Thank you all for the big heart. God bless you all.