Rakyat Sarawak : Undi Pakatan Rakyat

Rakyat Sarawak : Undi Pakatan Rakyat

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kerajaan Gagal Iktiraf Hari Pahlawan

Setiap tahun tanggal 31 Julai kita akan menyambut Hari Pahlawan dengan rasa bangga di atas pengorbanan mereka yang sanggup mempertahankan ibu pertiwi hingga ke titisan darah yang terakhir.

Malangnya jasa dan pengorbanan mereka gagal diiktiraf dan dihormati oleh pihak kerajaan.

"Harimau mati meninggalkan belang , Manusia mati meninggalkan nama."

From: Malaysian Insider

JULY 31 — You've been conferred an award that outranks Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's but people still call you by your name. You see, no honorific goes with the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP), the nation's highest gallantry award. Only about a dozen people have received this award.

The chairman of the Army Veteran Organisation, Kuching Division, Captain (Rtd) Johari Ibrahim told the Borneo Post it was "pitiful" that former Iban tracker Warrant Officer I Kanang Langkau is the sole surviving recipient of the award in Sarawak "and we still call him Kanang”.

No Tun, no Tan Sri, not even a Datuk for the 63-year-old, Sarawak's finest war veteran.

The SP is conferred on a person who exhibits great valour and "extreme courage" during war time in ensuring peace and security of the country. In this case, it was during the Indonesian Confrontation.

Johari called on the government to come up with an honorific for those who had been bestowed the SP.

"One would think that for a person who has been awarded the SP he would be seated next to the highest ranking official including the Agong at functions where he is present but I have yet to see Kanang given this kind of honour at any function," he lamented.

Kanang, born on March 2, 1945 at Karangan Manok, Nanga Meluan, Saribas, in Sri Aman Division, is the fifth child of six siblings. He joined the Sarawak Rangers as a tracker in April 1962, and was also attached to the 42nd Royal Marine Commando before joining the First Battalion Malaysian Rangers.

He started to make a name for himself when he joined the Eighth Battalion Malaysian Rangers in 1973. On Gawai Day in 1976, his party killed three insurgents and seized a quantity of the enemy's equipment.

Kanang, then a sergeant attached to the intelligence unit of the Eighth Battalion, joined Operation Gerak Setia 8/79 at Korbu in Perak to fight the communist insurgents. For his bravery, he was awarded the Panglima Gagah Berani on June 4, 1980.

During Operation Pukat at Tanah Hitam in Perak on Feb 20, 1980 insurgents ambushed a party of 25 soldiers including Kanang at Ladang Kending in Sungai Siput. Kanang was shot three times — in the chest and stomach — but still put up a fight and became a source of encouragement for the others to continue fighting.

For this, he was awarded the SP on June 3, 1981.

Kanang only receives RM400 a month as an SP despite the obvious distinction in the battlefield required for the conferment of the award. (oh no! just RM400 a month...???)

Johari believes that more respect and support should be given to these heroes especially now that "Hari Pahlawan" is here.

"Maybe, we should start addressing Kanang as 'Seri Pahlawan'. We have to start somewhere," Johari said.