When I read ‘Sabah Incursion: Hang the Traitors’ by A Kadir Jasin, a pro-Umno blogger (a former group editor-in-chief of New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd and at times also a Berita Harian columnist), I was disappointed by his tone in the opening paragraphs of his blog post, which stated:
“ As has always been the case, when we send our policemen and soldiers into battle and are killed or injured, the chances are they are Melayus and bumiputeras.
“Perhaps there is wisdom in getting more Chinese and Indians to join the armed forces so that they, too, can die for one Malaysia.”
I would like to draw his and your readers' attention to the huge sacrifices Chinese Malaysians have made for their country while serving in the Royal Malaysian Police.
But before I come to that, it may be worthwhile to ask ourselves why in the recent tragedy in the Lahad Datu and Semporna areas in eastern Sabah, there has been no Chinese police death. Not that I wish for Chinese deaths or for that matter, any Malaysian deaths, but we, especially Pak Kadir, must be honest and ask ourselves why the casualties have been confined to the Malay policemen.
But then Pak Kadir answered that himself when he suggested that “Perhaps there is wisdom in getting more Chinese and Indians to join the armed forces so that they, too, can die for one Malaysia” but in a regretful tone that sounds caustic, unfair and indeed morbid.
All right then, who’s to be blamed for the Malays bearing all the greatest sacrifice to their nation? Surely not the Chinese for in 'less divisive' days, we depended heavily (though not solely) on mainly Chinese policemen (and women) in the Special Branch to win our war against the insurrection of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM). Thus we should remember our Chinese Police heroes, people such as:
- Yeoh Chew Bik (killed by communist terrorists (CTs) at Sebarang Perai);
- Koh Ah Cheng (killed by CTs at Bukit Kepong police station; ironically the communist assailants were led by a Malay communist, Muhammad Indera);
- Loh Ah Chu (killed by CTs at Bukit Berapit, Perak);
- Chan Eng Teck (killed by CTs at Bukit Berapit, Perak);
- Ang Lock Say (killed by CTs at Bukit Berapit, Perak);
- Yeap Sean Hua (killed on duty while apprehending a criminal at Setapak; another policeman, Fong Thean Kit, who was off duty but heard the shot gave chase and apprehended the killer); [Important note: Both Yeap (posthumously) and Fong were awarded Malaysia’s highest gallantry award, the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP).]
- Chin Chin Kooi (Special Branch chief inspector who served in the police for 21 years - shot at point blank range and killed by unknown slayers; before he died he managed to shoot back); [Important note: Chin was posthumously awarded the SP];
- Lee Han Cheong (a sergeant and Police Field Force (PFF) patrol leader was killed by CTs near Bidor);
- Deputy Comm Khoo Chong Kong (killed by communist subversives in Perak).
Two other Special Branch police officers who are still alive today were awarded the SP, namely Supt Paul Kiong and Deputy Supt Sia Boon Chee. Without exaggeration, I would consider these two officers’ contributions (presumably still under secret classification) as pivotal to the defeat of the communist terrorist movement in peninsula Malaysia.
Thus five Chinese police officers were awarded the nation’s highest gallantry award, the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa, two posthumously. I hope Pak Kadir takes note of this.
Then there were Chinese in the Armed Forces who showed their loyalty to their nation by making the ultimate sacrifices, Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) officers like the late Lt Choo Yoke Boo and the late Lt Chang Tatt Min who were both awarded the Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB) posthumously. One Ranger officer, 2nd Lt David Fu Chee Ming who I believe is still alive today, was also awarded the PGB.
2nd Lt David Fu was the platoon commander of 8th Platoon of C Company, 4th Battalion Royal Rangers who was tasked and placed in the Tanah Hitam area of Perak to track and destroy the enemy in his sector of operation. This was the citation for his award of the PGB:
On Aug 27, 1970, his platoon of 24 men made contact with a group of about 70 enemy combatants. The enemy unknowingly had entered his sector. Thus started a heavy and intensive battle lasting seven hours. Under his unwavering leadership, the men fought on, successfully killed four of the enemy. His patrol did not suffer any casualties.
For his outstanding gallantry and bravery in the finest traditions of the Ranger Corps he was bestowed with the Pingat Gagah Berani, by the Agong.
He left after exemplary service as a captain.
Pak Kadir has not been unlike Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who on Nov 9, 2010, predictably as to be expected for the archetypical Umno ‘patriots’, stated in response to a question in Parliament that the low number of Chinese and Indian recruits in the military could be due to the Chinese and Indians [being] ‘not patriotic enough’.
Zahid, once a very close ally of Anwar Ibrahim and the man who accused Dr Mahathir Mohamad of corruption and cronyism in an alleged impatient move by the Anwar faction in Umno to nudge then-PM Mahathir out for Anwar’s final ascendancy to the PM’s post, but who has since abandoned his allegiance to Anwar to be allied to Najib, is hardly an appropriate person to talk about patriotism or loyalty.
I wonder where were these Umno and pro-Umno patriots when the above Chinese Malaysians died for their country?
As Aldous Huxley informed us: “One of the great attractions of patriotism - it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what’s more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous.”