THE PASSING OF A QUIET HERO

Posted on January 3, 2013

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I meet a lot of interesting people in my line of work. Smart, arrogant, generous and at times, even dangerous. One person that really stands apart, was a gentlemen that I met a few months ago. Datuk Kanang anak Langkau, was the highest decorated living soldier in Malaysia. His exploits during the Emergency period has been made into books and his bravery (he was shot badly in the intestines, when he decided to lead his men into battle) was legendary. Our office had arranged for him to give a talk and I was hoping that I would get a chance to meet him in person. However, there was a slight change in the schedule which allowed me to have a 1-hour chat with him. His humility, his kindness in entertaining all my queries and questions and his simplicity amazed me. This famed Iban Tracker spoke quietly on what he felt was his duty as a Malaysian to put his life, again and again, in the line of fire. He recollected how during his wedding, he was asked by a foreign government to track one of their citizens who had got lost in the jungles of Malaysia and how he left in the middle of his own wedding and returned 3 days later having found the man alive! Sadly, YB Datuk Kanang Anak Langkau died early this morning. The motto of his beloved military outfit, the Rangers best depicts the way he lived; “agi idup agi ngelaban” or “while I breath, I fight.” In an age where the term ‘hero’ is freely bandied around, Datuk Kanang was the real deal. Rest in Peace Sir.

 

Thomas Koruth Samuel

3 January 2013

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Posted in: Eulogy, Guest Posts