At long last, the book titled 'Ibrahim - The Malay Worriers' was finally launched by Dato Seri Najib, Minister of Defence on Wednesday, 9th July 2008. The book chronicled the life history of General Tun Ibrahim Ismail, beginning with his exploits as a young officer in the Indian Army, his participation in the 2nd World War, the Malayan emergency, the period of the Indonesia - Malaysia Confrontation and finally the May 13, 1969 racial riots. Having served the entire period of the 2nd World War, held various command assignments and later on as the Chief Executive Officer, National Operations Council (NOC) during the May 13 racial riots, he therefore has no comparison to any other military officers alive today. He is a 'historical masterpiece' of the Malaysian Armed Forces that shall long be remembered.
If I can recall, Tun Ibrahim first launched his book in August 13, 2005 at the Putra International Convention Centre, Putrajaya, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In his speech, Dato Seri Abdullah who served NOC as a staff officer, had admitted to have 'feared' in Tun.
Allow me this opportunity to relate a story that I had with Tun, who was than the Director of Operations East Malaysia (DOPEM), with its headquarters in Kuching, Sarawak.
This was in the year of 1967. I was then a platoon commander in charge of a detachment located at Bekalalan, Sarawak, Our mission was to monitor the movement of Indonesians into Sarawak through the porous border of Kalimantan and Sarawak.
I was on a foot patrol one morning, passing through several long houses located along winding tracks and rivers. Upon reaching Long Rusu, approximately 30 minutes walking distance from my base camp, I heard overhead the sound of a helicopter flying towards the direction of my base camp. A few minutes later, I was called over the radio to inform me that DOPEM has landed at my base camp. I was shocked, because I was not told earlier by my battalion headquarters based at Long Pasia, about the visit.
With hearts pounding, I raced home through the jungle tracks, well ahead of my soldiers. All the time, I was imagining the scolding that I will be getting from DOPEM for being absent during his arrival. Upon arrival at my base camp, short of breath and still in a daze as to what I should say to DOPEM, there ahead of me was DOPEM with his ADC (Capt Latiff Ahmad) smiling. I could not believe in what I saw....but I thanked god for showing kindness in the heart of my distinguished visitor.
That little smile that he gave me was enough for me to regain my composure and strength. Before I could salute him, he extended his hands to congratulate me for my good work in maintaining the cleanliness of my camp. The visit has to be short, because DOPEM ha to fly back before the clouds closed in.
I am in possession of a signed copy of Tun's book and having read it, I would recommend that the book be read by all officers of the Armed Forces, and be kept a copy each.