Tuesday, February 1, 2011


On 24th January 2011, the wives of soldiers who had died while in service with the UN on peacekeeping missions were honored and remembered for their husband’s outstanding services, in a ceremony held at the Defence Ministry. Present at the ceremony was Defence Minister, Dato Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who presented ex-gratia payment, on behalf of the government to the wives, one of whom was the wife of LCpl Magendran a/l Rajangam who died on August 23, 1992 of malaria while serving in Cambodia.

I now wish to quote a write-up that I wrote concerning the death of LCpl Magendran from a book that I had published in 2004.

Quote “The unfortunate demise of LCpl Magendran a/l Rajangam on August 23rd 1992 was a dark spot in the otherwise outstanding achievement of MALBAT. A few days before his death, the Sector Commander had visited the sub-unit he was attached to at Phum Sampov. During the tour of the sub-unit, the Sector Commander had noticed LCpl Magendran, and enquired about his well being. There was no indication of his illness at the time. It was later revealed that he had kept his illness to himself for fear that he may not be allowed to return home for leave scheduled in a few days time.

Over the next few days his health deteriorated and upon examination by Capt Dr. Rafick Khan, he was suspected to be suffering from an unusual strain of malaria. On the advice of the Medical Officer he was required to be evacuated to Thailand for treatment. On the flight to Thailand, LCpl Magendran’s condition turned for the worse and he succumbed to his illness without even reaching the hospital. Capt Dr. Rafick Khan who accompanied him to Thailand was then advised to arrange for the late LCpl Magendran to be flown to Kuala Lumpur for burial at his home town in Klang, Selangor.

The late LCpl Magendran was an outstanding NCO and had served MALBAT well. He shall long be remembered by those who had been associated with him. We believe that it has always been his desire to complete the mission in Cambodia and return home a glorified soldier that had served the UN faithfully” Unquote.

Upon my return from Cambodia, I took the opportunity to visit the family of the late LCpl Magendran in Klang and invited them to attend the MALBAT’s disbandment ceremony in Johore. For all those who had served with me in Cambodia will forever remember the late LCpl Magendran as a dear and a likeable brother.

Finally, I thank the government for the monetary payment to the wives of our soldiers, and I am sure the payment will bring relieve to the wives, and the money be put to good use.


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