Blogger Mej Nor Ibrahim Sulaiman, a retired officer of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has since 2009 been on a crusade for several officers and men of the RMAF who have since retired, to be awarded with the appropriate award in recognition of their gallant and outstanding service to the nation. Mej Nor Ibrahim believes that these brave and gallant officers and airmen have been deprived of their recognition, while some other not so deserving cases have been awarded.
Reading from the numerous writings in his blog (http://xnuripilot.blogspot.com), Mej Nor Ibrahim, despite having written to the appropriate authorities and individuals, is still not able to convince any one of them to consider his appeal in awarding those officers and airmen of the RMAF. I can sense the frustration in Mej Nor Ibrahim, a retired air force officer whose sole purpose is to seek what is due for the officers and airmen that had once been his comrade at arms. I can see no other retired military officer like him who has taken so much of time and effort to dutifully serve others. I now begin to wonder why the serving military officers at Mindef, and in particular the air force big-wigs have to ‘insulate’ themselves away from the cause that Mej Nor Ibrahim is trying to perpetuate?
In an article that Mej Nor Ibrahim wrote to the Berita Harian dated 10th February 2011, he questioned why wasn’t any one of the 18 policemen that died defending the police station at Bukit Kepong, Negeri Sembilan during a raid by communist terrorist in the early hours of 23 February 1950, not being awarded a single gallantry award. The policemen were outnumbered by a ratio of 10:1 and stood against the terrorist until they were shot dead and burned. Are their actions not heroism? Or have they all to be alive to tell the tale and to prove themselves heroes?
In his blog, Mej Nor Ibrahim had made a comparison between the Bukit Kepong incident and that of the Bukit Jenalik/Sauk incident that occurred on 6 July 2000. I don’t wish to describe the Bukit Jenalik/Sauk incident because this incident is well known to the military and police circle, and it has also been made into a documentary film by History TV channel that only speaks of individual exploits, and not the many others who were intimately involved in the planning and execution of the operations.
The Bukit Jenalik/Sauk incident is to me an act undertaken by a group of criminals that has made national heroes of six individuals; two being recipients of the gallantry award of SP, and the remaining four, the PGB. I am told that not a single shot was fired at the criminals, and I suppose this must be the reason why the six were awarded the nation’s highest award for valour. In the case of Bukit Kepong where 18 of our policemen and including 4 police dependents were killed and burned, not a single person was awarded; not even the lowly rated KPK.
Are we to believe that the policemen did nothing to defend themselves? Are we to believe that they did not shoot a single round, but instead ran away, which is an act of cowardice? Are we to believe that they surrendered themselves for fear of being killed? And I think, it must be for these reasons that they were not treated as heroes.
Now, in the case of Bukit Jenalik/Sauk, was there a firefight with bullets sizzling over the heads of our heroes, and with them charging through to disarm and capture the criminals? Are we to believe that by pushing down someone who is already frightened and confused, should rightfully be called a national hero and be crowned the SP? And for being caught and shot dead, should that dead person be called a hero and deserve the PGB? Are we to believe that the criminals should be treated as enemies of the state, like we did for the communist terrorist and insurgents?
There are several questions raised as to how could the six ‘heroes’ deserve the SP and PGB. They must be super heroes to outclass the British and Gurkha soldiers that fought in the Falklands. Please let me know how many of them were awarded the VC by the Queen? The Bukit Jenalik heroes must have even outclassed Kanang’s act of bravery and valour.
I would like to appeal to the authorities and to all that reads this, to voice their support for what Mej Nor Ibrahim has been trying to do since 2009. Six awards for valour in just a single incident at Bukit Jenalik/Sauk, and not a single award for the twenty two who died defending their post against an overwhelming enemy force makes little sense to me.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION