By end of 1968 the battalion moved to Kuching for a ninemonth unaccompanied tour of Sarawak. Those days units were shipped between West and East Malaysia for short operational stint. Families were left behind in the camps. Captain John Harvey, my company commander, left for England after having completed his tour of duty in Malaysia. He was replaced by Captain Samad Ayob. Barely a week after we arrived at Balai Ringin Camp we were assigned to a commando detachment (troop) under Captain Chua Hong Kang. Our first mission was to go across the Indonesian border to attack a Communist Terrorists (CT) camp located inside one of the many caves within the Idai Complex. The terrorists, according an informer, were estimated to be around 120- strong. That evening we bade farewell to our colleagues. Wewere transported, under cover of darkness, in military vehicles to a place called Lachau. It was a frightening moment for an inexperienced soldier like me and many shared my fear too but we were excited, nonetheless. We were confident of attacking the camp successfully and were prepared for some casualties.
We started at midnight, scaling up the mountain range somewhere near a small village at Lachau and cutting across into the Idai Complex. We were instructed specifically not to follow track used by the locals to avoid detection. It took us almost 3 days non- stop walking to reach the location. We split into small groups to detect signs on the ground. There were numerous footprints but we could not differentiate between friends or foes. All of sudden we received instructions to pull out immediately. We were given a fixed period to clear the area. The Indonesian Army would fire their guns into the area subsequently. Minutes later we heard the sounds of helicopters coming to pick and move us to an undisclosed location inside the Malaysian border.In full here....