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7th Rangers: 1st Bn.Ranger gathering was held in Kuching from 29th Apr to 2nd May 2011 - First Published On The 2nd Feb 2019

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1st Bn.Ranger gathering was held in Kuching from 29th Apr to 2nd May 2011 - First Published On The 2nd Feb 2019
Tuesday, April 02, 2024

A 1st Bn.Ranger gathering was held in Kuching from 29th Apr to 2nd May 11. We were to take off in a private jet at 1500 hrs on 29th from Subang. B4 take off, the jet had a malfunction. Major (rtd) Syed Jamal, owner of Weststar, saved the situation by giving us his personal Gulfstream jet. We took off two hours late.

Gaya: Executive Jet (Click on image to enlarge)

We went straight to a BBQ function at HQ 3 Brigade at Penrissen where I have been Brigade Major at one time. Big show with everything thrown in. The BBQ was not imaginative. The tuak served was diluted with orange juice. Otherwise, spiritless. The function costs 1 Ranger RM 120,000.00. I thought that was crazy.

We got back to the Majestic Hotel on the River at 2359 hrs. The bar was to close at 0030 hrs. The manager was told to open the bar until the last Ranger officer crawled out, pissed. Col Yunus Ali Khan led the officers including the expats and their wives. Finished at 0300 hours.

B'fast on 30th Apri at 0830 hrs. We had group photo shoot at the Kuching Amphitheatre. I was told to parachute jump into the Amphitheatre, I buat bodoh lah. It followed by a tour of Kuching, Santubung (where we watched Sarawak dances for one hour. Most officers slept in the theatre), Museums and the Satok market where most of us bought pepper, Terubuk kering, asam kelubi for making umai, and terung Iban. Telur Terubuk kering was RM 54.00 per kg!! Got back with enough time for two beers at the bar. We were to assemble at the Majestic Hotel Ballroom which could take 1000 pax. The Rangers reported at 1800 hrs. The officers at 1830 hrs, and VIP/VVIPS at 1900 hrs. The organisers anticipated 700 pax, but 1000 came including wives and widows. No problem.

Click on image to enlarge.

Seating plan was by A,B,C,D, HQ Companies. I was seated at Battalion HQ. Two war heroes sat with me - WO11 Kanang PGB, SP, and Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) Jimba Anak Layang whom I had promoted RSM when I was in Command. It was unnerving for me coz my escort fixed by Jimba was the unmarried daughter of the late CSM Bunyam. She wore a low plunging neckline, and her goods were breath-taking!!

Kalam and I arrived at 1830 hrs sharp wearing Ranger uniforms with our green berets, staple belts, and hackles. So did Tan Sri Ahmad Johan. We did not wear our badges of ranks or our medals. We electrified the Rangers. There was a huge roar of approval. There were lots hugging and kissing, and my batman cried in my arms. Jimba and Kanang were choked with emotions. It took the best of my discipline to stop from bursting into tears. No Iban called me Apai Mike. I was addressed correctly as Penghulu Telajan (son of the warrior God). The sister of my late Chief Clerk, the elder sister of Tan Sri Leo Moggie cried on my shoulder.

It was a night of splendour. Draft beer and tuak flowed endlessly. There were traditional Iban and Kelabit dances. Music was provided by two bands. Chinese dinner was served. Great speeches were made. The 1st Commanding Officer, Col. Fairey Copsill could not come as he is 92 and unwell. He made a live telecast from UK. His wife came. B4 the presentation of the history of the Regiment on a large screen, the sounds of gunfire roared through the loud-speakers. Rifles, machine guns, mortars and APCs. I saw Major Pothu Nair in tears. What a reminder. All the Rangers, wives, and widows whose husband died in battle or in harness with the Regiment from any part of Sarawak were given free transportation, makan and accommodation. All widows were given an envelope of money worth quite a sum. All Peninsular officers and their families were given free return tickets by air, food and free accommodation at the 4 star Majestic Hotel. I went solo. The expats from UK were totally financed for the trip, their stay in KL, and Sarawak. The total cost came to RM 500,000. RM 1 mil was donated to 1Ranger Foundation. A new battery operated wheel chair was donated to the crippled Col. Dunstan Nyaring Angking. There were gifts and goodies galore.

On 1st May we were free to do things on our own by 1600 hrs. A few Peninsular officers went on a tour of Sarawak to see the places that we have served. Some flew back to KL, and the others continued their happy hours. Blardy heathens!!

The organisation in Kuching was under Col. Fabian Wong assisted by Majors Abit Berdendang, Willie Busu Mingat, and Walter Ted Wong Tedung.

Most of the Rangers and their wives, even at their advanced ages look robust with straight backs. RSM Jimba is 85, and he looks really good with a young wife. The officers who retired to office work look hp6 Most of the men work in timber logging industry and farm on their own. Its my imagination that the food they eat is very healthy. They eat beras huma (mountain rice), pork, fish, soy sauce, vegetables, ginger, garlic and fruits. Narrative and pics from Col Mike Nasir. More pictures here....
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:51 PM  
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