Capt Mukhtiar: 90 and still battling on By Adrian David - June 15, 2022 @ 12:19pm
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Capt (Rtd) Mukhtiar Singh Sodagar Singh (sitting, second from left)
flanked by (from left) Rajvinder Kaur, Datuk Rajpal Singh and Datin
Sheena Kaur and (back row, from left) Updash Singh, Trisha Sandhu and
Soneesha Sandhu at Mukhtiar’s 90th birthday at his Taman Kaya home, off
Jalan Ipoh in Kuala Lumpur. - NSTP/ADRIAN DAVID
New Straits Times : KUALA LUMPUR: Surviving the communist insurgency during his jungle forays, was one thing.
But making it to 90 years was even tougher for retired Royal Military
Police Corps officer Capt (Rtd) Mukhtiar Singh Sodagar Singh. Mukhtiar, who celebrated his birthday last Monday, told The New
Straits Times (NST) that age had caught up with him, so much so that
moving around was physically challenging.
"It is a battle to sit up or even take a short walk.
"I have been physically drained and spend most of my time in bed. "Thank the Almighty though, that I have made it this far in life and am blessed to have a wonderful family to care for me.
"Of course, I dearly miss my wife Pritam Kaur who died on Jan 19 last
year," said Mukhtiar at his Taman Kaya home, off Jalan Ipoh in Kuala
Lumpur. Present at a very simple ceremony to wish Mukhtiar 'happy 90th
birthday' at his home were his daughter Rajvinder Kaur, son lawyer Datuk
Rajpal Singh and wife Datin Sheena Kaur, and grandchildren Updash
Singh, Trisha Sandhu and Soneesha Sandhu.
Another of Mukhtiar's sons is geriatric specialist Datuk Dr Rajbans
Singh who was unable to attend, along with his wife Datin Rajinder Kaur
and their two daughters Benita Raj Kaur and Nevrita Raj Kaur.
Looking back, Mukhtiar said he was among a handful still alive as
many of his military and police comrades had died many years so, either
while in service or later on in life.
"We used to have great reunions and shared our tales from the past glory years.
"I often looked forward to attending the annual parades of the Royal
Military Police Corps, which I gave a miss the last two years owing to
the Covid-19 pandemic.
"It was one of the events where I renewed my acquaintances with so many of my buddies.
"And now with my feeble condition, do not think will be able to
attend them anymore," said Mukhtiar, who needs a wheelchair to move
around. He added that it was his greatest honour to be able to serve his country, wholeheartedly.
"I feel grateful to others who have walked the same path. "I wake up every day to cherish the time I had put my life on line for my country. "Never once did I feel regretful, as I am proud to have served Malaysia and its people," said Mukhtiar. Speaking on behalf of Mukhtiar's grandchildren, Sheena said that Mukhtiar had always been an inspiration to them.
"He did not just teach them with words, but taught them by the example of how he lived his life.
"Those lessons stuck in their heads and hearts, and although it took a
little longer to manifest, they are the reasons why the grandchildren
are so strong today," said Sheena.
She added that Mukhtiar had often related to the grandchildren so many stories about him serving in the police and army. "He was Malaysia's hero and most importantly their hero. "He has lived an amazing 90 years in this world and served our country with great honour.
"He is a man of inspiration, strength and power. That is their grandfather," said Sheena.
Meanwhile, Mukhtiar's namesake and nephew paid tribute to his uncle. NST Press (NSTP) security supervisor Mukhtiar Singh (junior) from
Bandar Kinrara in Puchong, was very grateful to his uncle for roping him
in to join the publishing firm in 1984, when the latter was the
company's security officer. "If not for my uncle Mukhtiar senior, I will not have got a decent job way back then.
"I am ever grateful to my uncle for his advice and guidance in my
working and family life," said Mukhtiar junior, who retired from NSTP
last year, but was rehired on contract basis. After retiring from the Army, Mukhtiar senior had at that time served
as the NSTP's security officer based at the company's premises in
For the record, Mukhtiar senior had served with the police for 12
years and thereafter the Army for 17 years - for a combined total of 29
During the Second Emergency (1948-1960) as a police inspector, he was
credited with the death and capture of 18 communist terrorists in
Selangor, while he himself escaped numerous assassination attempts on
his life. For his efforts, the then British High Commissioner to Malaya, Sir
Donald MacGillivray had presented the Colonial Police Medal for
gallantry in action to Mukhtiar, on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.
Later when he joined the Territorial Army, Mukhtiar reportedly became
a weapons instructor and was a top marksman and won many shooting
medals and awards.