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KUCHING, Dec 28: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing today hoped that members of the security forces will continue to emulate the motto of “Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban” as exemplified by a former George Cross recipient, the late Dato Awang Raweng.
“Let the motto “Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban” still rings true among the men in uniform in defence of this country.
Let the late Sgt Dato Awang Raweng’s bravery, be an example of what, a native of Sarawak, is capable of doing in defending the life of his fellow soldier regardless of ethnicity and region and by extension in the defence of this nation,” said Masing at the placing of the picture of the late Awang on his tombstone and the laying of wreath in his honour at the Heroes’ Grave here today.
He reiterated that the late Awang was a brave solder who was willing to sacrifice his life for his fellow comrade.
“As I laid the wreath on the tombstone of the late Sgt Dato Awang Raweng, the only Sarawakian of Malaysian origin on this day, December 28, 2020, I can’t help but reminiscing of the fateful day 69 years, 7 months and one day ago, today, when the young Awang Raweng, without thinking of his own life, prepared to defend the life of his fellow soldier, when the rest of his comrades left him behind in search for reinforcement.
“He stood his ground for 40 minutes, alone, shot, wounded and battered, and in doing so he saved the life of his comrade. For such bravery the late Sargent Dato Awang Raweng was awarded George Cross, the highest award for bravery given to a civilian, by the Queen of England,” said Masing.
Among those present were State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, and former commander of the Eastern Field Command Lt Gen Datuk Stephen Mundaw, war veterans and members of servicemen and women.
The late Awang passed away at the age of 91 in Sri Aman on Sept 18, 2020 and was laid to rest with full military honours at the Heroes’ Grave here on Sept 21.
Awang was the nation’s sole recipient of the George Cross gallantry award from the British government.
After retiring from the military, Awang returned to his longhouse in Nanga Skrang where he remained the headman until 2018.
Awang received the George Cross, Britain’s highest civilian award, on Nov 20,1951, for saving the life of an injured British soldier despite being shot himself during an ambush by about 50 communists in Johor.
According to the citation on his bravery, Awang had disregarded his own wounds to defend the injured soldier and drove off several attacks from the communists, even defying them with a live grenade in his hand. — DayakDaily