Sarawak to hold state funeral for Iban hero Awang Raweng

Datuk Awang Raweng

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Sept 19: Sarawak’s very own Iban hero the late Datuk Awang Raweng will be honoured with a state funeral for two days beginning tomorrow (Sept 20) at Kuching Civic Centre.

Awang Raweng passed away yesterday (Sept 18) at his residence in Sri Aman.

He will be laid to rest at the Heroes’ Grave at Jalan Taman Budaya here at 11am on Monday (Sept 21).

Members of the public and dignitaries can come to pay their last respects to the only Malaysian ever awarded the George Cross Medal, Britain’s highest civilian award, for gallantry, as recorded in the London Gazette on Nov 20, 1951.

According to Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas), the remains of the late Awang Raweng will be brought down from Sri Aman and expected to arrive at the Civic Centre at about 1pm where he will lay in state for two days.

Members of the public and dignitaries can start paying their last respects at 2pm tomorrow and to be followed by prayer service at 6pm to be led by St Thomas Church’s priest.

On Monday, the public and dignitaries can pay their last respects starting at 9am before a prayer ceremony is held at 10am.

The public are advised to wear proper attire such as dark lounge suits or other suitable attires when paying their last respects.

Nicknames “Tua Kampung” (the Chief), Awang Raweng who served as a jungle tracker for the British Army in Peninsular Malaysia between 1948 to 1960 was also the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation, Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals.

Hailing from Nanga Skrang, the war hero was entitled to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday at Buckingham Palace, his last visit being in 2018.

He was awarded the Panglima Setia Bintang Sarawak award, which carried the title ‘Datuk’, by Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud in conjunction with the Head of State’s 82nd birthday in 2018.-DayakDaily