KUCHING, Sept 19: The late Dato Awang Raweng was one of Sarawak’s finest soldiers, the epitome of sheer dedication to duty and responsibility blended with uncommon valour.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised this as he expressed regrets for the passing of Sarawak’s very own Iban war hero.
“All Sarawakians and in particular the Dayak community will deeply feel his passing.
“But he will be remembered for a long long time… a legend in modern Sarawak,” he said in a statement today.
Awang Raweng passed away yesterday (Sept 18) at his residence in Sri Aman. He will be honoured with a state funeral for two days beginning tomorrow (Sept 20) at Kuching’s Civic Centre.
He was 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.
Uggah pointed out that this will serve as another inspiration for soldiers and Sarawakians in facing their own adversaries.
“His dedication and bravery had brought great honour to the state and the country,” he said, adding that it was most fitting that Awang would be given a state funeral and be buried with Sarawak brave warriors at the Kuching Heroes’ Grave on Monday (Sept 21).
“All Sarawakians share the grief of his family members. On behalf of all, I would like to express our deepest condolences to them too,” he added.
Nicknamed “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 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.
The late Awang Raweng will be laid to rest at the Heroes’ Grave at Jalan Taman Budaya here at 11am on Monday (Sept 21). — DayakDaily