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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Sept 19: The late Datuk Awang Raweng was one of the greatest heroes from Sarawak who fought in the course of freedom.
Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Co-operatives Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar emphasised that the uncommon bravery and selflessness that he had shown in the face of greater enemies won him one of the highest awards of Great Britain.
“He fought against the common enemy of the free countries at the time.
“He was honoured with the George Cross Medal, which is the equivalent of the Victoria Cross awarded to non-military personnel who have shown the impossible bravery, valour and selflessness in the battlefield.
“Goodbye Datuk Awang Raweng, have a good rest. Your name and your legacy will live forever,” he said as he bid farewell to Sarawak’s very own Iban hero.
Awang Raweng 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.
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.
Awang Raweng, who passed away yesterday (Sept 18) at his residence in Sri Aman, will be honoured with a state funeral for two days beginning tomorrow (Sept 20) at Kuching’s Civic Centre.
He will be laid to rest at the Heroes’ Grave at Jalan Taman Budaya here at 11am on Monday (Sept 21). — DayakDaily