Published: Thursday January 3, 2013 MYT 10:43:00 AM
Updated: Thursday January 3, 2013 MYT 2:38:35 PM
Decorated Iban war hero Kanang Langkau to get state funeral (Update)
By NIGEL EDGAR
KUALA LUMPUR: Decorated Iban war hero Datuk Kanang Langkau, the most decorated former soldier who died early Thursday, will be accorded a state funeral in Sarawak on Sunday, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had instructed him to make the arrangements to accord the honour, with the state government coordinating the matter.
Kanang died of a heart attack at 1.45am Thursday at the Sarawak General Hospital after he was rushed there from his home at about midnight when he complained of breathing difficulties. He was 68.
Kanang was a Sarawakian who became the nation's pride for his bravery in fighting the communist terrorists in 1962 and 1963 while in the service of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF).
"We recognise the deeds of Kanang anak Langkau, not only to the Malaysian Armed Forces but also to the nation," Ahmad Zahid said.
KUCHING: Decorated Iban war hero Datuk Kanang Langkau collapsed while watching television at home in Sg Apong here Wednesday night.
He was rushed to the Sarawak General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was 68.
Kanang had complained of chest pains while watching television.
Born in Julau in 1945, Kanang served in the Royal Ranger Regiment and as Regimental Sergeant Major of 8 Renjer (8th Rangers) of the Malaysian Army.
He was awarded the Panglima Gagah Berani and Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa medals from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on June 3, 1981.
Kanang joined the service with the Sarawak Rangers, then part of the British Army, as an Iban Tracker on April 21, 1962.
He was absorbed into the Malaysian Rangers when Malaysia was proclaimed on Sept 16, 1963. Kanang retired as a First Warrant Officer after 21 years of service.
Kanang, the last surviving recipient of the Sri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa received the prestigious Panglima Gemilang Bintang Kenyalang last year from Head of State Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin. The award carries the title Datuk'.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi extended his condolences to the family.
"We have lost a national hero and I too have lost a good friend," he said after attending the graduation ceremony for diploma holders from the Malaysian Armed Forces Defence College.
Ahmad Zahid added that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has ordered the armed forces to prepare a memorial service.
Bernama reported Ahmad Zahid as saying that Kanang would be accorded a state funeral in Sarawak on Sunday. - Bernama