Friday January 4, 2013
No chance to say goodbye
KUCHING: Highly-decorated war hero Temenggong Datuk Kanang Langkau was watching some news and football highlights around midnight while his wife Brawang Chunggot was doing some house chores when he suddenly felt great pain in the chest.
He complained to Brawang, 54, that he was having trouble breathing, and shortly after that he lost consciousness.
“I didn’t have any chance to say goodbye,” she wept while relating the story to reporters at Sarawak General Hospital’s mortuary yesterday.
According to her, he was in the best of health a few hours earlier.
“We were chatting after dinner while he had his favourite coffee. He was as always very jolly and funny. He loved to joke around,” she said.
As the other family members came, she broke into tears.
At their home in Sungai Apong, she showed reporters all the photos she had with Kanang, including photos of Kanang’s young and glory days in the army.
His medals and awards were also shown.
Kanang left behind five children with Brawang and six with his first wife, Helen Latai Ini, who died in 2011 at the age of 61.
His youngest son, Langi, said his father’s death was a shock to him and the rest of the family.
“He always looked healthy. In fact he had no major illness as far as we knew,” said the 31-year-old soldier from Penrissen Camp.
Langi said he was only informed of his father’s death at around 6am yesterday.
“We were so close, but after he remarried, we were a bit distant as we minded our own work and affairs,” he said.
Langi said he was saddened by the fact that the last time they interacted closely was during the last Gawai Dayak.
“It was very unexpected. I don’t know what else to say. It was very sudden,” he said.
Assistant Public Health Minister Dr Jerip Susil said the cause of Kanang’s death was still unknown, and said the family members had requested that the autopsy not be done.
“Out of respect for him we want to make do without the autopsy. We suspect that the cause could be cardiac arrest.
“Nonetheless, there was no sign of foul play, so an autopsy was not necessary as requested by the family members,” he said.