Wednesday February 6, 2013
A call for land as burial ground for war heroes
KUCHING: The state government should allocate a piece of land to be used as the site of the Heroes Grave.
In making this call, DAP Dayak Consultative Council chairman John Brian said this would make it more convenient for the public to pay their respects at the burial ground for all those who had been bestowed with gallantry awards.
“The only issue is the religious sensitivity involving the exhumation of those buried elsewhere.
“Another thing is about the design of the headstone,” he told a press conference here yesterday in response to the question of why Iban hero, the late ASP (Rtd) Wilfred Gomez Malong, the recipient of the country’s highest medal of valour Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB), was not laid to rest at the Heroes Grave.
“There is no criterion set on who should be buried at the Heroes Grave, which led to many questioning the inconsistency?
“Could it be that Gomez used to be the secretary-general of PBDS during its days as the Opposition?” John said.
Sarawak Ex-Policemen Asso- ciation chairman Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar made a similar call recently that it was high time for a policy to be made to allow all national heroes who fought against terrorists and communist insurgency to be buried at the Heroes Grave.
Due to no policy on the matter, Junaidi — who is also Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker and Santubong MP — said even till now, nobody knew the criteria regarding who should be buried at the Heroes Grave.
Prior to Gomez’s demise, the late Datuk Temenggong Kanang Langkau, who was recipient of the PGB and Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa awards, was laid to rest at the Heroes Graves in full military honour.
On another matter, John also proposed for the revival of the Sarawak Rangers whom he said were the best jungle trekkers in the past.
“It can be revived to be a ceremonial unit,” he said.