By Lt Kol Robert Rizal Abdullah PGB
(In honour of the fallen Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers who had sacrificed their lives in the Insurgency War in Malaya from 1948 to 1960)
O Ye men of war!
Your name will live forever.
To you, courage is a virtue.
We are forever indebted to you.
You seek the path of danger.
Where death lurks spewing fear.
Behind every nooks, lurking.
Waiting to sever life’s string.
O Ye warrior most noble.
The bravest and most able.
Strength unparalleled and mind of steel.
Matched by swords tempered to kill.
Protected by the spirits and gods of war.
You marched forward without fear.
Firm in the belief you were right.
On you, weapons of evil have no might.
In battle, withdrawal was a weakness.
Come what may, march forward, nevertheless.
Your beliefs were your strength and victory.
We pray there are many more with your tenacity.
After 60 long years seemingly eternity.
You are coming home, finally.
By your deeds you had sown the seeds
For the world to know your courageous feats.
Rest thee well O noble warriors.
You had set a tradition most precious.
A legacy that your generations must live by.
A tenet of life that mustn’t die.
This is it. The reburial of the remains of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers has been set for 27 July 2011 in Kuching. As the prime mover of this project, I have been asked to give a short speech and I hope to read this poem which I had written for the occasion.