NATIONAL HERO: Decorated Iban Tracker to be buried with full military honours
KUALA LUMPUR: A STATE funeral with full military honours will be accorded to decorated Iban Tracker Datuk Temenggong Kanang Langkau, who died early yesterday.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Kanang would be given a ceremonial burial befitting a national hero in Sarawak on Sunday.
"The Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) has directed me to get the ministry and the armed forces to prepare the ceremony that will be coordinated by the Sarawak government.
"This is in recognition of Kanang's dedicated service to the armed forces and country," he said after attending the graduation ceremony of 39 officers at the Malaysian Armed Forces Defence College in Jalan Tekpi here yesterday.
Zahid said he personally knew Kanang and of his dedication as a soldier who had fought the communist terrorists.
"I lost a dear friend who was a great role model and received two highest gallantry awards."
Kanang. 67, died from a heart attack at Sarawak General Hospital at 1.45am yesterday.
Kanang, who retired from the army in 1982 with the rank of Warrant Officer I, was the sole recipient of both the Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB) and Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP) on June 3, 1981.
Zahid hoped a film, produced by a local company highlighting the brave feats of Kanang, would be released soon.
He said Kanang had given many interviews to newspapers and over television, and many articles had been written about him.
Kanang was in the limelight in 2011 when he supervised Operation Mai Pulai, the ceremonial reburial of 21 Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers killed during the Emergency. Their remains were exhumed from various places in the peninsula and brought home to Sarawak on July 21, last year.
Kanang, who was appointed a temenggong (paramount leader) in his hometown Sri Aman, was awarded the Pegawai Bintang Sarawak in 1987.
Last year, he received the Panglima Gemilang Bintang Kenyalang, which carries the title "Datuk", from Sarawak head of state Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin.
Kanang, who was born in Julau on March 2, 1945, was also with the Sarawak Rangers when it was part of the British Army.