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A Journey Through Time...
By: M Jeffri Razali

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Wednesday, 23-Feb-2005 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
The Ultimate Sacrifice:Bukit Kepong Revisited

Welcome To Bukit Kepong
This Was Built To Replace The Razed Station
The Rear Of The Station From The Bank Of The River
Site Of The Bloody Battle
Attacks Were Launched From A Rubber Estate Bordering The Station
The Jetty Which Was Utilized By The Police Back Then
The Only Mode Of Transportation Was Via This River
Burial Site For The Policemen, Families & Villagers
A Commemorative Plaque
 

The New Straits Times, March 5, 2000


It was as cold and as quiet as any other dawn, yet Feb 23, 1950, was to be different in many ways. It was on this fateful day that history - for both the police and the country in their battle against communist insurgents - would be made.

The bloody Bukit Kepong incident, in which NOTE 19 policemen and their families perished after waging a battle against some 180 communist terrorists, will forever remain in the people's memories. The incident showed the resilience and willpower of the policemen and their families in the battle against the vicious attackers.

Not to be left out were the courageous Bukit Kepong villagers who, led by their penghulu Ali Mustafa, went to the aid of the besieged police station. Two villagers were also killed in the battle.

Despite knowing the odds were stacked against them, the policemen, led by Sgt Jamil Mohd Shah, refused to surrender, although numerous calls by the communists for them to lay down arms were made.


The Entrance Into The Heroes' Mausoleum


In the aftermath of the incident, only four policemen survived - Othman Yusof, Abu Bakar Daud, Ahmad Khalid and Yusoff Rono. Yusoff, whom villagers found lying in a pool of blood, is the last remaining survivor today.

Holding the upper hand, the communist insurgents, led by the infamous Mat Indra (who was later killed in an ambush with security forces), strongly believed that they would be able to defeat the policemen and gain control of the police station within a short span of time.

Their confidence stemmed from the fact that Bukit Kepong, at that time, was an isolated part of Johor. The nearest town was Kampung Lenga, which was about 2 1/2 hours away by foot. With their number of people and logistical support, the communists thought the siege would be a stroll in the park. But they were wrong. They had underestimated the policemen's determination and willpower, which saw them fighting to the end. Fight to the end they did...even when most of them had fallen, the others - including the wives and injured policemen - continued their battle, armed with their Bren guns and Mark IV shotguns.

Only about five hours after the first shot was fired did the communists manage to break their defences and set the place ablaze. They then retreated into the jungle, leaving a trail of destruction and bloodshed.

- Excerpt From Report In The New Straits Times, March 5, 2000

NOTE : According to the book Bukit Kepong, 14 policeman, four village guards, three auxillary policemen, wife of Abu Bakar Daud (one of the policemen who survived) and three of their children were killed in the incident, bringing the number of deaths to 25. Four policemen and nine family members, including wives and children, who were in the police complex at the time, survived.

To a certain extent, the Bukit Kepong incident can be said to be Malaysia's version of the Alamo, which came under heavy assault from Mexican soldiers during the Texas Revolution in March 1836 (I hope I got the facts, especially the dates, correct). Just as Bukit Kepong, the Alamo came to symbolise heroic struggle against overwhelming odds — a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom


The Only Thing Which Survived The Tragedy - The Concrete Jetty

Quote:
"It was their plight (the survivors), their difficulty in bringing up the children and the alienation they had to face which motivated me to embark on this project (documenting the incident as a book). No one came to their aid during the years after the Bukit Kepong incident. No assistance was given to them and many had to live in poverty until their deaths" - Ismail Johari, author of Bukit Kepong.


Quote:
The Inscription On The Memorial Plaque
- Bagi memperingati mereka yang mengorbankan nyawa mempertahankan negara ini dari satu serangan komunis di balai polis Bukit Kepong pada subuh 5hb Jamadilawal 1359 bersamaan 23hb Februari 1950. Dengan semangat kepahlawanan yang tidak ternilai selaras dengan tradisi murni perkhidmatan polis kepada rakyat, mereka berkorban agar negara dan rakyat terus ujud. Mereka akan bersemadi dalam kenangan dan menjadi inspirasi dan galakan yang berterusan. Semoga Allah mencucuri segala rahmat ke atas roh mereka.
(Translation)To commemorate those who had sacrificed their lives to protect the country from the communist attack on Bukit Kepong police station at dawn, on 5th Jamadilawal 1359, or 23rd February 1950. With true warrior spirit, in lined with the police tradition to serve the public, they sacrificed themselves so that the country and the people will continue to exist. They will forever remain in memory and will serve as continuous inspiration and encouragement. May Allah bless their souls.


Quote:
"Dengan nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah lagi Maha Mengasihani,
Segala puji bagi Allah, Tuhan yang memelihara dan mentadbirkan sekalian alam,
Yang Maha Pemurah lagi Maha Mengasihani,
Yang Menguasai pemerintahan Hari Pembalasan,
Engkau sahaja yang kami sembah, dan kepada Engkaulah sahaja kami memohon pertolongan,
Tunjukilah kami jalan yang lurus,
Iaitu jalan orang-orang yang Engkau telah kurniakan nikmat kepada mereka, bukan (jalan) orang-orang yang telah engkau murkai, dan bukan pula (jalan) orang-orang yang sesat"

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