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S U N D A Y , 2 8 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 8

My Kilat (Lightning) Platoon

My Kilat (Lightning) Platoon of 1973 in Serian, Sarawak.The year, 1973, was my greatest year. It was also thegreatest year for my Battalion, 3rd Malaysian Rangers.The Battalion had created a record in making the highestnumber of kills in a single year - 30 CTs killed. Under me,Kilat platoon had the most. It was soon surpassed by DCompany which I later commanded towards the end ofthe year. In my final contact with the 1st Coy of "PasukanGerila Rakyat Sarawak (PGRS), I was awarded thenation's second highest bravery award, the PanglimaGagah Berani (PGB). I had achieved my goal and dream. Ihad wanted to be like my warrior predecessors in theSarawak Rangers who had served with distinction withthe Commonwealth Forces during the First Emergency inMalaya from 1948 to 1960. Above all, I would like to thinkI had passed the test of courage - not once but threetimes within that year. Of course, all these wouldn'thave been possible without the equally enthusiastic andbrave soldiers under my command.

All these didn't come easy. The platoon had to be trainedto work as a dedicated, brave and a confident team.They must be made to feel they were superior in terms

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PGB WarriorMy experiences, thoughts and wisdom gained while serving in the Malaysian Armed Forces in particular the

Malaysian Rangers.

of fighting skills, endurance and strength. They musthave high spirit and espirit-de-corps. How had Iachieved this?

I enrolled the platoon in a local Tang Soo Do Club andtrained with them twice a week

................ and trained them four times a week in Serian Camp

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A Mysterious Sarawak Rangers

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Posted by Robert Rizal Abdullah at 14:15

...... and sparred with them during the training sessions.

......and the results were successes after successes.

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Labels: Kilat Platoon

Operation Cahaya Bena 1, 1976

Operation Cahaya Bena 1 (1976) Joint Malaysian-ThaiSecurity Forces Operation in South Thailand. It was the

best news we had ever heard - we were going to have a joint

operation with the Thai security forces in the hot beds of the

Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) in the Betong Salient. Betong

Salient was a known safe sanctuary of the CPM. Every time after

hitting the Malaysian troops, they would always retreat into Betong to

avoid the counter actions by the Malaysian troops. Therefore, when

the news broke out, we were happy and looked forward to the big day.

However, it was a total disappointment for us. We were given an

area too far north - about 40 kilometres inside the Thai territory.

Although there were traces that indicated the presence of the

communist terrorists (CTs) in the area, I believed their main camps

were not there. I was right in my assumption when much later after

they had laid down their arms in 1989, they opened up their

underground tunnel systems near the town of Betong as a tourist

attraction. The operation had been quite a challenge and a different

dimension for us. We found out, the CTs had a firm foothold in the

area. They had mingled well with the locals. To a certain extent, they

were a part of the local population. After about a month, D Company

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Posted by Robert Rizal Abdullah at 07:01

of 3rd Rangers killed 2 CTs in an ambush. I was hot on the CTs trail. I

was following a well-used track that I was sure would lead to a big

camp. It was heavily booby-trapped and the going was slow. After

about two kilometres, I was told to cease following the track. A few

days later the operation was called off and we returned to our base in


Me and some of my men together with 3 Thai BPP attached to my

Company throughout the operation.

There were a few questions that had always haunted my mind: Why

was the operation called off when we were hot on the trails of the

CTs? I believed, if we had continued to follow the track for another

one week, we could have caught up with a main group whose men I

saw a couple of days earlier. Had the killing of the two CTs and my

follow up action forced the Thai counter-part to abandon the

operation? The answers will perhaps remain unanswered with the

planners. To us, it was a big disappointment.

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Labels: Op Cahaya Bena 1

S A T U R D A Y , 2 7 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 8

Operation Pagar, Perak 1977

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Operation Pagar, Ayer Kala, Perak, Malaysia 1977. I took

part and played a major role in a brigade-size cordon and search

operation against a small group of communist terrorists (CTs) who

were caught in a cordon in the night operation. I was commanding

Company D of 3rd Rangers and was one of three assault companies.

We crossed Perak River (visible in the picture) at first light and

started the sweep of the target area from the far bank of Perak River

with the help of assault boats operated by 3rd Rangers Assault

Pioneer Platoon. The going was tough as we had to force our way up a

slope covered by thick thorny underbrushes closely interwoven, much

like concentina wire. Their sharp thorns pricked and scratched our

bare hands and faces. As we came near the top of the hillock we were

under fire. I could hear the thumping sounds of bullets as they

whizzed over our heads. I tried to locate where the fire came from.

As it was still dark, visibility was still bad. I couldn't see the CTs. The

target area was suddenly lightened up as flares were fired over our

heads. We could hear the whistling sounds of empty canisters as they

plunged down and landed uncomfortably close to us. We reached the

top of the hillock without a fight and went down the other side for

another few more hundred meters into a rubber plantation. No CTs.

We knew we were quite close to the cordon forces and for safety

reason stopped where we were. The same story happened to the other

two assaulting companies on my right. It was a disappointment for

us. Had the CTs slipped through the tight cordon at night? May be but

the planners didn't think so. Leaftlets were dropped into the target

area to persuade the CTs to come out. Loud speakers blared out

similar messages. No response. The operation dragged on into its

third day. Finally, I was asked to bring a small group armed with tear

gas. We were asked to throw the tear gas canisters into suspected

hideouts - hoping to force the CTs out. As expected, there was no

response. The stark reality was that the CTs had slipped out of the

cordon. Nevertheless, the operation was not a total failure. An

independent group from 3rd Rangers operating just outside the

cordon area made contact with a band of CTs on the first night. They

killed one and captured another.

Writing a book on the Iban

Trackers and Sarawak Rangers.


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My Kilat (Lightning) Platoon

Operation Cahaya Bena 1,


Operation Pagar, Perak 1977

The Sunset Fishing

Starting My Blog


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Posted by Robert Rizal Abdullah at 07:23

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The Sunset Fishing

This is one of my favourite picture. It was taken sometime in 1986 at

the confluence of Binio and Pandan River in the upper reaches of

Kamena River in Sarawak's Fourth Division. I was leading my battalion

in a search and destroy operation to locate the remaining communist

terrorists hardcore who were still active in the Third and Fourth

Division of Sarawak. There were scattered Iban long houses and

settlements in the area. There was no road and the only mean of

movement was by boats through the rivers. I was on an intelligence

gathering mission. I was there for about half a day, at the end of it I

caught the beautiful picture of the sunset.

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Labels: sunset fishing

T H U R S D A Y , 2 5 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 8

Starting My Blog

I'm basically not very well versed with the use of computers. I used it

merely as a type writer - of course much convenient and faster than

the conventional ribbon-fed type writers. In some aspects, I'm better-

off than many of my friends. This is because my son is IT trained and

I used to ask him to teach me a thing or two. Over the years, I have

joined a number of poetry-writing and discussion groups in the

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Posted by Robert Rizal Abdullah at 23:42

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internet. Some were free while some were not. In all of them, I never

last more than a year as I became disillusioned and discouraged -

maybe just because I carry an Asian name, my contributions were less

read. Or may be as my name was not established, I couldn't attract

the readers to my writings. In the end I became discouraged and

disillusioned. A year ago, a friend, David Chin of NZ convinced me to

join Multiply which I did. I'm still a member. I put all my poems and

short stories in there. Just like the other sites, my readers were far

and few. So I decided to copy and download some songs and musics

into my site and I noticed there were more visitors to that section. To

most of them, however, they were just fleeting shadows that come

and go. There were no warm exchange of conversations. My multiply

is rather cold and lonely. A couple of months ago David again tried to

convince me to create a blog - create your own world. I was reluctant.

Isn't multiply a blog? May be it is and just like the rest, I'm beginning

to be discouraged and disillusioned too. David was persistent - he

would make a good salesman! Yesterday I told him I'll give a try. And

here I am with my blog "PGBWarrior". Malaysians will know what the

"PGB" stands for. It is a coveted bravery award. Well, this is my first

entry. I don't know really where to start. Should I start my story from

50 years ago? Or should I start with the recent happenings? Oh well! I

shouldn't worry too much at this stage. Perhaps everything will fall

into place as I go along. And as I go along, I hope to meet more

friends here. So here's cheers to all of you who'll take the trouble to

read my first entry. Thank you.

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