(Malaysian Digest) - A pro-Opposition news portal’s act of trivializing the contributions of the late national hero Datuk Temenggong Kanan Kanang Anak Langkau is tantamount to insulting all army personnel and their families.
This is the opinion of Armed Forces general Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, who also believes that the portal’s report, titled “Kanang Bukan Hero Sebenar’ (Kanang Isn’t A True Hero) is not only rude, but also ignorant.
Zulkifeli said it was regrettable that some people are unclear of Kanang’s sacrifices.
He stressed that the government’s decision to accord full state honors to the national hero was made in view of his invaluable contribution towards defending the country.
“I ask those who made such statements to kindly read up on history and realize that Kanang had sacrificed plenty; all of this is in the history books.
“It is sad when a small group pounces on the opportunity to capitalize on his death to deny something which is already public knowledge,” Berita Harian quoted him as saying.
On Saturday, Suara Pakatan Rakyat, a pro-Opposition portal, had questioned the government’s actions in according full state honors for Kanang’s passing, especially when he already received a salary and allowances when he was in the army.
The writer of the article also proclaimed that Kanang is not “a true hero.”
Following the incident, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera (PBB) supreme council member, Datuk Idris Buang, lodged a report at the Kuching police headquarters to urge the authorities to investigate the website for defamation.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister’s political secretary, Abdullah Saidol, said the writer’s comments were out of line and ignorant.
He said the article was not only written without basis, but was also irresponsible and deeply offended the feelings of others, including the Ibans, which is the largest community in Sarawak.
He said the writer should have been more attuned to the sensitivities of Sarawakians and not make any statements which contradict what has been written as historical fact.
Abdullah, who is also Semop assemblyman, said Kanang was not only a true warrior, but was also a symbol for many in defending the country.
Sarawak Veteran Rangers Association president, Lt Kol (Rtd) Robert Rizal Abdullah, said those who made such statements have clearly never seen how Kanang’s stomach suffered gruesome wounds in the course of conflict.
“How can someone of sound mind issue a statement like that? Kanang himself once declared that he had died and lived again, only to continue fighting.
“Is all this not enough?” he said.
Kelab Sayangi Perdana Menteri president, Mohd Shahar Abdullah, likened the news portal’s article to a grave insult and also treacherous towards the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.
“All awards accorded to Kanang were presented by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. Why would anyone wish to question whether Kanang was a true hero or otherwise?”
“This is an insult to the country’s Ruler, the Iban community, Kanang’s next-of-kin and an irresponsible act towards all Malaysians.”