KUCHING, Sept 21 — British High Commission Defence Adviser Group Captain Simon Hindmarsh has expressed his condolences on behalf of the British government and Queen Elizabeth II to the passing of the late Datuk Awang Raweng, a decorated soldier.
“Once we heard about the passing of the late Awang Raweng on Sunday, it became of absolute priority for me to depart from Peninsula Malaysia and come over to Sarawak to pay my respect and condolences,” said Hindmarsh to the press after paying his last respects to Awang Raweng at the wake in Kuching Civic Centre here today.
Hindmarsh said the Queen Elizabeth II had met Awang Raweng on several occasions and he added that the George Cross medal was the second highest honour in the hierarchy of medals in United Kingdom, just below the Victoria Cross medal.
“On behalf of the British government as well, I would like to convey our condolences and respect to this tremendously courageous soldier who did so much in 1951, which led to him being awarded with George Cross gallantry medal,” he said, stressing the award of the George Cross medal signified incredible courage shown by an individual.
Hindmarsh added he was aware the late Awang Raweng previously received an annual annuity of £1,300 (RM6,876) from the British government and an inquiry will be made on whether some assistance could be extended to the late soldier’s family.
Easter Field Command commander Lieutenant General Datuk Mohd Zakaria Yadi said the event today was full of army’s traditions that are usually accorded only to the heroes of the country.
“On behalf of the Malaysian Armed Forces, I send my condolences and appreciation to the family of the late Awang Raweng for his contributions and sacrifice made to the country,” he said.
Doris Awang, the eldest daughter of Awang Raweng’s second wife, said her father had hoped that all his children and family members would be able to live together harmoniously and achieve successes in their lives.
“We would also like to thank the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and other leaders for making the efforts to organise this event today, such as the police, army, veterans and everyone who worked with our father before,” said KK Panggau Awang, the fourth son from Awang’s third wife. — Borneo Post