Malaysian Armed Forces' first Iban colonel Dunstan Nyaring Angking dies at 77

Angking receiving the Battle Truncheon presented by the Head of State, the late Tun Abang Haji Openg Abang Sapi’ee November 19, 1966 in Lundu. — Borneo Post pic
Angking receiving the Battle Truncheon presented by the Head of State, the late Tun Abang Haji Openg Abang Sapi’ee November 19, 1966 in Lundu. — Borneo Post pic

KUCHING, Sept 24 — The first Iban officer to attain the rank of full colonel in the Malaysian army, Col.(R) Dunstan Nyaring Angking, 77, died at 6.30am in his home at Taman Stapok Selatan, Batu Kawah, yesterday.

Angking first served in the First Battalion Ranger Regiment during the Indonesian confrontation and was the officer who received the Battle Truncheon on behalf of his battalion.

The Battle Truncheon was presented by the Head of State, the late Tun Abang Haji Openg Abang Sapi’ee on Nov 19, 1966 in Lundu.

Angking born on Aug 18, 1943 at Rumah Panjai Seruai, Spaoh, Saribas left behind his wife Juliana Din Hatt and four children, Diliah Angking, Diana Angking, Mark Juing Angking, and Christian MulokAngking, nine grandchildren and great-grandson.

After completing his formal education at St. Thomas School, Kuching, he joined the army on Jan 3, 1964 as a Cadet Officer and was trained at the Federation Military College, Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur.

He was commissioned on Dec 7, 1965 as a Second Lieutenant and posted to the First Batalion Ranger Regiment.

His career path in the army saw him attaining the ranks of Rifle Platoon Commander and Unit Intelligence officer (Infantry Battalion), Kapten Turus Kuatering (Infantry 5th Brigade), Adjutant-Infantry Battalion (Ranger Regiment), Company Commander – Infantry Battalion (1 Ranger Regiment), Company Commander/Instructor Cadet Wing Royal Military College and Battalion Second in Command –Infantry Battalion (1 Ranger Regiment).

After leaving the army he served as a Federal Political Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Department from 1991 to 1999.

Apart from receiving The Battle Truncheon, the late Angking was also awarded Pingat Perkhidmatan Am (June 23, 1966), Pingat Peringatan Malaysia (Oct 31, 1969), Kesastria Mangku Negara (June 3, 1981), Ahli Mahkota Perlis (Oct 27, 1984), Kesastria AngkatanTentera (Aug 4, 1984) and recently Pingat Jasa Malaysia.

His other appointments included the Malaysian Defence Advisor in India from 1982 to 1985.

His wife Juliana said the late Angking who was wheel chair bound for 21 years from an accident in Indonesia, had always been given the best treatment, love and care by his families and friends throughout the years he was invalid.

She said he died in her arms yesterday and managed to thank her for looking after him all these years before he breathed his last.

“We have lost him but our memories of him remain in our heart forever. We are happy that he had lived his life to the fullest, and it was expected that he would go soon, as he was already showing signs of being unwell for a week,” she said.

One of his best friends, retired Lieutenant General Datuk Stephen Mundaw, who was also at his house for the wake, expressed deep sorrow over Angking’s loss.

“This is indeed a loss to the nation and the state. We have been the best of friends since our Army days. I just lost another good friend (referring to the late Datuk Awang Raweng) and today I lost another one,” he said.

The wake for Angking will be at his house until the burial date which has been yet to be finalised. — Borneo Post

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