Valour and Courage: Corporal Nyopis ak Noyeat PGB in a firefight at Sebatu Road, in Bau, Sarawak.
Death or Glory
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The Courageous
Who Have Looked At
Death In The Eye
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No Atheists
In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God


Which must always come to pass

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He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?


Have you always turned the other cheek?


To My Church have you been true?"


"No, Lord, I guess I ain't


Because those of us who carry guns


Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around


Except to calm their fears.


If you've a place for me here,


Lord, It needn't be so grand,


I never expected or had too much,


But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Corporal Nyopis ak Noyeat PGB in a firefight at Sebatu Road, in Bau, Sarawak.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Before 7th Rangers was sent to be tasked in Lundu, Sarawak, Cpl Nyopis was offered to become a Field Intelligence Officer, under the command of the Intelligence Officer of Sarawak, who was Major Maulub bin Maamin at that time. Nyopis was based in Bau with another Officer who was a Junior Liaison Officer, a Mr. Sim from the Police Force. He took the offer. He let his hair grow for three months and at the same time trained to become a civilian. He pretended and disguised himself as a villager in Bau. He managed to get a lot of information on the enemy’s supporters and the enemy themselves. These information he passed on to his handler, Mr. Sim, who was also stationed at the Police Station in Bau.

One day Cpl Nyopis was approached by a Communist Terrorist, bearing a photograph of Cpl Nyopis. The Enemy showed him the photograph and asked him whether he knew the person in the photograph. Saying that the person in the photograph was causing a lot of grief to their activities and movement. The Enemy also stated that the person in the photograph brought untold suffering on the local populace as curfews were imposed due to the interference of the individual in the photo.

Cpl Nyopis replied to the query saying that he knew the person in the photo, that the person in the photograph had left the district of Bau, that his exact whereabouts were currently unknown. That answer satisfied the Enemy.

The enemy’s activities were very serious in the Tondong area, the Police reacted by pulling out a group of Policemen who were stationed there, fearing for their safety. The building was converted to a shelter for government servants who went down to Tondong to carry out tasks there. Tondong is a small district, the entire population comprised of Chinese. There are 15 to 20 shops doing businesses in the area. It is located about 5 miles from Bau. Tondong and Bau were linked by the Sebatu road which was an unpaved road. It was a single carriageway with a lot of sharp bends. The Enemy that operated there was the 4th Company of the North Kalimantan Peoples Guerilla Force (NKPGF). It was led by a very dedicated Communist Terrorist named Ng Nyuk Foh. This particular CT originated from the District of Mursi.

On the 14th July 1972 a group of armed Communist Terrorists came to the home of Johnny Lee at Tai Au Poi, he was accused of being a Police informer for the Special Branch. Johnny was a local boy. He was dragged by the group of Communists from his house to Bazat Tondong where a “public trial” was conducted, in front of the local populace. He was tied to a tree in front of Bazar Tondong. The trial was carried out very cruelly, a farce to be exact. The outcome was predictable. He was accused of being a running dog of the government and he was sentenced to death. He was killed very cruelly in front of the villagers, with the aim of striking terror into the hearts of the villagers. The “lesson” was, do not support the government, if you do, you will end up like Johnny over there. They then set fire to the abandoned Police Station at Tondong at around 2200 hours that night.

After setting fire to the Police station they directed the “Captain China of Tondong” to report the matter to the Police Station in Bau. The “Captain China”(village head) reported the matter to Inspector Anthony Hui Chez Liong who in turn reported to Chief Inspector Lau Suk Kong who was then the head of Special Branch in Kuching. He was instructed by Lau to contact the 3rd battalion of the Police Field Force, which was not far from the Bau Police station. This was to get reinforcements from the unit to track down the killers.

Inspector Anthony knew that the report he received was genuine, he could look at the terror written all over the face of the “Captain China”. He also realized that the intention of the Communists in sending the Village Head was to lure the Police into a prepared ambush, who thought that the Police would rush in help, blindly. Therefore before he went to Tondong, he gave instructions to members of the Special Branch Sergeant Peter Nojey, Sgt. John Luk,Cpl John Yong, the Junior Liaison Officer Mr Sim and Cpl Nyopis from Army Intelligence. They were under the command of Anthony.

Anthony told them to investigate the previous night’s incident in Tondong. They were to find out exactly what happened in Tondong, what was the damage to the Police Station, the reaction of the villagers of Tondong and the reaction to the killing of Johnny Lee. He also explained that this information was required by the higher ups, so that they could get the bigger picture, on what was actually happening on the ground. This was to aid a larger operation that was going to be conducted in the district of Tondong. The Special branch and the solitary Army Intelligence man were escorted by a platoon of Police Field force, from Bau commanded by Inspector Abdul Razak bin Hj Hasan.

On the 14th July 1972, a reception was held at the Border Scout Training School, to celebrate a passing out parade which was take place the following morning. At around 2200 hours at the peak of the reception whilst everyone was having a good time, they saw flames shooting high in the darkness of the night, they thought nothing of it. The following morning at around 0700 hours Court Pion the watchman for the abandoned Police Station, came to the Bau Police Station to report that the Police Station at Tondong was burnt down. He also reported that the perpetrators were Communist terrorists. This was reported to Probationary Inspector Abdul Razak. He did not react immediately as he was short of men.

He knew that the Communist’s intention was to lure them into an ambush by burning down the Police station. He was given two armored vehicles to be used for the move to Tondong, which was 5 miles from Bau.

Cpl Nyopis was called up Inspector Anthony, saying that this was important and serious, asking Cpl Nyopis his opinion. Cpl Nyopis advised Inspector Nyopis that the burning of the Police station was a bait to lure the police into an ambush, if they rushed in, it would be catastrophic for the Police.

At around 0830 hours in the morning Inspector Anthony gave a briefing on the situation to all of the men who were to move to Tondong. Anthony Hui specifically requested that Nyopis was to follow the group. Nyopis armed himself with a 9mm Browning pistol with 4 magazines, he also armed himself with a Sterling sub machine gun with another 4 magazines with 30 rounds each.

He had a premonition that day, that he was going to do battle with the enemy. He prepared by tying two magazine together for quick reloading. He also briefed the police who were with him to be prepared if they ran into an enemy ambush. He was the only person from the Army the rest were Police Personnel.

An armored vehicle led the convoy of 3 Land Rovers, 3 trucks and brining up at the rear another armored vehicle. The leading Land Rover carried Inspector Tan, the second Land Rover was driven by Police Constable Bong Ah Tong which carried the officer in charge, Inspector Abdul Razak, the second Land Rover carried Mr Micheal Brand, Cpl Let bin Amin, Court Pion and a cameraman. The 3rd Land Rover was driven by PC Tomek and had Sgt John Luk, Cpl John Yong, PC Morshidi bin Johari of the Special Branch. JLO Sim and Cpl Nyopis as passengers. The other 3 trucks carried members of a Platoon from the 3rd Battalion of the Police Field Force.

After 15 minutes of driving time, leaving the Bau Police station, barely one and a half miles from Bau, as the convoy was struggling uphill, the enemy sprung an ambush on the convoy. They sprung the ambush when the leading armored vehicle disappeared around a sharp bend on the road. Their fire was directed at the Land Rover driven by PC Bong Ah Tong whose passenger was Inspector Abdul Razak. They were fired upon from the right of the road. PC Bong reacted by going to the left of the road and stopping. They rapidly debussed to take cover form the enemy’s fire. The Land Rover in which Nyopis was in, stopped a few feet behind the Land Rover that was being fired upon.

As luck would have it, the Land Rover that Cpl Nyopis was in, stopped directly in front of the enemy ambush ! He jumped out of the Land Rover and started firing at the enemy. He fired at them standing up without any cover, on the open road. The Enemy were only a meter away from the edge of the road. He saw the leader of the group giving directions to his men to bring fire to bear in the direction where Cpl Nyopis and the Land Rover were.

He fired with his Browning pistol continuously at the enemy, he saw the Leader of the ambush party fall. He continued firing at the enemy until he exhausted all the ammunition in his 4 magazines. He then whipped out his Sterling sub machine gun , jumped onto the front hood of the Land rover, to spot the enemy, who were actually hiding behind an ant hill in front of him.

He yelled, “ A Company to the right! B Company to the left! This was a feint to frighten the enemy. After this particular yell he was hit by the enemy’s bullets. Two rounds of the enemy were stopped by the buckle on his belt, one more round entered into his shirt and stayed there. He commenced firing after being hit. As he did not fall after being hit, the enemy started fleeing in panic. *This happening is one of the unexplainable.
The rest of the Police had taken cover under the Land Rover and some of them behind the tires of the vehicles. Some of them found cover in the ditch beside the road. The leading armored vehicle did turn around realizing that there was an ambush behind them. It managed to return fire on the already fleeing enemy. It did not hit anyone.

Cpl Nypois asked Inspector Tan to track the enemy, which he did for only a short distance. When asked to continue further, Inspector Tan refused, Cpl Nyopis and the Inspector nearly had a fight due to this reluctance by the Police Inspector to continue tracking the enemy.

Once the all clear was sounded, Cpl Nypois attended to the wounded. He used the field dressing that he ahd on him to aid the wounded. The wounded were PC Bong Ah Tong, Inspector Abdul Razak, Michael Brand, Cpl Let and Court Pion. A total of 45 policemen were wounded. They carried by a single Land Rover to Clinic Bau to be given emergency treatment. Cpl Nyopis was at the location until all the vehicles that were damaged during the ambush were extricated, that was at 1700 hours.

The Leader of the group of enemy was a Chinese from West Kalimantan, his life was ended by Cpl Nyopis. The leader was armed with a rifle.. The bravery displayed by Cpl Nyopis was out of the ordinary, without due regard for his safety he stood up to fire at the enemy, this display of rare courage instilled fear amongst the enemy. That action convinced them to flee for their lives, even though they had the advantage of surprise, location, good cover and good fields of fire. That was all spoilt for them by an individual, Cpl Nyopis of the Rangers. If on that particular day, Cpl Nypois was not with the convoy of Policeman, it was believed the Police would have suffered a greater number of casualties, as there was none among them, of a similar stature as Cpl Nyopis to rally them.

Inspector Anthony acknowledges by stating this, “I am very grateful to Cpl Nyopis for his actions that day. I was responsible for the convoy”.

His action, of total disregard for his own safety was rewarded. For bravery in the highest traditions of the Ranger Corps he was bestowed the “Pingat Gagah Berani” by the King on the 22 March 1975.

Corporal Nyopis ak Noyeat was born in the Runah Panjang Kampung Opar, Bau, Sarawak in 1942. * He was born in a covering of membrane. Which according to the beliefs of the Bidayuh, would empower a child with special powers. A child born like this in the Bidayuh community would normally be fed with a part of his umblical cord, which would be roasted, before being fed with it. This was related by his mother. He was the 3rd child of 5 children in his family. His father was a famer in his village. They were poor, due to poverty Nyopis could only manage to study until Standard 6 at the Saint Peter Paul Primary School in Bau (1960). In 1968 he joined the Border scouts as a recruit, he was trained for a month by the 1st Battalion, 10th Para Gurkha Brigade. After his completion of training he was attached to the 42nd Commando of the British Army as a guide. He was involved in numerous firefights with the “Tentera Nasioanl Kalimantan Utara (TNKU) a Communist armed wing in the Stass District.

He also fought against the Tentera Nasional Indonesia many times, inflicting casualties on them in the Gunung Besi area. After attending a NCO’s course in Bedawan in Serian, he was promoted to a Corporal. He served as a section commander, translator and guide to the British army. After the end of Confrontation (undeclared war on Malaysia by the Indonesians) in 1966, he left the Border scouts and joined 4t Rangers, at Camp Suvla Lines in Ipoh. He had to undergo training again in Port Dickson before joining 4th Rangers. He had to undergo advanced recruit training at 4th Rangers. He was again sent for a Cadre course after which he was promoted to a Lance Corporal.

He was deployed to Serian in Sarawak when with 4th Rangers. During the racial riots of 13th May 1969, he was deployed in Kuala Kurau, Perak. When the Philippines started claiming Sabah as part of her, he and the rest of 4th Rangers were deployed to defend Sabah against these claims by the Philippines. He was deployed in Sandakan and Pulau Tambisan. Cpl Nyopis was also one of the few from 4th Rangers who were selected to form up 7th Rangers in Kluang, Johore. He joined 7th Rangers and they shifted to Sg Patani in Kedah. Before 7th Rangers was deployed to Lundu in Sarawak, he was offered to be a Field Intelligence Officer with Military Intelligence. Cpl Nyopis’s last unit was 8th Rangers. He left the service as a Corporal on the 20th September 1976.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 5:30 AM  
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