Nunis brother-in-law and former NST Perak bureau chief, Jerry Francis
said the former was given a last respect by veterans and friends that
befitted a true Malaysian patriot.
After retirement, Nunis was equally sharp with his pen, serving the
New Straits Times as a stringer (freelance journalist) for a good many
years, covering military affairs and social news from 1991 to 2013.
Sadly, the gritty Nunis succumbed to a heart attack and died at about
noon at the Sitiawan Hospital in Perak on Monday. He was 79.
His son Darren Jason, 47, said his father's wake was being held today
(Tuesday) at their residence in Bandar Baru Sri Manjung, Sitiawan.
Nunis' funeral is tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Pundut crematorium in Sitiawan.
Besides Jason, Nunis leaves behind wife Marie Antoniette Rodrigues and daughters Joanne, 44, and Jean Marie, 40.
Jason said Nunis had initially joined Britain's Royal Air Force in 1961 and served until 1966.
"He was trained at the RAF station in Seletar, Singapore as an
aero-engine tradesman before being posted to the aircraft servicing
flight at RAF Changi, Singapore.
"With the Malaysianisation of our armed forces, my father then joined
the RMAF in 1967 and moved on to become an air-quartermaster (AQM),
until his retirement in 1984," said Darren.
He recounted how Nunis had scored his first and only front page lead
in the NST in the 1999, reporting on a Colombian couple – Pedro Mejia
and his wife - who survived 'the bends' (decompression sickness) after a
diving trip off Thailand.
"He loved to write and had a passion to contribute numerous social and military affair stories for the newspaper.
"He had, after retiring from the RMAF, worked with a Q-Lin Sdn Bhd which was a naval spares parts supplier in Lumut, Perak.
"He used his good contacts in the defence industry and wrote
extensively on naval and military affairs for the NST," said Darren.
Meanwhile, former RMAF assistant chief of staff (development and
planning) Major-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Che Yahya Idris was full of praise for
the late Nunis.
"I salute him and am very sad on his demise.
"Together, we flew at least a 100 operational sorties in front-line jungle operations.
"He was a very good AQM, who was well prepared, up-to-date and reliable.
"I remember one occasion when our Alouette was under heavy gunfire by communist terrorists, during a mission.
"We received a radio call from our troops on the ground to abort the mission and return later.
"It probably saved our lives," said Che Yahya, who retired in 2011 after 40 years with the RMAF.
He said they last spoke in June 2019 during a grand reunion for RMAF helicopter pilots in Labuan, Sabah.
Retired Armed Forces Health Services Division director-general
Major-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Pahlawan Dr R. Mohanadas also spoke credibly of
Nunis, whom he described as a prolific writer for the NST.
"He was a good friend when I was serving at the Royal Malaysian Navy hospital in Lumut, where we often met.
"Nunis was deft at writing many memorable stories of the navy and the
hospital, as well as other happenings around the region," said
He added that Nunis was a familiar figure at the RMN base in Lumut.
"Being an ex-serviceman, he was familiar with military protocol and
traditions, and hence got along getting his stories with ease for the
"He mixed well with all ranks and was always present in base
activities, big or small, and reported well and timely," said Dr
He recalled when soon after the RMN's hospital had its first
hyperbaric chamber installed, there was a Colombian couple who had gone
diving off Thailand.
"The woman diver developed 'the bends' and was referred to be treated at the RMN naval hospital in Lumut.
"She recovered well and flew back safely to Colombia. "Nunis' story
of her experience became a headline news for the NST in 1999," said Dr