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Friday March 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
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by sharon ling
KUCHING: A book about the late war hero Temenggong Datuk Kanang Langkau has been reprinted by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) to commemorate his passing earlier this year.
Titled “Kanang: Cerita Seorang Pahlawan” (Kanang: The Story of a Hero), it was written by Prof Dr Maj Maznan Noordin (Rtd) 27 years ago.
Maznan said no revisions were made for the reprint as Kanang’s story remained essentially the same.
“It was one of the textbooks for the literature component of the Form Three Bahasa Malaysia subject from 2001 to 2011 and was used by students in Johor, Malacca and Kelantan,” he told reporters after the launch of the reprint edition by Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg at DBP Sarawak branch here yesterday. He said it took him four months to write the book in 1987 after a week of interviews with Kanang in late 1986.
“Actually the book was a project by the army. They asked me to write it, so I approached DBP and asked whether they wanted to take this project or not.
“DBP decided to do it and the army sent me to see Kanang at his house. I stayed with him about seven days and interviewed him morning, afternoon and night.”
According to Maznan, the book narrated the story of Kanang’s life and service as a soldier, including his experiences fighting communist insurgents.
He said Kanang’s story was an interesting one, involving his beliefs and ritual practices as an Iban, particularly before heading into battle.
“For example, he might have a dream about holes in the ground. The next day when a battle occurred, the implication was that the holes were graves.
“As a writer I had to learn about his culture. If I did not understand his culture, I would not appreciate why he spoke of such matters. But it was these things that occurred and made his story interesting,” he explained.
He also said Kanang wanted to continue contributing to society, even after he had left the army.
“From a soldier, he went into civvy street and at the end of his life became a Temenggong. That was what he wanted.
“When I interviewed him after he left the service, he still had the vision of wanting to contribute in a different way, not as what he had done in the army.
“Once he got his datukship and his Temenggong-ship, he was able to contribute to society although this period of his life was short.
“But I believe he served well, both in the army and in civilian life. As a civilian he was actively involved in the community, with schoolchildren and others,” Maznan said.
Meanwhile, Kanang’s widow Datin Brawang Chunggut thanked DBP for reprinting the book about her late husband.
“I’m glad they took the initiative to do this,” she said.
Kanang joined the Sarawak Rangers as a tracker in 1962 before joining the First Battalion Malaysian Rangers. His valour in fighting insurgents in Korbu and Tanah Hitam, Perak, earned him the Panglima Gagah Berani (PGB) and Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP), the highest gallantry award.
He passed away on Jan 3 and was laid to rest at the Heroes Grave.
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Community, News, Family Community, kanang langkau, reprint, book, prof maznan noordin
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