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Sunday October 27, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday October 27, 2013 MYT 2:45:20 PM
by yu ji
Personal history: Ha (left) with a fellow retired police officer at the launch of ‘The Best Not Honoured’. The memoir spans Ha’s entire police career, beginning in pre-Malaysia days.
KUCHING: One of Sarawak’s oldest surviving police officers Nathan Ha, who joined the service in September 1958, has published his memoirs.
The Best Not Honoured by the 80-year-old former police superintendent took seven years to write.
At the book launch here yesterday, attended by friends, family and former officers, Ha said the book traced his “bitter, sweet and ugly journey”, from pre-Malaysia days until retirement in 1989.
“I did not intend to become a police officer when I was growing up. I was at an engagement of a relative. A police officer there refused to shake my hand. Why? I don’t know,” Ha recalled.
“Before the night was over, I had applied
to the commissioner to become a recruit.
I thought I would shake that officer’s
hand when I held a more senior rank that he did.”
Ha, who is of Chinese and Kayan ancestry, said the book was also a chronicle of his journey into frontier towns in the days when life in Sarawak was “rough and tough”.
Ha joined the Sarawak Constabulary at a time when there were fewer than 1,500 officers for the whole of the state.
In the book, he noted the origins of the Constabulary, being a merger between the Sarawak Rangers and the police in 1931.
Those were the days when the number of Chinese officers was only slightly more than two dozen.
“The Sarawak Constabulary started its first batch of Inspector Promotion Course for 13 cadets in 1961. There were two Malays, two Ibans, one Bidayuh, one Eurasian and six Chinese, including myself.
“All passed and were promoted and confirmed as Inspectors on April 1, 1963 — five months and 15 days before the birth of Malaysia,” Ha said.
“Today, I come here with a walking cane. I have never regretted joining the police. I can only hope that those who believed I had done them an injustice in the execution of my duties to maintain public peace would forgive me.”
Ha grew up at Khoo Hun Yeang Street here and received a Chinese and English formal education.
He served in all police branches except Field Force and Marine Police in a career that spanned Sarawak, Penang and Johor.
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Lifestyle, East Malaysia, Lifestyle, memoirs, oldest surviving police officer, Nathan Ha
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