KOTA KINABALU: During his time as a policeman, Datuk Clement Jaikul was used to confronting criminals, pirates and gunmen, but what remains fresh in his mind was a chilling encounter with a shaman.
Jaikul, who retired as a senior assistant commissioner of police (SAC) in 1996, said the incident was scarier for him than being caught in a gunfight.
The incident involved two boys who went missing in Sandakan many years ago.
“They were only found 30 days later with the help of a Chinese shaman, ” Jaikul recounted when launching his memoir Chancing the Rapids My Way recently.
The 78-year-old recalled that after search and rescue teams failed to locate the boys, a shaman who did not want his name known approached him and promised that the boys would return home a day later.
“The shaman did his thing and sure enough, the boys emerged, ” he said, adding that the duo looked like walking skeletons.
The story told to him by the boys was just as intriguing, remembered Jaikul.
They said before they “disappeared”, they were with an uncle on a ride and they had asked to stop by the roadside near a jungle to ease themselves, he added.
“While in the jungle, they saw a colourful bird and chased after it.
“After that, they claimed to have been in a world of semi-oblivion and that they had seen the search and rescue teams but could not call out to them or do anything.
“They boys said they vaguely remembered watching the goings-on from a tree, perched on it at night, and roaming the jungle feeding on rubber seeds and raw fish during the day, ” he said.
Jaikul said a day before their return, the boys apparently saw a light which led them home, little realising they had walked at least 24km to reach home.
“The shaman was never seen or heard of again.
“I am still baffled by this mystery to this day, ” he added.
This and many other intriguing tales were shared in the Tambunan-born Sabahan’s memoir.
In his book, Jaikul, who is the first Sabahan to reach the SAC rank, also tells of historic events like the formation of Malaysia, being shot at by intruders, leading operations when pirates attacked police stations and a bank in Lahad Datu in 1985, and various cases of smuggling and other cross-border crimes on the east coast of the state.
In it, he provides glimpses of his personal life, including how he joined the police force and his marriage.
The book also contains copies of newspaper cuttings on his achievements and work throughout his tenure in various departments of the police force.
During the book launch, he also brought along longtime friend and work partner, former inspector Shanmugam Munusamy, who is hailed as a brave man in the memoir.
One of the highlights in Shanmugam’s career was when he led 18 men to overpower 13 Moro National Liberation Front militants at their base in Sandakan.
Despite the heavily armed enemy, Shanmugam and his men managed to arrest all the militants with no casualties and no injuries among his team in the fierce gunfight.
Those interested to buy the book can contact Jaikul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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