PETALING JAYA: The nation bids farewell to legendary former top cop Tan Sri JJ Raj (Jr) who has died at the age of 100.
The retired police commissioner, who was a hero in leading the Tiger Squad that rescued personnel in Bukit Kepong in 1950, died at the Ara Damansara Medical Centre’s intensive care unit at about 1.55am yesterday.
Raj came from a long line of police officers as many family members donned the uniform and served the country with dedication and grace, including his late brother Datuk JJ Raj (Senior), who retired helming the Bukit Aman CID, and his nephew JRJ Raj, who retired as Penang CID chief.
Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani offered his condolences to the late police officer’s family.
At the height of Raj’s career, he was appointed Bukit Aman Management Department director in 1974. He retired in 1976.
His remains were brought to the Nirvana Memorial Park in Shah Alam for funeral arrangements.
“His contributions and sacrifices are priceless. His passing is a big loss to the police force and the country,” the Royal Malaysia Police said in a statement.
Among those who paid their last respects were Acryl Sani, Deputy IGP Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim and a host of other current and former police officers.
Raj was born on July 27, 1921, in Chemor, Perak.
He received his early education at St Michael’s Institution in Ipoh.
He married Puan Sri Irene Raj in 1952 and they were blessed with four children and three grandchildren.
Raj had a distinguished record, serving with distinction for 30 years.
Joining the police force in 1946 as a probationary inspector, Raj then attended Ryton-on-Dunsmore Police Training College, Coventry, in the United Kingdom, and Joint Services Staff College, Latimer, Buckinghamshire, the UK.
Upon returning to then Malaya, he completed his training at the Police Training Centre in Gurney Road (now Jalan Semarak).
He rose through the ranks in the police force, serving as Pagoh OCPD (1950), Tangkak OCPD (1952), Kuala Kangsar OCPD (1954), Kulim OCPD (1955), Segamat OCPD (1957), OCPD of Kuala Lumpur (then a district in Selangor – 1958) and deputy police chief of Negri Sembilan (1959).
He then served as the police chief (CPO) of Pahang (1961), Commandant of the Royal Malaysian Police College in Kuala Kubu Baru (1964), CPO of Negri Sembilan (1967), Deputy Commissioner of Police of Sarawak (1969) and CPO of Selangor (1973).
Raj served during some of the most tumultuous years in the nation’s history.
He was the OCPD of Pagoh during the Bukit Kepong incident on Feb 23, 1950.
Just nine hours before the attack on the Bukit Kepong police station, he and his team were there for an inspection and security briefing.
They had arrived in the morning and spent the whole day there, leaving only at 7pm.
At about 4.30am (about nine hours after he and his team left), the Communist insurgents attacked the police station.
Upon receiving the news, Raj, who was already back in Pagoh, returned with his Tiger Squad to Bukit Kepong to rescue the personnel.
On the way there, they found that the Communists had set fire to the police boat.
Due to this, he and his Tiger Squad members had to traverse the thick jungle and swamps for three hours to reach Bukit Kepong.
By the time they arrived, the police station was already badly burnt.
Raj acted quickly and carried out efforts to locate those severely wounded and gave them emergency first aid treatment.
One by one, the injured personnel were taken to a small boat, which was used to send them to the Muar Hospital.
As a result, several lives were saved.
Upon retirement, Raj was actively involved in the corporate sector, sports associations and non-governmental organisations.
He was founder and executive chairman of The Guardian Mercantile Agency (M) Sdn Bhd, one of the first credit reporting agencies in Malaysia from 1980 to 2002.
He was also the director-general of the Malaysian Institute of Directors, director of the Federal Institute of Technology, director of Rubber Growers Association of Malaysia and vice-president of Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance.
In addition, Raj served as the vice-chairman of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society and was made its honorary life member in 2018.
In the field of sports, Raj served as deputy president of the National Shooting Association of Malaysia and adviser to the Selangor Shooting Association.