'I took a communist bullet and lived'

Hassan Omar

ALOR GAJAH: When the bullet pierced the stomach of Lance Corporal Md Razali Abdul Rahman, he did not collapse. Instead, he cried out ‘Allahuakbar’ (God is great) and returned fire.

The communist fighters continued firing off waves of bullets in the direction of Md Razali and four of his compatriots, who sought cover behind trees.

Md Razali however, refused to surrender and continued firing back.

In extreme pain, Md Razali, who was then 27, managed to shoot one of the communist fighters. The fighter, he said, let out a scream before collapsing to the ground.

“I saw him collapse about 80 metres away. He was picked up by his colleagues and they fled into the thick jungle.

“My four comrades said they could not return fire as they couldn’t establish the communist fighters’ position in the dark,” he said.

Md Razali, now 74, was speaking to the NSTP from his home in Kampung Solok Duku, Masjid Tanah.

Recalling the incident which took place at 7pm in 1971 in the jungles of Gunung Gading, Lundu, Sarawak, Md Razali said he was lucky as he only sustained a flesh wound.


Recalling the incident which took place at 7pm in 1971 in the jungles of Gunung Gading, Lundu, Sarawak, Md Razali said he was lucky as he only sustained a flesh wound. (Pix by HASSAN OMAR)

Md Razali, who hailed from B Company, 10th Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment, was on an operation to hunt down communist fighters in the jungle.

They had set out early in the morning but were ambushed around 7pm.

When the ambush took place, Md Razali was leading the line. He and his comrades were on their way back to the gathering point to rest before continuing their mission the next day.

“After 10 minutes of intense fighting, the communists fled into the jungle. Only then did the extent of the pain truly hit me and I collapsed.

“Soldiers from other teams came to help us. They took turns to carry me to the main road.

“The pain was excruciating as I had yet to receive primary medical aid,” he said.

It was only at 7am the next day that Md Razali and his teammates arrived at the main road. He was then airlifted by helicopter to the Kuching Hospital.

“I had made my peace with dying. But Allah spared me and granted me a longer life.

“I made it through surgery and was taken back to the Terendak Camp in Sungai Udang, Melaka the following month,” he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd