Sabahan reminisces proud day of wearing police uniform as M'sia turns 1

Poliana Ronnie Sidom

SANDAKAN: The year was 1964. Mutalib Ghani will never forget yellow and short pants uniform with motto “pergo et perago” in Latin which means “I do and I achieve” during North Borneo Chartered Company administrative era. The 76-year-old former policeman said the uniform and motto were his most cherished memories as Malaysia turned one. Mutalib said the uniform was a pride as it symbolises a contribution to nation security, whole the slogan to lift up spirit to maintain sovereignty.


Mutalib Ghani, 76, (left), was found at Sandakan with a former police co-host as he recalled memories of the police struggle in defending the country after the formation of Malaysia. (NSTP/POLIANA RONNIE SIDOM)

He said the struggle before the formation of Malaysia including limited job opportunities where there were only vacancies in logging companies which offered monthly salary of RM48. “After 1963, only police, customs and others are available. Prior to police recruitment, I worked to help measure logs. Nowadays, there are many job opportunities and people should be grateful with the achievement. “This is the fight by our ancestors; without them, there would not have privileges like we are enjoying now,” he told the NSTP. Mutalib who served 31 years as a policeman said among challenges faced by the force include pirates from Southern Philippines which had targeted east coast for robbery and murder cases. He was also involved in clashes with pirates at Bum Bum Island off Semporna which the bandits had robbed and killed two fishermen. During that time, the pirates used more advance weapon such M-16 rifles and three horsepower pump boats. “It was quite terrible. So much so, that we did not change for almost a week due to heavy duty and there were not many personnel.

“In the present time, there are more staff and using more advance weapons,” he said.


Mutalib Ghani will never forget yellow and short pants uniform with motto “pergo et perago” in Latin which means “I do and I achieve” during North Borneo Chartered Company administrative era. (NSTP/POLIANA RONNIE SIDOM)

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