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“I Remember” : December 8, 1962

It was a lovely afternoon when both of us; my father and I were having some cups of tea. We sat together and discussed some random topics till he squeezed out his memory on a historical event, back to December 8, 1962; the Brunei Revolt. He tried to recall all the experiences he had and rumors or chats he heard during the event and spoke out what he remembered.

In 1962, he was still in primary school and when the revolt broke out, they were told by the teachers to go back home as quick as they could but the teachers did not mention about the revolt; instead, they just told the pupils that there was a riot happened at Sengkurong Police Station, which claimed the lives of two constables.

During the bloody event, Brunei had requested for a security aid from Miri, Sarawak by asking them to lend their police force to control the situation, together with the Gurkha unit and Brunei Police Force. Nearly all police stations in Brunei were raided by the rebels except Panaga Police Station, where the security strength was impenetrable. The number of loss of lives was uncertain but for sure, it is included a few constables from each police station across the Sultanate. That time, the first batch of Brunei Malay Regiment was halted from flew back to Brunei and extended their stay in Port Dickson Camp, Malaya for certain amount of times till the revolt is over.

I was truly amazed by how quick the Gurkhas responded to their surroundings, on which some of their actions would have gone wrong when they unknowingly shot the innocent people to death just because the people unintentionally disobeyed the curfew as ordered by the government. Despite their mistakes, it is undeniable that they were a bunch of brave warriors who did not fear of death. It was obviously shown from the way they confronted the rebels who had ambushed them from the top of the Sagan Hill in Tutong and triumphantly overpowered the rebels and had the rebels killed by them.

My father recalled, one quiet dawn was filled up with a non-stop machinegun sound in a far distance. In the morning, when the sound of shooting machinegun finally stopped, both he and his father learned from people around them that the sound came from Tutong Town, where the Gurkhas mistakenly shot the Ibans that were just came back from extracting latex in the jungle for more than a month right before the revolt. Along the tragedy, my father had witnessed many police force’s vehicles passed by, doing a 24-hours patrol and secured the area.

They were just a few personal historical accounts and experiences narrated by my father. There are a lot more experiences that were untold but I don’t even know how to put them into appropriate words and sentences. But for real, I can imagine how the situation looks like; the screams, shots, fears, angers, hatreds, bloods, they were all filled up the sky and colored the ground in black and red.

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About shazran

Art lover, science and tech geek

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