Decorated Sarawak hero passes away 

Corporal Etim Anak Bijam (SP), aged 86, passed away at Miri Hospital this morning.

One week ago Etim was admitted to Miri Hospital according to his eldest daughter Linda Itim. He was suffering from lung cancer.

“He believed that our nation’s heroes need to be treated better for the sacrifices they made,” she said, The Vibe reported.

She said that Etim will be buried at the Miri Anglican cemetery.

Etim, a Sarawak hero, played a key role in ending the communist uprising in the 1970s.

He was awarded the Darjah Kebesaran Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP) award by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in July 1972 for his role in defeating the communist insurgency in the 1970s.

Superintendent (R) Datuk Paul Kiong (SP), a former comrade, praised Etim for his exemplary life of sacrifice for the nation, family, and community.

Kiong was a Special Branch operative, who fought the communists by going undercover for several years.

In 1971, Etim and his fellow Police Field Force personnel were escorting a convoy of lorries in Sibu, Sarawak when they were ambushed by communist insurgents who were targeting the explosives in the convoy.

Even though he was injured and facing overwhelming odds, Etim bravely defended his position until reinforcements arrived.

During a previous interview, Etim expressed gratitude for surviving the shootout and emphasised the need for more support for the nation’s heroes.

Kiong on March 8th said that veterans who risked their lives for Malaysia are not receiving the recognition they deserve.

“We are not asking for RM10,000 or even RM20,000 but just to (review the allowance to) commensurate with our livelihood. That’s all that we’re asking for.

“We are grateful to the government but I believe we can do more especially with the prosperity and the peace that we brought to the country,” he said. 

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