Sunday, March 14, 2010

“Sgt Jantan”

Back in my boyhood days in the kampong, anyone wearing uniform always gave me the thrill. Especially if the uniform is from a famous Regiment, such as the Malay Regiment.

One of the first person that I can remember joining the Malay Regiment was one of my second cousion, Abu Jahal (Jahan?). I must confess that before him there were other people who were also in the Malay Regiment (I think) such as Awang Harun (from Chenor but settled down in the kampong) and Md Noor (from Pulau Pasir Mandi?) but Abu Jahal impressed me the most. Maybe he was my second cousion, maybe he was just a few years older than I was or maybe I saw him often and I was also very close to his family, through my grandmother. Or maybe because he married another second cousion whose family lived close to us, at Tanjung Perian (another locality). Whatever it was, Abu Jahal name got imprinted in my memory.

I remember then as a young man he used to be based in Mentakab Camp (close to our kampong, that was what my information, correctly or not) and on some occasion he used to come back to the kampong in full Malay Regiment uniform and even carrying a Government issued regimental rifle (did I remember that correctly?) probably for his personal protection; it was then at the height of the Emergency.

After leaving the Malay Regiment, I did not know where he went to. And regretfully his wife died and happily he remarried.

The next phase in our lives, we met in Kuantan where I was sent to work. I was a working man and he had joined the Territorial Army based in Kuantan. And that was where he got fondly called “Sgt Jantan”.

He has now retired and is often seen in the kampong, though he and his wife live in Temerloh.

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