steadyaku47

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Lt. Adnan Saidi : 'Biar putih tulang, jangan putih mata' - death before dishonour."








You have asked me who is that person in the above image that I use when I write about matters that are important to me and matters that are close to my heart. For me his face reminds me of all that was good about our nation and of the time when honour and grace was the hall mark of not only the Malays but of all Malaysian. He is Lt Adnan Saidi and I think it is time you all know about him too.  


Death, whether in victory or in defeat is a soldier's lot. Valour and glory too comes not only in victory but also sometimes in death. For Lt Adnan Said, valour and glory covered him in life and in death for he lived a life we Malaysians can all be proud of. 



His life here is best told by others who knew him and those who knew about the battles he fought and I have liberally quoted from all these sources at length, in Malay and English, so that we can all better understand the life of this man.


From the begining Adnan was outstanding. Choosen as "recruit terbaik" when he completed his military training at the age of eighteen, he was among the first 25 recruits accepted into the Malay Regiment in 1933. Three years later he was promoted to Sergeant and in 1937 was choosen to to go to London to be in the Guard of Honor at the coronation of King George VI. On his return from London, Adnan married Sophia Pakih Muda - a teacher from his Kampong and shortly after he was promoted to Company Sergeant Major and sent to Singapore to attend an officers course. Upon his return he was promoted Ketua Platton ke 7 Kompemi C and appointed Leftenan.


Towards the end of 1941 Lt Adnan Saidi was sent to Singapore and together with his family stayed in Pasir Panjang, in quarters for families of the Malay Regiment. With the start of World War Two and the imminent approach of the Japanese towards Singapore, Adnan sent his family back to his Kampong in Kajang. These were trying times for Adnan for not only did his wife took their two children, Mokhtar and Zainuddin back to their Kampong with her, she was also pregnant with a third child. That was the last time Lt Adnan Saidi would see them ever.


The Battle for Permatang Pasir Panjang 
Pertahanan permatang itu telah ditugaskan kepada Kompeni C yang merupakan sebahagian satu pasukan kecil Batalion Pertama Rejimen Askar Melayu. Batalion 1 Melayu dan Batalion 2 Melayu bersama-sama dengan batalion Ke-2 Loyal Regiment Tentera British yang dipusatkan menjadi Briged Infantri Pertama Malaya (1st Malaya Brigade). Pada 13 Februari 1942, Division Chrysanthemum Tentera Imperial Jepun yang handal di bawah pemerintahan Lt Gen Renya Mugaguchi menumpukan perhatian mereka kepada persisiran selatan Singapura iaitu Permatang Pasir Panjang yang mana pada pagi tersebut, Permatang Pasir Panjang dibedil bertalu-talu dengan sokongan udara, mortar berat dan bedilan meriam. Kompeni C dan Lt. Adnan Saidi ketika itu telah ditempatkan di perkampungan Pasir Panjang telah memberikan tentangan hebat dan akhirnya tentera Jepun terpaksa berundur disebabkan tentangan sengit daripada Kompeni C.
Lt Adnan dan orang-orangnya telah membina benteng pertahanan rejimen di kawasan tanah tinggi, yang dikenali sebagai Celah (Gap). Walaupun mempunyai bilangan anggota yang lebih ramai, pasukan Jepun di bawah Major Kimura gagal menembusi barisan pertahanan di Celah (Gap) sehinggakan pada tengah malam 14 Feb 1942, Kompeni C menerima perintah untuk bergerak ke tapak pertahanan baru iaitu Pt. 226, Bukit Candu. Lebih ramai askar tambahan ditempatkan ke pasukan di bawah pimpinan Lt Adnan Saidi yang menjadikan jumlah keseluruhannya 42 anggota. Selepas meninjau persekitaran dengan cermat, Lt. Adnan Saidi memerintah orang-orangnya untuk memperkukuhkan benteng pertahanan mereka dengan beg pasir sehinggakan kawasan bukit tersebut dikelilingi dengan benteng beg pasir.
Pada awal petang 14 Feb 1942, pihak Jepun melancarkan serangan berhelah iaitu daripada Jalan Pepys Road mendaki ke Pt.226 Bukit Candu dan pada tarikh keramat tersebut Lt Adnan Saidi yang ketika itu berusia 27 tahun, memantau kontinjen tentera Sikh daripada Tentera British India (British-Indian Army) yang sedang mara. Penglihatannya yang tajam dan kecerdasan fikirannya membolehkan Lt. Adnan perasan sesuatu tidak kena apabila menyedari tentera berturban yang mara itu bergerak dalam kumpulan berempat dan bukannya bertiga seperti Tentera British dan menyedari helah tersebut, Lt. Adnan Saidi dan anak buahnya melepaskan tembakan dan berjaya membunuh sekitar 20 orang musuh pada jarak dekat, dengan itu memaksa tentera Jepun berundur. Dua jam kemudian, tentera Jepun telah melancarkan serangan besar-besaran dalam bilangan yang besar. Serangan tersebut menumpaskan Lt. Adnan Saidi dan tenteranya. Dengan bilangan yang jauh lebih kecil dan kekurangan peluru, Regimen Melayu bertempur dalam pertempuran sehingga ke mati walaupun Lt Adnan terkorban,namun lebih daripada 800 Tentera Jepun telah berjaya dibunuh pasukannya.
Pelbagai versi mengatakan setelah terkorbannya Lt Adnan pelbagai cara untuk mengaibkan mayatnya dilakukan oleh Tentera Jepun dan antaranya kisah dari Kpl Yaakob, yang mendapat Pingat Keberanian Medal of Gallant, merupakan salah seorang daripada mereka yang terselamat dalam pertempuran Bukit Candu. Dalam kacau-bilau pertempuran, beliau yang cedera jatuh di atas mayat mereka yang terkorban. Beliau terselamat dengan berpura-pura mati disamping mayat rakannya dan melihat kematian mengerikan Lt Adnan Saidi. Musuh yang menang berjaya menawan Lt. Adnan dan akibat perasaan marah kerana keberaniannya melawan Jepun, ketua platun itu diseret sebelum diserkup dengan guni. Tentera Jepun kemudiannya telah menggantungkan kakinya pada pokok ceri kerana meradang akibat kehilangan ramai rakan, tentera Jepun kemudiannya telah menikamnya dengan bayonet berkali-kali. Dalam kejadian lain disebut lehernya telah dikelar. Kejadian ini dilihat oleh Kpl Yaakob sendiri selepas pertempuran dan pihak Jepun melarang sesiapapun menurunkan mayatnya untuk dikebumikan dan tiada seorangpun yang berani. Malah menurut beberapa sumber, tubuh Lt. Adnan Saidi yang dicacatkan itu dibakar menjadi abu.
Keberanian Lt. Adnan Saidi bersama 42 orang anggota Askar Melayu yang telah bertempur mati-matian untuk mempertahankan Permatang Pasir Panjang yang merupakan satu episod yang kini kekal dalam lipatan sejarah. Pertempuran sengit itu disebut khusus dalam perutusan Lt General A. E. Percival berkenaan Pemerintahan Operasi Malaya dari tarikh Disember 1941 sehingga 15 Februari 1942 yang dalam ucapannya seperti berikut iaitu selepas dua jam dibedil dengan meriam dan motar, tentera Jepun menyerang Rejimen Melayu yang mempertahankan Permatang Pasir Panjang. Rejimen Melayu bertempur dengan gagah beraninya tetapi mengalami kehilangan jiwa yang teruk, dan menjelang petang musuh sampai ke Celah (Permatang Pasir Panjang).
After two hours of heavy shelling and mortaring, the Japanese attacked the Malay Regiment which was holding Pasir Panjang Ridge. The latter fought magnificently, but suffered heavy casualties, and by afternoon the enemy had reached the Gap (Pasir Panjang Ridge)”.
Keberanian Lt Adnan Saidi dan rakan yang bertempur bermati-matian adalah episod yang kekal dalam lipatan sejarah tanah air. Biar Putih Tulang, Jangan Putih Mata itulah kata-kata pembakar dan menyemarakkan lagi semangat juangnya supaya tidak gentar menghadapi Jepun, demi mempertahankan Tanah Melayu sehingga titisan darah terakhir. 

Keberanian Leftenan Adnan turut diakui General Yamashita yang dikenali sebagai Harimau Malaya ketika itu yang mana beliau sendiri mengatakan jika terdapat 10 orang seperti  Lt Adnan, pasti Malaya tak jatuh ke tangan Jepun malah Jepun memerlukan 10 batalion lagi untuk menawan Tanah Melayu.




Japanese-bayonet-practice-on-live-prisoner
Gambar Hiasan



Tan Sri Dato' Mubin Sheppard, 86, an ex-officer and former POW, says of his friend the late Lt. Adnan:

"He was heavily outnumbered by the Japanese - they bombed him but he fought on fiercely and inflicted heavy losses on them. Adnan would have never surrendered under any circumstances. He was absolutely dedicated. In fact, just before fighting, he adopted a motto for his platoon, 'Biar putih tulang, jangan putih mata' - death before dishonour."

Corporal Yaakob, who won a Medal of Gallant subsequently, was one of the few who survived Opium Hill. In the chaos of the battle, he fell and landed on top of the bodies of the dead soldiers. He escaped death by laying motionless amongst the pile of the dead bodies and witnessed the gruesome death of Adnan Saidi. The triumphant enemies captured Lt. Adnan. Angered by his fierce battle resistance, the platoon leader was dragged and pushed into a gunnysack. The Japanese soldiers then hung him by his legs on a cherry tree. Angered by the death of their fellow comrades, the Japanese bayoneted him again and again. In some instances, his throat was slit repeatedly. In Corporal Yaakob's state of 'death', he witnessed these gruesome deeds. In the aftermath of the battle, no one was allowed to bring down his body for burial. No one dared. Some sources claimed that Lt. Adnan Saidi's mutilated body was burnt to ashes. 

Nightmare Continued
Adnan's family was informed of his death through a telegram. A few days earlier, Madam Sophia had delivered their third child. Shortly thereafter, the baby girl died. In 1949, Madam Sophia became ill and passed away. Her sons were fostered out.

Today, the only things of his father which Mokhtar Saidi has are three medals which were awarded to Adnan by the British. 

Such is the life of Lt Adnan Saidi, who at the age of 27 gave his life for his country. 

ALFATIHAH.