Friday, April 25, 2008

War Hero: Lieutenant Adnan Saidi

"Biar putih tulang, jangan putih mata" - death before dishonour

That's what this man exemplify!

Lt. Adnan was born in Selangor, Malaysia in 1915. He was trained as a teacher but who felt that the life of a soldier was more appealing to him. he left the teaching profession and joined the army.

In the late 1941, Lt. Adnan was posted to Singapore to lead the 1st.Malay Regiment. Entrusted with the defence of Pasir Panjang Ridge. Pasir Panjang Ridge then was a important and strategic location to be held at all cost as this location paves the way to the Alexandra where much of British's ammunition and supplies, military hospital and other key installations were located.

The loss of this ridge to the Japanese would have been catastrophic for the British.

At the "Battle of Opium Hill" (as this battle was more famously known), The 1st Malay Regiment was both outnumber and under supplied, yet the Regiment managed to hold on to this Ridge for about 2 days (13-14 Feb 1941) causing a slight hiccup in the advance of the Japanese.

Lt Adnan personal qualities of bravery and courage motivated his troops to the extent when even in retreat and with no ammunition, they fought hand to hand with the Japaneses. His personal qualities and effective leadership in the height of the battle, causing the many Japanese casualties at this battle made Lt Adnan a hated man of the Japanese. The capture of Lt. Adnan, he was given a gruel some death where he was bayoneted many a times and the silting of his throat. His family was not spared too as the Japanese seek out his family after the capture of Singapore.

Today, the fiery spirit of Adnan and his men is remembered by a war memorial plaque in Kent Ridge Park erected in their honour, and the etching on the main memorial column wall of the Kranji War Cemetery No. 385 bearing the words "Lt. Adnan Saidi"


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