SEREMBAN, Malaysia: World War II veteran Ujang Mormin, who fought alongside war hero Lieutenant Adnan Saidi in the historic Battle of Pasir Panjang, died in Malaysia on Tuesday (Feb 9) after contracting COVID-19.
He was 100.
Affectionately known as Tok Ujang, he served as an army private with the First Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment (1 RAMD), after joining the British army in 1939. In 1941, he was deployed to British military fort Gap Ridge in Singapore.
The Battle of Pasir Panjang took place in February 1942, marking the final stage of the Japanese invasion of Singapore.
Mr Ujang, who hails from Kampung Kundur, Rembau, is one of a handful from 1 RAMD who survived the battle.
His grandniece, Lailawati Jamil, 59, confirmed his death when contacted by Bernama.
She said Mr Ujang was admitted to the Sungei Buloh hospital on Jan 26 after testing positive for COVID-19. On Feb 5, she was told he was in critical condition.
“He had, prior to this, expressed his longing to meet relatives and friends, as if he knew the time had come, but due to the current COVID-19 situation, we could not visit him,” she said.
He was buried at the RAMD Cemetery in Port Dickson on Wednesday.
“Due to COVID-19, we had to conduct the funeral in the new norm,” said army chief Zamrose Mohd Zain. “However, we did take the initiative to give him the military funeral honours in appreciation of his service in the army.”
He added that the army, through the RAMD Foundation, the ATM Veteran Foundation, ATM Veteran Affairs Department and RAMD Officers Club also presented donations to the family.
CONDOLENCES POUR IN FROM GOVERNMENT, ROYALTY
On Wednesday, the Negeri Sembilan government sent its condolences to his family, with Chief Minister Aminuddin Harun saying his death was a big loss to Malaysia.
“We have lost a great fighter, a Negeri Sembilan-born, whose deeds and services to the country will always be remembered,” he said.
The Malaysian king and queen have also expressed their condolences to Ujang’s family.
General Zamrose conveyed their condolences to Lailawati at a press conference after the war veteran’s funeral on Wednesday.
He added that the condolences were also expressed in a letter delivered to his family by the king’s escort.
“Their Majesties also consented to the necessary aid to be given to the war veteran’s family,” he said.
General Zamrose said condolences also poured in from the Sultan of Kedah, Al Aminul Karim Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah, who is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Malay Regiment (RAMD), Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, as well as from the Ministry of Defence and the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM).