Ex-cop who never fails to honour fallen heroes.
Daniel Lagong has been a familiar face at the Warriors Day ceremony for many years now. In fact the 74—year-old retired Sergeant has never missed the special occasion to pay tribute to all fallen heroes. “It is a day to remember those who sacrificed their lives for us today,” he said. His 36 years with the Police could have given him a sentimental feeling towards the event, but Lagong stressed that it was the fond memories back then that brought him to the memorial monument every year. Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah, Chief Minister Datuk Sen Musa Aman, Cabinet Ministers, Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim, senior Police and Army officers as well as ex-servicemen paid respects to the fallen heroes with salutes and laying of wreaths at the Ujana Rimba Tropika Bandaraya here yesterday. “I bet they (fallen heroes) are smiling upon us; they must feel very proud that they are still remembered, so for as long as I live, I will not stop coming here and pay my respects,” said Lagong, who is blessed with good health. The father of eight children aged between 29 and 45, and grandfather to 32 young children, however said that none of the young ones had followed his footsteps. “One of my sons nearly became a policeman but he changed his mind and took up another offer instead,” he said. Lagong had driven all the way from Kampung Tebobon Bukit, Menggatal to attend the ceremony. He joined the Police on March 16, 1956 at the age of 22. He was attached to the Criminal Investigation Department, became the Menggatal Officer-in-charge in 1976 and was posted to many locations all over Malaysia. His most unforgettable experience, he said, was his involvement in the confrontation which led to the formation of Malaysia. In 1961, the island of Borneo was divided into four separate states - Kalimantan, Brunei and two British colonies — Sarawak and British North Borneo (later renamed Sabah). As part of its withdrawal from its Southeast Asian colonies, the United Kingdom moved to combine its colonies in Borneo with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia. It was sealed on September 16, 1963. For Lagong’s bravery, he was awarded thePingatPangkuanNegara, Pingat Peringatan Malaysia in September 1963, Pingat Perkhidmatan Am andamedal from Queen Elizabeth II for his campaign service. “I will definitely come again next year. This is our chance to remember the fallen heroes’ sacrifices, it is a time to pay respects,” he said.