Sarawak’s Last Gallantry Hero Etin Bijam to Receive State Funeral on June 7

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Hero Etin Bijam to be Laid to Rest at Heroes’ Grave on June 7

Sarawak's Last Gallantry Hero Etin Bijam to Receive State Funeral on June 7
Sarawak’s Last Gallantry Hero Etin Bijam to Receive State Funeral on June 7

Last Surviving Sarawakian Gallantry Award Recipient Passes Away

MIRI (June 5) – The last surviving Sarawakian awarded with the nation’s highest gallantry award, Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP), Cpl (Rtd) Etin Bijam, who passed away in Miri yesterday, will be laid to rest at the Heroes’ Grave in Kuching on June 7 following a funeral mass.

Final Journey to Kuching

Etin’s daughter, Linda Nacha, announced that arrangements have been made to fly her late father’s body from Miri to Kuching via a military transport aircraft on June 6.

“I was told that arrangements have been made to fly my late father and some of our family members to Kuching via the military aircraft,” she told The Borneo Post at their home in Spring Garden here.

Time for Family and Friends to Pay Respects

Linda mentioned that the family has requested two days to allow relatives, friends, and representatives from the police force in Miri to pay their respects to Etin.

“Our relatives and friends from Engkilili and other parts of Sarawak said they will be paying their last respects to my late father in Kuching, where a state funeral will be held before he is laid to rest at the Heroes’ Grave,” she added.

Etin’s Final Days

Linda shared that her father was rushed to the hospital by his family after discovering he had dark-coloured stool on May 28.

“We initially thought it was just internal bleeding, but the doctor, after conducting tests, told us it was lung cancer and his condition was serious.

“We were all praying hard for him to make it through Gawai Dayak, as everyone would be away and busy. We thank God that our prayers were answered, and he passed on after Gawai when most people are already back,” she said.

Gratitude to the Sarawak Police

Linda expressed her gratitude to Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Mancha Ata for his support and assistance rendered to her late father.

According to her, Mancha, accompanied by his officers, had paid a visit to ailing Etin at his home earlier this year and assured the family that the Sarawak police would be ready to assist if needed.

“He told us that in the event my father passed on, as an SP award recipient, he is entitled to be accorded a state funeral and the family can consider the possibility of him being laid to rest in the Heroes’ Grave,” she said.

Honouring a Hero

Following Etin’s death, there are only three remaining elderly SP award recipients in the country. His passing marks the end of an era for Sarawakian heroes awarded the nation’s highest gallantry honor.

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