Sunday, August 19, 2007

Adnan Bin Saidi
In World War II (1915 - February 14, 1942), Lieutenant Adnan Bin Saidi was a Malayan hero during the Battle of Singapore. He was born in 1915 at Kajang, Selangor along the western Malay coast and was a Muslim of Minangkabau(Western Sumatra) descent. Minangkabau people belong to the Malay stock.When Adnan was 18, to join the army, Adnan ran away from home and because of his brave courage and intelligence his rank rose up.

The Battle of Pasir Panjang

During the fierce defense of Singapore against the Japanese invaders, Lieutenant Adnan Bin Saidi as the leader of the Malay troops led a 42-strong platoon from the Malay Regiment. On 12-14 February 1942, soldiers fought bravely at the Battle of Pasir Panjang, at Pasir Panjang Ridge which is now known as Kent ridge in the Bukit Chandu (Opium Hill) area despite being out-gunned by Japanese artillery. The very next day, the Japanese tried to trick the Malays in the British army by dressing up as Indian soldiers. It was Lieutenant Adnan Bin Saidi who was sharp enough to noticed that those familiar topeed figures were marching in fours instead of the usual threes in the Indian army. Adnan killed several Japanese when he saw through their disguise, and the rest of the Japanese retreat. Although they are heavily outnumbered Adnan Bin Saidi refused to surrender, and encourage his men to fight until the end of their lives. For two days, Japanese are held off by them, amid heavy enemy shelling and shortages of food and ammunition as the fight went on. Adnan Bin Saidi carried on fighting despite that he was shot. After they lost battle, he was captured, dragged and pushed into a gunnysack, when the Japanese overran his Malay soldiers, they hung him by his legs, tied him to a cherry tree and bayoneted (stabbed) him to death for his stubbornness resistance again and again as they were angered by the death of their fellow comrades . His throat was slit repeatedly in some instances. Adnan witnessed these gruesome deeds in Corporal Yaakob’s state of ‘death’. No one was allowed to bring down his body for burial in the aftermath of the battle and no one even dared. It claimed that Lieutenant Adnan Saidi's mutilated body was burnt to ashes in some sources , and died in battle at the age of 27.

It remains as a proud story for his bravery in both Malaysia and Singapore today.
At Kent Ridge Park, now bears a plaque in commemoration of Lt Adnan Bin Saidi close to the site of the battle. At Bukit Chandu, the bravery of Malay Regiment soldiers in memory stands at a museum. The regiment later becomes the Royal Malay Regiment of the Royal Malaysian Army.
Place of death
Pasir Panjang, Singapore
Royal Malay Regiment
2nd Lieutenant
Battle of Singapore Battle of Pasir Panjang
14 Feb 1945

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Adnan Bin Saidi, Lieutenant Adnan Saidi was the oldest in his family. His younger siblings, Ahmad Saidi and Amarullah Saidi were soldiers too. Ahmad Saidi was killed in action after he joined the navy in 1939. The Japanese sank his ship, the HMS Pelanduk, enroute to Australia. The younger Mr. Amarullah Saidi endured the war and is now retired and is now living in Kajang, Selangor.Lieutenant Adnan Saidi undergo his education in Pekan Sungei Ramal in the English medium. He was a hardworking student and excelled in his studies. Upon graduation, Adnan was chosen to be a trainee teacher and taught at his alma mater for over a year. Fate however had other plans for him. Adnan Saidi is a firm man who took discipline seriously, chose instead to pursue the military vocation.
In 1933, when he was 18 years old, Adnan Saidi joined the Malay Regiment. A year later, he was chosen as best recruit. In 1936, Adnan was promoted to the rank of Sergeant – a promotion that came fast for a bright young soldier. In 1937, he was chosen to represent his platoon in a military ceremonial parade in London to honour the ascension of King George VI to the throne. Shortly thereafter, Adnan Saidi was promoted yet again to Company-Sergeant-Major and headed for Singapore for an officers’ conversion course. Upon graduation as 2nd Lieutenant, Adnan Saidi became the leader of the 7th Platoon, ‘C’ Coy(Charlie Company).

The family man
Upon his return from London, Lieutenant Adnan Saidi fell in love with an Islamic religious teacher from his village and later married her. Madam Sophia Pakih Muda(name spelling's may not be precise) gave birth to three children: two sons, Mokhtar and Zainudin (now living in Seremban and Johore respectively), and a daughter. Youngest of the three siblings, the baby girl died in her early infancy shortly after Singapore fell.Despite his busy schedule as a career soldier, Lieutenant Adnan Saidi settled down quickly as a family man. He dotes his boys and would always try to find time for his kids. He brought them for walks or played games with them. The games that he played with his boys were rough and rugged. Adnan wanted his sons to grow up tough. In an interview with Berita Harian (9 Sept `95), Mokhtar Adnan described his father as thus:"My father did not talk a lot. He was a firm man and believed in discipline. He was always serious and fierce…yet had a good heart. There seemed to be a ‘light’ illuminating his face."In late 1941, Lieutenant Adnan Saidi was sended to Singapore and brought with him his family. They lived in a big house off Pasir Panjang, in an area reserved for the families of the Malay Regiment. When the rumblings of the war grew nearer and the Japanese began preparations to invade Singapore, Lieutenant Adnan sent his family back to their hometown in Kajang. It was a trying day for Lieutenant Adnan - his wife, Sophia was carrying their third child. The young boys kissed their father’s hand as their last respect and he reminded them to be good. It was to be their last moment together.

Kent Ridge Park, which was known as Pasir Panjang beside the site of the battle now bears a plaque in commemoration of Lt Adnan Bin Saidi. A museum at Bukit Chandu stands in memory of the bravery of Malay Regiment soldiers. This regiment would later become the Royal Malay Regiment of the Royal Malaysian Army.

Done By: Letitia Leong, Sarah Toh, Justina Tan

1 comment:

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