KOTA BHARU – The memory of how he took up arms against communists in Kota Fox Trot Operation 35 years ago is still vivid in the mind of Major General (R) Datuk Tengku Ahmad Noor Tuan Chik.
Recounting the moment, Tengku Ahmad Noor said as the then D Company assistant chief, he was assigned to track the enemy in the Guar Rimau area, Perak through the operation which was conducted in May 1985.
“That night, we heard a bamboo knocking sound, before the D Company chief called me and issued an order for us to send a platoon the following day to track and investigate the noise as it was not coming from animals but was created by human.
“Usually, these communist terrorists would deliberately provoke or create noise to draw our attention. Going to their territory without caution would cause us either be hit by booby traps or be ambushed,” he told reporters when met at Panji here today.
Tengku Ahmad Noor who was also tasked to lead the platoon which made up of 24 personnel said he then divided it into two groups to avoid detection by the enemy.
He said three days later, they found shoe prints and also heard the sound of footsteps coming from the nearby area.
“I stopped to bring a few soldiers with me to move ahead of my group, and that’s when the battle occurred. The atmosphere was tense and chaotic due to limited visibility,” said the father of three.
Tengku Ahmad Noor said both sides then exchanged fire before he was shot by one of the communist terrorists.
“I collapsed but still managed to shout at my platoon members to keep moving forward before throwing a hand grenade that caused the communists to withdraw as they thought we came in a large group,” he said.
Tengku Ahmad Noor said said he was extremely grateful to have survived the shootout and the shots fired by the communists did not hit his abdomen as he was protected by the vest he wore.
“Thinking back on the incident, it was a near-death battle as we were less than 30 metres away from the enemy, comprising about 15 communists soldiers.
“However, the operation could not continue as the communists had crossed international borders towards Thailand,” said Tengku Ahmad Noor who retired as the Army Western Field commander at the Sungai Besi camp in 2018.
Tengku Ahmad Noor who has over 40 years of experience advised the younger generation to strengthen unity regardless of racial and religious background as well as to love the country wholeheartedly.
“Our military personnel have sacrificed a lot in order for the country to achieve independence,” he said.