Police Field Force operative recalls fight against communists

Alfred Brayan in a memorable photograph with his teammates while working as a member of the PFF.

By Nuruldayana Rafiee

THE General Operations Force (GOF), formerly known as the Police Field Force (PFF), made significant sacrifices in order to stop the spread of communism, which was rampant not only in Malaya at the time, but also in Sarawak.

A much younger Alfred.

Alfred Brayang Tangkong is one such member of the PFF at the time.

Alfred, 85, was chief inspector in the Kuching PFF. Born on Dec 31, 1963, Alfred is an Iban from Sri Aman.

After 35 years of service, Alfred retired on Dec 13, 1991, and now lives in Kampung Siol Kandis, Kuching, with his son.

His name may be unknown to certain Sarawakians, particularly the younger generation.

Nonetheless, he is one of the country’s brave warriors who protected the country against the communists.

His career with the PFF began when a group of PFF personnel came to his longhouse.

“They asked if I wanted to sign up. I agreed without hesitation.

“I learnt to write my name and other things at night at the PFF because I never went to school,” he explained.

Alfred first began his service at the Bukit Siol Camp.

After thereafter, he transferred from one camp to the next, the last being the Jalan Astana camp.

Throughout his service, he has worked at PFF Airport Kuching Camp, PFF Semuja Serian Camp, PFF Temudok Sri Aman Camp, and PFF Sibu Lanang Camp.

He also served during the Limbang Rebellion in December 1962.

Alfred Brayan, who is now 85 years old, made significant contributions to the fight against communist terrorists.

Although life was difficult during the communist threat, when he was called up to fight the communists, his spirit soared.

He recounted how, during his time in the force, he shot dead several communists.

“Corporal Langgong and I managed to shoot several of them.

“…a Javanese man, a Chinese man, and another enemy of unknown origin.”

According to him, the incident took place about noon on Feb 27, 1966.

“Another incident that I recall was the second battle of Operations Jala on March 21,1970 in the Nonok area (now Asajaya) Samarahan.

“As a result of the battle that morning, an enemy was killed, shot by me, Constable Leng, and Corporal Rubar.”

He was also among those who assisted in the rescue of Corporal Kuda, who had been shot in the abdomen.

Unfortunately, unlike other fighters, he never got a medal.

Despite being 85 years old, his recollection of past events is fresh — as if they happened yesterday.

His son, Calvert Brayan, 55, told Suara Sarawak how his father frequently asked about Bukit Siol Camp and urged him to send him there.

“I told him (father) that the camp was no longer there. He would also ask about the camp in Serian, which is also no longer there.”

Calvert also said that his father would occasionally ask about his fellow fighters.

“I told them that the elders had retired, that some had returned to the village, and that the younger ones had joined the police.”

Calvert stated that his father remembers the area when he was still working as a PFF officer and knows exactly if he passed through it.

“No matter where we go, my father will remember everything that happened there. He knows the time, the date, and who he went with.

“His heart and spirit are still very much with the PFF.”

Meanwhile, Alfred had this to say: “Even after independence, we should recognise and commemorate the contributions of the country’s fighters who struggled hard to obtain sovereignty and independence.”

Aside from that, he urged the community to protect the country’s sovereignty for the sake of national peace and harmony.

“The younger generation also has to understand history so that they realise the struggles of national leaders to achieve independence.”