From left: Lo, Dr Sim, Wee and Tan paying last respects to the late Awang while the latter’s son Panggau Awang (right) looks on.

KUCHING: The final tribute ceremony for the late Datuk Awang Raweng, the nation’s sole recipient of the George Cross medal, witnessed many more dignitaries present to pay their last respects.

Despite their busy schedules, many allocated time to pay tribute to the national hero at Kuching Civic Centre here on Sunday.

Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian

Minister of Local Government and Housing

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have much opportunity to get to know our hero Datuk Awang Raweng but I believe that from his stories, he was one of the great warriors in view of his contribution to the national security. He deserved the state’s recognition and appreciation because of his bravery. His passing is a loss of another great Sarawakian.”

Datuk Wee Hong Seng

Mayor of Kuching South City Hall (MBKS)

“The late Datuk Awang Raweng had fought for Sarawak and I hope Sarawakians would remember that it was not easy for us to achieve what we enjoy today without brave warriors like the late Awang. These warriors should be remembered by all Sarawakians and we must not take what we have today for granted.”

Lo Khere Chiang

Batu Kitang assemblyman

“The late Datuk Awang Raweng lives in Taman Perwira Landeh and I am honoured to have a hero staying in my constituency. I met him on several occasions but due to him being down-to-earth, I was unaware that he had such honours whereby he was the sole recipient of the George Cross medal. His passing saddens me and I hope his heroic achievements would be added into the list of richness of history in Sarawak.”

Tan Kai

Political secretary to the chief minister

“I do not know the late Datuk Awang personally but through his stories, he was an outstanding soldier in protecting Sarawak. I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to the family and I hope his spirit would rest in peace.”

Dr Sim (centre) conveys his condolences to Panggau Awang (right) on the passing of his father at the final tribute ceremony. Also present are (from second left) Lo, Wee and Tan.