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March 18th, 2011

Cop hero Yuen Yuet Leng honoured in film

Faizal Nor Izham 

Datuk Seri Yuen yuet Leng 

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Special Branch police commander Datuk Seri Yuen Yuet Leng (pic), who was among the heroes in the Communist insurgency, particularly in Taiping, Perak, has been included in Astro's four-part docudrama series Suatu Ketika ... Darah di Bumi.

His life story will be shown in the final part, titled: Suatu Ketika ... Yuen Yuet Leng, on Astro Prima channel on May 15 at 5pm.

"I joined the police force seven years before Merdeka and am honoured to have played a role in the country's struggle against the Communist insurgency, as we were championing the ideals of freedom and democracy at the time," said Yuen, 83, at a Press preview yesterday.

"We fought side-by-side with the British against the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), led by Chin Peng.

"I have to say we may have lost if not for the contributions of the British. I consider myself 1Malaysia in my body. Malaysians should not forget our earlier struggles in order to advance as a nation."

Yuen, born in 1927 in Perak, was a teacher at King George V School in Seremban.

In his 34 years with the police and Special Branch from 1950 to 1984, he served as chief police officer of Perak (1976-1981) and Sarawak (1981-1984), and was present when Malaysia and Thailand signed peace agreements with the CPM in 1989 at Haadyai.

Since then, Yuen has authored two biographies, 1988's Operasi Ginger and 2008's Nation Before Self.

Koo Chee Sing, who portrays Yuen in the docudrama, said: "When I got the role, I did research on Yuen and when I eventually met him, he gave details of his experiences.

"This is a great docudrama series as the stories are true life experiences and the episode on Yuen had a good script for me to work on."

Suatu Ketika ... Darah di Bumi will begin on Astro Prima on March 26.

Other personalities in the series are World War II freedom fighter Sybil Karthigesu (1899-1948), Sarawakian nationalist Rosli Dhobi (1932-1950) and soccer star Mokhtar Dahari (1953-1991).

Asked if Astro will also make available the Suatu Ketika ... Darah di Bumi series to schools so more students will know about Malaysia's heroes and heroines, Astro's vice-president for Malay Language Business Khairul Anuar Salleh said: "We are open to suggestions as there are good lessons to be learnt through this factual series."

Said Astro Citra manager Shoba Devi Choo: "We must remember outstanding personalities as their legacies can inspire our youths and future generations."