He didnt bath for 2 days and was holed up at the Cairo airport with Malaysians and foreigners trying to get out of strife-torn Egypt. What an experience, and what a horrifying ordeal!
I think Deputy Foreign Minister Senator A Kohilan Pillay deserves a 'datukship' for his bravery and good job. Stranded for 2 days at a fully air-conditioned international airport and without shower, makes him a 'hero', dont you think so (here).
With him were PM's sec-pol Datuk Shahlan Ismail dan a few National Security Council officers.
Try to compare his ordeal with this - retiring deputy sec-gen of Ministry of Information Datuk Mohammed Mohd Daud was our trade commissioner to Kuwait in 1990 when the US launched the 'Desert Storm' operation.
He was assigned to lead about 200 Malaysians and Singaporeans to safety. Know what? He managed to take them from Kuwait City to Baghdad in an 18-hour journey filled with obstacles, among which were booby traps, bombs and gunfire.
And he didnt tell Malaysians or the Press about it.
Back in 1982, I was in Iraq, covering the Iran-Iraq war, moving with the UN and Iraqi armies from north border t0wn of Suleimaniyeh to Kirkuk, Khanaqin, Mosul, Karbala and south port of Basrah. Together with Indonesian 'Kompas' editor Petrus Suryadi, we slept in tents or bunker dug beneath army tanks, exposed to extreme cold weather and night and burning hot during the day, no shower for a week and had to survive on limited food and water supply.
I remember the adjacent building of El-Mansour Melia hotel was shelled at 10pm, two hours after we checked-in, killing 9 people and injuring dozens others.
Try talk to former NST senior journalist Ben d'Cunha who joined me in Iraq in 1984. We embarked on a 12-hour midnite train from Baghdad to Basrah, accompanied by 3 Iraqi officers, only to discover on arrival that the train was carrying about 300 corpses!
And that was part of the stories which was not published by our editor then. Why, we went there on our own expenses and at our own accord! (During that era, Malaysians were barred from visiting any Communist country while a trip to Eastern Europe or any Socialist country would be deemed as not appropriate).
Many other Malaysians, especially former students and embassy staffs in Baghdad during the 1980s were subjected to various difficulties. Ask our Ambassador to China Datuk Norulzaman whom I first met in Baghdad in 1982 when he was the Second Secretary to the mission. Ambassador was Nadanarajah.
I am writing a special book about their ordeals, hoping to send it to print sometimes in May this year. It will also include
To our Deputy FM, it was nothing what you had experienced. It was your job, like it or not. If you want to know about real ordeals, talk to our war veterans, including those who used to serve in Congo, Somalia, Lebanon and in other countries.
Anyway. good job bro!