Chief Harry Melan Dies

The then Royal Malaysian Navy chief, Rear-Admiral (Rtd) Tan Sri K. Thanabalasingam greeting Lt (Rtd) Melan Suradi at KD Sri Malaya in the sixties. RMN oicture

SHAH ALAM: Chief. RMN’s oldest veteran, Lt (rtd) Melan Suradi passed away at the KPJ Johor Specialist Centre, Johor Bahru, early this morning (Oct 20, 2017. RMN in a statement says Melan, 95, died of old age.

The then Royal Malaysian Navy chief, Rear-Admiral (Rtd) Tan Sri K. Thanabalasingam greeting Lt (Rtd) Melan Suradi at KD Sri Malaya in the sixties. RMN oicture

From the New Straits Times.

The country lost the oldest surviving naval sailor, Lt (Rtd) Melan Suradi, who died in Johor Baru, early today (Friday). He was popularly and respectfully referred to as ‘Chief Harry Melan’ by shipmates owing to his camaraderie and professionalism.

Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) chief Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin announced that Melan, 95, died of old age at the KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital at 12.27am. He said KD Sri Medini had arranged for Melan to be given a burial with full military honours at the muslim cemetery in Johor Baru after Friday prayers.

“We are extending whatever necessary assistance his family needs.Our deepest condolences and our thoughts are with his family, as the RMN has lost a notable veteran,” said Kamarulzaman.

Melan had initially served as a rating with the Royal British Navy during World War II, and later joined the RMN rising to the rank of Warrant Officer 1 – the highest rank for listed ratings.

Kamarulzaman said Melan was the first intake of locally inducted ratings.

“Upon retirement, he continued with the RMN Volunteer Reserves and was commissioned as a lieutenant in recognition for his services,” said Kamarulzaman, adding that Melan was credited with bringing back the country’s first frigate from Britain in the Sixties.

Chief Harry Melan in the sixties.

— Malaysian Defence

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