In Remembrance: Tan Sri Yuen Yet Leng

SHAH ALAM: ONE of the greatest police officers in Malaysian history, Tan Sri Yuen Yet Leng died this morning. He was 88.

From Bernama:
KUALA LUMPUR: Police officer extraordinaire Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng who played an instrumental role in the historic 1989 Haadyai Peace Accord that witnessed the end of communist insurgency in Malaysia, passed away Thursday, due to heart failure.

He was 88 years old.

The former Special Branch officer who spent most of his life being hunted down by the communists during and after the Emergency years, was also the former Sarawak Commissioner of Police from 1981 till his retirement in 1984 and Perak Chief Police Officer in 1975.

His widow, Puan Sri Linda Yuen, 68, when contacted by Bernama said Yuen who had been unwell for the past few days after being discharged from hospital, breathed his last at their daughter’s residence at The Mines, Seri Kembangan.

She said Yuen’s remains would be sent to the Xiao En Centre at Cheras for the vigil service beginning this evening.

Born in Larut Matang, Perak, Yuen joined the police force in 1950 at the age of 23, and spent most his career as a special branch officer combating the communist resurgency in the country.

He is best known for his role as one of the key negotiators in the historic ‘Rundingan Damai Haadyai’ where together with former Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor went to China to meet Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leaders Chin Peng, Abdullah C.D and Rashid Maidin.

Their meeting successfully led to the signing of a peace treaty between the communists and the Malaysian and Thai governments in Haadyai, Thailand on Dec 2, 1989, where the communists agreed to lay down arms and disband the CPM, bringing to an end insurgency activities in the country after almost 50 years.

Tan Sri Yuen Yet Leng. PDRM picture
Tan Sri Yuen Yet Leng. PDRM picture

During his illustrious 34 years’ career as a police officer, Yuen had also served as special branch deputy director at the Kuala Lumpur Police headquarters, and was later promoted as Perak Chief Police Officer.

He also wrote two books, ‘Operasi Ginger’ in 1998 and ‘Nation Before Self’ in 2008.

Yuen also left behind two daughters and two grandchildren. – Bernama.

I interviewed Tan Sri Yuen for the Malay Mail in 2006. It was prompted by a complaint he had made about the local authority of the housing area where his home was located. He was then the head of the RA. However I cannot find the story any more.

The interview was supposed to be a brief one about the complaint but it went on for an hour or so after his wife came into the room and passed him, his Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol which he had left in the bedroom (she was going out).

The Tan Sri told me he had many enemies so he had to carry a pistol for the rest of his life. Not for him but for his loved ones protection.

He chuckled when I told him most of his peers preferred the Walther PPK.

If I remember correctly, Tan Sri Yuen told me that he was picked to join the SB ahead of the other recruits mainly due to his lack of ability to shoot accurately during basic training. The ones with better shooting abilities were chosen for the regular police.

Despite this handicap, he proved to be one of the most skillful communist hunter during the period. RIP Tan Sri.

— Malaysian Defence

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16 Comments

  1. Had completed reading thru his “Nation before self” 2 months back, while its been nearly 10years since last read “Operation Ginger”. He put to pen his experiences and views on Darurat 1 and Darurat 2. What he wrote on Darurat 2 in particular on insurgency in Sarawak and creation of RASCOM is very forthcoming in view that most books on Darurat 2 covers very little on CCO Swk. RIP Tan Sri.

  2. Yes,a true patriot and a Malaysian who love his country dearly.My sincere condolence to the late Tan Sri’s family.

  3. My heartfelt condolence to the family of the late Tan Sri Yuen n RIP Tan Sri. You have fought a good fight and done so with total dedication n loyalty to both the country, the citizens n your men. You have shown what a great person you are.
    I too contributed my sweat during the second emergency. Watching the flight of the nuri n its escort allouette from the ranger camp at jln Tambun ipoh, WE would know something eould gave happened.
    The nation owes men like you a huge debt

  4. My condolence to the family members and friends of the late Tan Sri. You shown us how a true malaysian citizen should be.

    A national hero that should be remembered by all.

    Rest in peace sir.

  5. Just a few weeks ago I read his exploits in exnuripilot blog, a true national hero. Rest in peace Tan Sri Yuen Yet Leng.

  6. The nation morns the loss of 1 of its sons. Tan Sri is one of many heroes that solidify the creation of Malaysia. Thank you for your services Sir. My condolences to the family and friends who know him. RIP.

  7. Thank you Tan Sri for your sterling service to the country. Malaysians owe you a great debt of gratitude. Condolences to Puan Sri and family.

    Hutang emas boleh dibayar, hutang budi dibawa mati.

    Rest In Peace, Tan Sri.

  8. Nimutz,

    That’s true. Most people know about Chin Peng and his lot but very little about the NKCP. The NKCP included former members of PARAKU and PGRS whom had fought as Indonesian proxies during the Confrontation. After they were ditched by their former patron many resorted to banditry to survive and drifted across the border to Malaysia where they joined the NKCP. We conducted joint sweeps with ABRI along the common border.

  9. Just saw this today. I had the privilege to meet Tan Sri in Nov 2014. It was a great session of which we promised to meet him up again. But as I bid him good bye, I had a nagging feeling that it was a good bye. When I received news of his passing, I couldn\’t work for the day and made plans to go to his memorial service. I must admit I shed tears, more tears than I had even shed when my paternal grandmother passed away. My only regret was not being able to follow him to his final resting place. Good bye sir. Rest in Peace.

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