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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