Rabu, Oktober 07, 2009

Raiders at Kunak 1962

The Sulu Region 1959 - 1963

The most serious raid took place on 20 July at Kunak, a timber camp on the East coast of North Borneo:

The raid began about 1740 hours [...] when a vessel (technically a
"kumpit", but more like a Chinese launch in appearance and about
24 feet long) approached Kunak from the Semporna Channel. It
had a "kajang" covering, badly maintained. At the time the
government launch "Rusakan" was alongside the steps of the wharf,
and the British Borneo Timber Company log towing boat,
"Darvel Bay", was alongside the longest part of the wharf. As the
"kumpit" came alongside the "Rusakan", the muzzles of four rifles
appeared over its side. The occupants of the "kumpit" opened fire
and in the first burst killed the Engineer of the "Rusakan", who
was sitting on the forward deck, and wounded two children also on
deck. The two sailors, the Engineer’s wife and one of the sailor’s
wives jumped into the sea. The serang (skipper) was wounded in
the left arm as he also jumped for the sea. The kumpit then pulled
up to the wharf. Four raiders ran across the wharf to the "Darvel
Bay", which had its engine running, shot four members of the
crew and did some damage to the engine. One man returned to the
"Rusakan", smashed the copper pipes of the engine, tore out the
radio and transferred it and the "Rusakan’s" binoculars to the

kumpit. While one raider stayed in the kumpit, the rest, some
seven in number, advanced from the wharf, with two firing up the
road, while others entered the shops near the wharf and forced
local people to carry goods and money back to the kumpit. The
telephone-line was cut and an attempt was made to launch the
Mostyn Estates launch "Lucinda". This was unsuccessful, as it was
locked up. The raiders then stove in the boat and damaged the

After the raiders had loaded their boat, they saw a Chinese launch
coming in round the coral. They intercepted it, tied up their own
boat to it, told the passengers to jump into the sea and ordered the
skipper and engineer, named Kamaludin, to tow the kumpit out.

INFO FROM: Stefan Eklöf
Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies
Lund University, Sweden 1963

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