Kanang anak Langkau, one of the national heroes during the communist insurgence in the 70s, has humbly declined offers to make him a Datuk.
In a statement to press, he told that he can’t afford the Datukship title as he is not rich enough to dress and act like one.
Kanang, who hails from the Iban community, was known for its expert ability to track down enemies, making way for deadly search and destroy missions.
In 1979, Kanang was tasked to lead a troop in tracking a group of communists in Perak, after a soldier was killed. For almost two weeks, the team wondered around in unfamiliar territories until they were ambushed by the enemy, and Kanang himself was shot three times – twice in chest and once in stomach. But he survived the attack, killed 6 communists and emerged victorious.
He is the only Malaysian who has received 2 bravery awards – the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP) and Panglima Gagah Berani (PGB). The SP award itself is the highest award in the national order of awards, surpassing Datuk and Tan Sri titles.
Retired and now 68, Kanang now lives in Sri Aman, Sarawak, once a communist fortress.