SANDAKAN, (Feb 26) — At 3pm on March 1 last year, Tungku Health Clinic ambulance driver John Pitawali, 44, was given a top priority task.
When told the place was Kg Tanduo in Lahad Datu, he felt a shiver down his spine, as it was the hotspot of Ops Daulat where security forces were battling Sulu terrorists, which he had read so much about in the media.
Nonetheless, he put up a brave front and swung into action.
Upon arrival at the site, John was told to ferry the body of ASP Zulkifli Mamat, a VAT 69 policeman who was killed in the battlefield.
John said after ASP Zulkifli was pronounced dead by doctors at the clinic, he was ordered to send the body to the Lahad Datu Hospital accompanied by another policeman.
He was sad as he did not expect the fight would be so tragic but felt privileged to able to serve as part of the team to assist the nation’s fallen heroes.
John was among 199 medical and health employees who were awarded the Medal of National Sovereignty which was presented by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam in a ceremony in Sandakan, Tuesday night.–BERNAMA