I was the OC of the said, 'C' Company, 7th Rangers when the contact with CTs was made by Sgt Abu Hassan and his group on the 17th day of September 1980. The first initial contacts were made by 'A' company and Unit Combat Inteligence Squad (UCIS) group whereas we were still conducting operation in Upper Perak. I personally requested from the CO then, Lt Kol Lokman Hashim to redeploy 'C' company by moving back via South direction to the Hentam Galas Op area in Gua Musang, Kelantan.
On reaching the insertion point enroute to the direction of contacts by 'A' company in Op Hentam Galas , we moved into smaller groups going/bashing up the upper ridges which were purportedly left out by the previous units. On reaching the high-land ridges, I ordered my men to to look for water point and at that time , we could see foot prints, marks. The collection of water was abandoned and the company was regrouped into smaller groups and prepared for next day to attack the Communist Terrorist resting place. Well, Sgt Abu Hasan was lucky enough to make the contact where District Committee Memeber Ho Pak, was eliminated and three weapons/packs were recovered . From our assessement, the CTs contacted by our group was the Command Group of the CT's contaced by 'A' Company previously.Covering Fire
On the 2nd September 1980 7th Battalion Rangers took over the area of operation Hentam galas for a period of two months from the 5th battalion Royal Malay Regiment.
After two days of operations, the first contact with the Enemy happened on the 14th September 1980 at 2340 hrs (11.40pm). Alpha Company's sentry saw lights retreating about 50 yards away from his location, he immediately assumed that the Enemy's leading scout had detected the presence of 7th Rangers.The sentry on seeing the retreating lights opened fire. The sentry who opened fire was Ranger Matthew Mijer ak Raweh
,he let loose with the general purpose machine gun (GPMG also known as Mag 58). He opened up with continous bursts of fire. This alerted the whole company, who went into "stand to". The enemy returned several bursts of fire followed by the firing of a verey light pistol, the signal was red. The Enemy estimated to be 10-12 strong. At dawn a follow up was conducted using the blood trails that the enemy had left behind in their haste to escape. The assumption at that moment in time was that many of the Enemy were wounded.Mag 58, weapon used by Ranger Matthew Mijer ak Raweh
On the 15th September 1980 at 0900 hrs (9am), during the follow up by the Unit Combat Intelligence Squad, the UCIS came across food scraps. As they were following the trail they were fired upon resulting in a 5-10 minutes firefight, both sides did not suffer any casualties. The Enemy, was on high ground, one female Communist Terrorist threw down a challenge to the UCIS platoon, " If you are brave, come up here !"( in the Malay language) . At that moment in time it was raining bullets for the UCIS platoon. Everyone of them was trying to dig into the earth or trying to make themselves very small to avoid being hit by the enemy. The only thought on their minds was "cover". After the exchange of fire the Enemy withdrew, the UCIS platoon tenaciously kept in pursuit, at around 1055 hrs (10.55 am) came into grips with the Enemy again. This time the fight lasted for another 8 minutes. Both sides did not suffer any casualties.
On the 17th September 1980 at 0800 hrs (8 am), following a trail of footprints, Sergeant Abu Hassan was directed to take a section out on patrol. At 0900 hrs (9am) footprints were discovered, on a jungle trail. the enemy was estimated to be around two strong. The section followed this trail and came across a bamboo shoot that was freshly cut.They proceeded to a water point, where it was found from trails that it was used an hour ago.
Sergeant Abu Hassan broke up his group into two and crawled on his hand and knees. At 1045 hrs (10.45 am) Sgt Abu Hassan, Ranger Rahim and Lance Corporal Zaharin saw two of the Enemy, packing their rucksack. One of the Enemy resting nearby managed to spot Sgt Abu Hassan. Sgt Abu Hassan immediately launched the assault, opening up with automatic fire at the same time directing his men to move fast away from the ridge. The Enemy at the moment, whilst Sgt Abu Hassan was conducting the assault returned fire. As there was no proper cover Sgt Abu Hassan dived behind a tree. He saw that the enemy who was hit being dragged by two of his friends, whilst another was giving covering fire in the direction of Sgt Abu Hassan's men.
At around 1120 hrs, a support group commanded by Captain Osman arrived. During the follow up for about 60 meters, the body of an Enemy was found. A booby trap was planted around 30 meters from the body. The Enemy was identified as Ho Pak, the DCM for Gua Musang who was from the 10th Regiment.