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Datuk Dr Leong Chee Woh, Senior Assistant Commissioner Of Police 1

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Subject :Datuk Dr Leong Chee Woh, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police 1
Published By : None 
Location : Malaysia
Estimated Year : 1984
Media Type : Photograph
Source : Leong Chee Woh
Remark :

Leong Chee Woh was born in Taiping, Perak, on 11th November 1929 and was brought up by Baba/Nonya Foster parents there. He was educated at King Edward VII School in Taiping, this being interrupted for almost 4 years by the Japanese Occupation of Malaya. Thus he sat for and passed his Senior Cambridge examination in 1949. His first job after leaving school was as a Clerical Officer with the Town Council, but this was not to his liking and so after a short while applied and was accepted for a post as a clerical officer with the police. Based on his experience he was appointed Chief Clerk to Selama Police Station. This was his first introduction to the brutality of Communist Terrorists (CTs). Towards the end of 1950 after some persuasion from his superiors, Leong volunteered to join the police in an active role. His application was accepted and on 1st December 1950 he joined a batch of trainees at the Police Depot at Gurney Road, Kuala Lumpur, as a Probationary Inspector, for training. He then served` with the police force for the next 34 years with promotions regularly taking place, before retiring as Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police 1 (equivalent to Brigadier in the army) and Deputy Director (Operations) Special Branch.

Having joined the police force during the Malayan Emergency Leong’s active service soon brought him into the anti communist field where he served with the Police Jungle Companies and the Police Field Force. However his special attributes were soon recognized and in April 1954 he was transferred to the Special Branch (SB). During his years of service with the SB, Leong was posted to various states and was also stationed at Betong (southern Thailand) for four and a half years in the capacity of Head of Intelligence of the Malaysian/Thai Border Committee, monitoring CT activity. Major highlights of his very successful anti-communist career took place in Pahang, Perak, Kelantan, Kedah and Sarawak and these are credited below :

Leong Chee Woh spent three separate stints in Pahang :

  • April 1954 to November 1955 as an Inspector attached to the Circle Special Branch Kuantan, Pahang collecting, developing and passing intelligence to the Security Forces which led to the elimination of 65 communist terrorists, 19 of whom were of Branch Committee rank and above. He also personally led numerous ambush parties and was involved in the killing of seventeen terrorists. These successes led to the collapse of the CTO in the Kuantan area and the declaration of the first white area in the State of Pahang.

  • From 10th May 1977 to 16th May 1977 as Federal Projects Officer, Malaysian Special Branch HQ where he directed operation Kelong which resulted in the capture of 16 CTs of the 6th Assault Unit.

  • In 1978 as Federal Projects Officer at Malaysian Special Branch HQ launched a “Q” project code named Kelah whereby after almost two years, a group of 16 CTs was lured into the trap and captured and in April that year, through astute planning, 3 CTs of the Karak AWF were lured into the net and killed.

  •   His service in Perak, although not continuous, covered the years 1957 to 1971, the highlights being :

  • March 1957. Acting on intelligence supplied by a source, raided a kongsi in Ipoh town and captured 2 CTs.

  • April 1957. Started Project Jukebox to eliminate the entire group of seven CTs of the 7th MCP district, Ipoh which bore fruit only in August 1958 when he entered the jungle south of Ipoh and negotiated with the leader of the 7th MCP District resulting in him and his entire group of seven CTs laying down their arms.

  • February 1958. Was involved in Operation Ginger together with a group of SB personnel masquerading as CTs and penetrated the CT organisation. This Operation included : Project Junket, Project Jarkman, Project Jujubes, Project Jukebox and Project Jobless and resulted in the capture of 52 CTs over a period of 15 months. In between these forays into the jungle, he continued to collect and develop intelligence which was fed to the Security Forces and which resulted in 143 eliminations of CTs.

  • February 1961 to 1st June 1961 under Project Juggler, detached from the force and went undercover as an assistant estate manager in Kuala Kurau area of Perak to track down and eliminate a group of 12 CTs under the command of a Central Committee Member (CCM). CCM was killed by him on 1st June 1961 and subsequently the remainder were lured out into the open and captured alive.

  • August 1971. Having detected the first CT incursion into the State of Perak, carried out reconnaissance patrols and subsequently planned an operation that resulted in the killing of 5 CTs in the Tanah Hitam area of Perak 10 days later.

  • In Kelantan :

  • September 1962 to March 1964. Established an effective intelligence network amongst the Orang Asli in Ulu Kelantan to win over the aborigines totalling approx 10,000 who were pro-CT before. Most of this time involved foot-slogging, with about ten men, going to and fro supervising the men in the four SB posts in the jungle.

  • In Kedah :

  • April 1971 as Head of E3F (special operational unit) SB HQ Malaysia, for a period of approximately 6 months planned an operation in the Kulim area that resulted in the killing of nine out of ten CTs.

  • In two postings to Sarawak :

  • 1st September 1969. He was posted to Sibu, Sarawak as District Special Branch officer and within 6 months was involved in planning with the Security Forces which resulted in the killing of 19 armed communists and 10 captured and the disruption of the SCO’s underground organization with the arrest of 102 of its members.

  • 15th April 1972 to 1st October 1974 he was actively engaged in operations against the NKCP in the Rascom area (3rd and 4th Division) of Sarawak as Deputy Head SB Rascom. Here he was mainly responsible for planning and disruption of the Sibu Town Committee comprising 6 members and acting as main leader in numerous forays into the jungle, despite possibilities of foul play, convincing 246 members of the Paraku to lay down their arms and return to society.

  • And finally in Kuala Lumpur :

  • 5th January 1976 to 31st December 1978. Crushed the communist underground organizations in Kuala Lumpur that was the reservists to augment armed CT losses and provide logistics to the CTO. Total eliminated in the year 1976 was MNLF 480 and MPLL 530. Rounding up operations later accounted for approximately 300 of both parties. Prominent of those captured was the National Monument Bomber belonging to the MNLF in August 1976, and

  • Around the same month captured the leader of the No1 MPLL Mobile Unit leader in Cheras Garden, Kuala Lumpur. He was responsible for a string of atrocities throughout the country which included the killing of Tan Sri Koo Chong Kong, Chief Police Officer, Perak, 16 PFF personnel in KL, bombing of the RMAF base in Kuala Lumpur. The SB did not need his cooperation, but preferred he be charged and tried. Found guilty he was hung with another of his cronies, and

  • He killed a total of ten Communist Mobile Unit members who were specially trained assassins of the CPM to eliminate Chinese Special Branch officers.

  • While serving with the police, Leong Chee Woh received 10 awards and 14 Commendations for his contribution to security of the Nation, between 1950 and 1983; the first commendation from the Commissioner of Police, Malaya and the first medal being the Federal award of the Kepujian Perutusan Keberanian (Gallantry) in 1959.

    However the highest accolade, the Panglima Mahkota Wilayah came in 2010 giving him the title ‘Datuk’. Many would argue that this is insufficient recognition for a man who fearlessly fought for his country for 34 years.

    The picture shows Datuk Dr Leong Chee Woh on his “last day at work”, the 10th November 1984.

    Leong Chee Woh has written four books which are featured separately :

  • Scorpio The Communist Eraser. To see details of this book, click here.

  • Scorpio Against the One-Eyed Dragon. To see details of this book, click here.

  • Scorpio on the Dragons’ Trail. To see details of this book, click here.

  • Scorpio in the Dragons’ Playground. To see details of this book, click here.

  • He has also kindly provided us with a collection of photographs from his days in the Police Service. Please click on the titles below to access each item.

    Receiving his first commendation 1956.

    Negotiating with the CTs (at Gunong Rapat) 1958.

    As Deputy Superintendent of Police 1963.

    Patrolling the Jungles of Temerloh 1963.

    CT Ambush in Betong (Thailand)1965.

    On Patrol at Betong (Thailand) 1966.

    Negotiating with the CTs (at Sibu) 1973.

    Briefing at Kuala Lipis 1981.

    Additional photographs recently provided will also be added to this entry in due course.

    To read about the Malayan Emergency, click here.

    To read about Operation Ginger, click here.

    To read an article about various Special Branch Operations, click here.

    Filename : 20100807-012