Jonid Mokri, 86, remembers clearly the events which led to his one week stay in the police lock up with 37 others on suspicion of harbouring Indonesian guerillas who escaped the police dragnet during the height of the Malaysia-Indonesia confrontation in 1965. He talk to New Sunday Times on January 30 2011.
In 1964 the situation became chaotic when hordes of Indonesian commandos parachuted into the are Felda Tenang, Labis.
The villagers of Felda Tenang, became "tak tenang" because they never thought there would be an "open" intrusion by Indonesian military. This was during the height of the confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia.
The original settlement of the village was at Kapung Sungai Gatom, but they were relocated there due to the communist insurgency in the 1950's.
According to Jonid when the commandos landed at the village, many of them ran helter-skelter to escape detection but they were shot dead by Malaysian security forces. Some were seen under detention at the Labis police station. There were even Indonesian commandos whose parachutes got entangled on the roofs of houses and trees.
However there were two Indonesian commandos who escaped the police dragnet and sought refuge in the jungle. Jonid and a few of the villagers found them in the jungle hiding within a tree trunk, which they covered with canvas.
They dug a hole for water which gave them ample supply but they did not have anything to eat. So the villagers decided to give them assistance and gave them food and clothing. It was said they did it out of pity.
The commandos told them they did not expect to encounter people who looked like them. Before leaving from Indonesia, they were told Malaysia is governed by the British and that the foreigners must be eliminated.
Indonesia's first President Sukarno embedded a doctrine in Indonesia that until today Indonesian people think Malaysia is built by the British people and that is why Malaysia is so successful. I pity them.
The commandos were even told they were going to land in the jungle. However they found themselves landing in a settlement occupied largely by Malays.
And although they were armed to the teeth with sub-machine gun, a pistol and bombs. They had dismantled them for safekeeping. Jonid and the villagers realized they were not going to shoot anyone and wanted only to return to Indonesia.
For an amazing two years, the villagers gave them all the assistance they needed. One day the police found out their activities they proceeded to surround the jungle with dogs, but they could not find the Indonesian commandos.
Jonid thought the commandos had supernatural powers which enabled them to avoid detection. He remembered strange things about the commandos when the villagers visit them, they heard chains being dragged in the jungle. When asked they would not say anything.
The Indonesian commandos were later captured on their way to Singapore at Woodlands, and shortly after, deported back to Indonesia.
I cant help but think Jonid and the villagers were traitors. The police remanded him and 38 other villagers for a week at the Segamat police station.
They were interrogated but the police were satisfied with their explanation that it was not their intention to betray the country.