Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Aussie visits Borneo 137 times in five years

SIBU: Australian Bob Pinkerton has visited Borneo 137 times in the past five years, something he deems a personal achievement.

He said he really liked to be in the world’s third largest island.

“It is very interesting to be here. Borneo people are wonderful,” he told reporters when met at Bukit Lima Forest Reserve here on Monday.

But most of all, this historian said he was thankful to Borneoens for looking after his father, the late Lieutenant R J D Pinkerton, a veteran of the Second World War (WWII).

“If not for the Borneo people, I would not be here at all,” he said.

According to Bob, his father was involved in Semut Operations between 1943 and 1945.

Semut Operations, which started in Bario, was undertaken by Z Special Unit, an Allied special force to operate behind Japanese lines in South East Asia. The members comprised Australians, British, Dutch, New Zealanders, Timorese and Indonesians.

In Borneo, the unit conducted surveillance, harassed attacks and sabotages and trained the natives in resistance activities.

Bob said his father was known as Tuan Pink Orang Tinggi among the Kelabit of Bario.

“His mission was to go north to Lawas to track down the Japanese while some of his colleagues came down to Kapit through Sibu by Catalina aircraft.

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