For Unk Dicko's story, join me as I try to recall what I saw and experienced that fateful day in Siang Lim Park's history.
Eyewitness account...Unk Dicko
In mid July 1965, I went to work for the first time in my life as a Public Health Inspector. Training for the exciting and challenging job began immediately after I reported to the Ministry of Health Hqrs in Palmer Road. Some days we had a few hours of lectures at No: 2 College Road Training Centre, followed by attachment training at Havelock Road Cleansing Depot. Much, much later, I went through the whole gamut of attachments at various Govt agencies.
On 4 August 1965, in the pre-dawn hours I was on an observation field attachment. I had left home in the middle of night. Those days, I had 4 means of transport to and from work. If it was nearby, I could use my old Raleigh bicycle. If in the city or further away, I took the bus or taxi.
Sometimes I got a lift from one or two senior Health Inspectors living in Geylang.
That morning of 5 August, my training was over for the day. As I crossed Geylang Road over to Lorong 40 side, the junction was guarded by fully armed policeman and Gurkhas. They stopped me from going into my own Lorong without saying why. It was still dark. The sun wasn't up yet.
It was between 6 and 6.30 am. I told the officers I live at 94 Siang Lim Park and produced my
NRIC as proof. After a short while and some consultation, they let me through telling me to go straight home and not wander about. I asked what was all the fuss about as there was a sizeable number of policemen present. I had the right to ask as my family was living there. That was first time I learnt they were conducting a dangerous operation. I had no idea against whom or the number of criminals involved. But I knew roughly where as they told me to avoid the left side as I walked slowly home.
On reaching home, I found some of my family members were already awake. I asked my late mother if she was aware of the situation "outside". She told me that "something is happening at
Bibik's side but wasn't sure what". I decided to check things out for myself.
Changing into some comfortable home clothes, I went out through our backdoor which led to our backlane. There were no policemen around. They were mostly scattered and positioned at the other side ( Today the Waterina side ). The furthest I could proceed was near the house along our same row with the huge Jambu Ayer tree. That junction was blocked off by officers.
A number of my fellow kampongers were just like me eager and dying to find out what was developing. I went to a friend's house opposite the corner house and there watched the proceedings. Unknown to me earlier, the police had received a tip-off that the most wanted gunman Morgan Teo aka Morgan the Kidnapper was holed up in a house near Ref#29 on map,
together with some of his henchmen. They responded quickly by surrounding the identified unit while quietly informing nearby affected houses to evacuate. It was fortunate they did that as the subsequent firefight showed.
When the area was secured, the police ambush party identified themselves and asked the occupants within to surrender and come outside. No response after repeated calls. Orders were issued to fire tear gas canisters inside. Sounds of explosions could be heard, followed by smoke.
At least 2 of his henchmen, overcomed by the choking gas, ran out to surrender. But there was still no sign of Morgan the terror.
Inspector Allan Lim Kim Sai, from the CID, then acted. Drawing his gun, he approached the front door. Just as he was stepping forward, a single shot rang out from within. Morgan Teo had fired and the bullet hit the Inspector on his head. All the other officers backed off when 2 grenades were thrown by the elusive gunman. Two policemen were injured by the blasts.
Amidst the confusion and mayhem of the fatal shooting of Insp Allan Lim, Morgan Teo managed to elude capture by climbing through the roofs of the neighbouring houses....and escaped!
It took some time before it was ascertained that there were no other gunmen left in the by then burning house ( fire was put out later).
The whole area was swarming with police and CID people. An ambulance took the injured to hospital but the brave Inspector could not be saved. He was only 28 when he died.
Days later, we took a closer look at the scene of the famous gunfight. The roof of that house was damaged and part of the interior gutted.
What happened to Morgan Teo the most wanted gunman and kidnapper?
Did he elude capture totally?
Find out in the next post.