Many of us would remember, or at least heard of the notorious criminal Botak Chin, but how many know the story of the man who was instrumental in bringing the crook to the gallows?

This is the story of the late DSP S Kulasingam - sort of a "supercop" who was much respected by his peers and much feared by criminals, in the 1970s.

Kulasingam, who have served as the Johor CID chief and deputy Kuala Lumpur CID chief, survived multiple attempts on his life and lived to be 77.

His career with the police began in 1951 when he joined as a probationary inspector, aged just 19. His skills in solving multiple cases and leadership qualities enabled him to quickly climb up the ladder by becoming an Assistant Superintendent (ASP) within just six years, aged 25.

It was during his stint in the KL CID that his path crossed with that of Chin, whose real name was Wong Swee Chin. Chin and his gang committed multiple robberies that amassed a loot of nearly RM1 million.

As Kulasingam stepped up operations against Chin and his gang, the criminal decided to finish off the policeman.

The ambush

On November 22, 1975, Chin's henchmen tailed Kulasingam and when the latter stopped his car at a traffic light junction in Jalan Davis, they ambushed his vehicle and started raining bullets.

It was reported that at least 11 bullets hit his vehicle, one of which hit Kulasingam's rib and punctured his lungs. Despite the life-threatening injury, Kulasingam drove himself to the Cheras police station!

The gutsy cop was back to work within three months, and two months later, he was shot again in the abdomen while acting against a robbery at a goldsmith in Petaling Jaya.

However, Kulasingam continued to lead the operation and his team managed to arrest the robbers and seize the loot.

Not only Kulasingam managed to survive two shooting incidents, he also had acid poured on his chest and legs by criminals, and was almost stabbed, and shot again, during separate operations in Sarawak!

Following the ambush against Kulasingam, the Kuala Lumpur police set up a team dubbed 'The Magnificent 12', comprising elite police officers to track down and bring Chin to justice.

On February 16, 1976, Chin and two of his henchmen were arrested following a raid and shootout at a sawmill in Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, and Chin was subsequently hung to death at the Pudu prison in 1981.

Besides Chin, Kulasingam was also responsible for the arrest of Kepong Chai - a notorious rapist who scarred women's faces after raping them.

For his extraordinary feats of bravery, he was awarded the Pingat Gagah Berani - the country's second highest award for bravery.

Kulasingam retired from the police force in 1985, after 34 years in the force. He spent his old days alone in an apartment in Johor Bahru, as he was never married.

Once asked on why he never married, Kulasingam reportedly said that his dangerous job required certain sacrifices.

"I did not get married because of my job, I got shot because of my job, and I suffered in pain because of my job. To me, that's enough. Whether or not people will remember me, let the history decide," he reportedly told Utusan Malaysia in an exclusive interview in 2002.

Tomorrow (Nov 29) marks 12 years since Kulasingam died aged 77, following complications after a fall in his bathroom.

He may be gone, but it is certain that Kulasingam's legacy will forever be etched in the hearts of Malaysians, especially members of the armed forces.

Here is a man who selflessly put his entire life on the line, for a job and country he loved more than his own happiness.

Millions of salutes Tuan!

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