From left: Capt (A) Raja Mohamad, the late Maj (A) Stephen Ngiau, Maj (A) Jamaluddin, Lt Col (A) Richard Jalleh, Maj (A) Ooi Ah Bah (more photos here & here)
The late Brig Gen Stephen Ngiau RMAF (R) (Maj then) was the OC of No 3 Squadron, RMAF Butterworth, when I reported for duty on 1 January 1978, the year when Ops Selamat Sawadee was launched. As far as I could remember, he was a 'Mini Cooper' (Alouette 111) pilot and that's the reason why I never had an opportunity to fly with him. In fact, he was the second OC out of 6 OCs that I had served in the RMAF - 3 each from No 3 & 10 Sqns - that never flew with me (coincidentally, both of them were from No 3 Sqn).
One unforgettable trade mark of him was that he never missed combing his hair back into place once he took off his flying helmet...so impeccable and neatly groomed!
As an OC, he never compromised his aircrew's safety. In one incident, I did not complete the task of resupply at the Klian Intan area after being shot with two rounds of M79 by the CTs. After inspecting the aircraft at Klian Intan and satisfied that there was no damage, I was tasked by BASO (Brigade Air Support Officer) stationed at Kroh, to pick a casevac somewhere north of Kedah before RTB; the uncompleted task would be carried out the next day. Next morning, one Nuri took off to complete the resupply. When I briefed the OC of the incident and on being informed that the Nuri was flying to Klian Intan without knowing the security of the area, he immediately called Base Ops Room ordering the Nuri to return to Base. He wanted the troops on the ground to ensure the area was safe before any Nuri landed at the locations. If I remember correctly, the task was completed on the third day when the troops gave the green light that the area was safe.
My last encounter with the late Dato' was in the mid-90s when he was then the Director of Army Air Wing (Pengarah Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat).
Datin Cecilia...My condolences to you and family.