Adnan bin Saidi
SM, DM, WM, Best Recruit (RMR)
Adnan Saidi in 1937 (Colour sergeant)
Sungai Ramal, Kajang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Federated Malay States, Malaya (now Malaysia)
|Died||14 February 1942 (aged 27)|
Pasir Panjang, Colony of Singapore, Straits Settlements (now Singapore)
|Allegiance||Royal Malay Regiment|
|Years of service||1933-1942|
|Rank||1933 - Corporal|
1935 - Platoon Sergeant
1937 - Colour Sergeant
1941 - 2nd Lieutenant
|Unit||7th Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Malay Brigade|
|Battles/wars||Battle of Pasir Panjang|
|Awards||Best Recruit in the Malay Regiment|
Defence Medal (United Kingdom)
War Medal 1939-1945
|Spouse(s)||Sophia binte Pakir|
|Children||Mokhtar bin Adnan|
Zainudin bin Adnan
Adnan bin Saidi (Jawi: ?; 1915 - 14 February 1942) was a Malayan military officer of the 1st Infantry Brigade who fought the Japanese at the Battle of Pasir Panjang in Singapore during World War II. He is considered a national hero in Singapore and Malaysia for his actions during the battle. His name is also the namesake for the Malaysian Infantry Fighting Vehicle (MIFV).
Adnan was born of Minangkabau descent in Sungai Ramal near Kajang, Selangor, Malaya. He was the eldest child in his family. His younger brothers, Ahmad and Amarullah, were also soldiers. Ahmad was killed in action after his ship, HMS Pelandok, was sunk by the Japanese en route to Australia. Amarullah survived the war and now resides in Kajang, Selangor.
Adnan married Sophia Pakir (died 1949), an Islamic religious teacher. They had a daughter who died soon after birth, and two sons: Mokhtar, who lives in Seremban, and Zainudin, who lives in Johor. Mokhtar recalled that his father "did not talk a lot", was "a strict man and believed in discipline", and was "always serious and fierce ... yet had a good heart. There seemed to be a 'light' illuminating his face."
In 1942, Adnan led a 42-strong platoon from the Malay Regiment to defend Singapore from the invading Japanese Imperial Army. They fought at Pasir Panjang Ridge in the Bukit Chandu ("Opium Hill") area between 12 and 14 February. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Adnan refused to surrender and urged his men to fight to the end. They held off the Japanese for two days amid heavy enemy shelling from artillery and tanks, as well as chronic shortages of food, medical supplies and ammunition. On the last day of the battle, Adnan and his men were left with only a few grenades and had to fight the Japanese with their bayonets in brutal hand-to-hand combat. Adnan was shot but he continued fighting.
During the battle Adnan identified Japanese soldiers who were attempting to infiltrate the Malay Regiment's base in disguise as "Punjabi soldiers", who were marching four abreast (Japanese style) instead of three (British style).
Although it is widely understood that Adnan was killed during the Battle of Pasir Panjang, the exact details surrounding his death differed between accounts from both sides of the war. The actual mode of execution was never officially recorded.
The Imperial Japanese Army's official account indicated that Adnan was executed and then hung upside down from a cherry tree after two days of stubborn retaliation and refusal to surrender. (Other accounts suggest that he might have been tied to the tree and repeatedly bayoneted to death.) British accounts confirmed that his corpse was found hung upside down after the surrender and this has been repeated in a number of authoritative texts on the Malayan Campaign.
The Art in Transit programme of Pasir Panjang MRT station, titled Lieutenant Adnan, by Ho Tzu Nyen, features mock posters all around the station and lift shaft for a fictional movie about Adnan, who is portrayed by Singaporean actor Aaron Aziz.
He was also portrayed by an unknown Malay actor in the 2001 Singaporean television series A War Diary.
In May 2016, a Singaporean actor Fadhlur Rahman also played as Adnan in Heroes: Battle of Bukit Chandu aired by Mediacorp Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria, Vasantham and Channel News Asia. In the episodes, there were interviews with Adnan's granddaughter Wan Sofia Zainuddin.
On June 5, 2019, on Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Singapore's 8th President Halimah Yacob launched commemorative notes featuring Lt. Adnan Saidi along with 7 others in a $20 commemorative notes marking Singapore's Bicentennial celebration, 1819-2019 edition.