Military Wiki
Adnan Saidi
Born 1915
Died February 13, 1942 (aged 26–27)
Place of birth Kampung Sungai Ramal, Kajang, Selangor, FMS
Place of death Pasir Panjang, Singapore
Allegiance Royal Malay Regiment
Years of service 1933 - 1942
Rank 2nd Lieutenant
Unit 7th Platoon, C Company, 1st Malay Brigade
Battles/wars Battle of Pasir Panjang
Awards Best recruit in the Malay Regiment
(3 British medals)

Adnan bin Saidi, (1915 – 14 February 1942), was a Malayan soldier of the 1st Infantry Brigade which fought the Japanese in the Battle of Singapore. He is regarded by Malaysians and Singaporeans today as a hero for his actions on Bukit Chandu. His name is also the namesake for the Malaysian Infantry Fighting Vehicle (MIFV)as well.

Personal life

Adnan was born at Sungai Ramal near Kajang, Selangor, a Muslim of Minangkabau descent. He was the eldest child in his whole family. His younger brothers, Ahmad Saidi and Amarullah Saidi, were also soldiers. Ahmad was killed in action after his ship, HMS Pelanduk, was sunk by the Japanese on route to Australia. Amarullah survived the war and now resides in Kajang, Selangor.

Adnan was married to Sophia Pakir, an Islamic religious teacher. She died in 1949. They had a daughter, who died soon after birth, and two sons: Mokhtar Adnan, who now lives in the state of Seremban, and Zainudin Adnan, who lives in the state of Johor.

My father did not talk a lot. He was a strict man and believed in discipline. He was always serious and fierce… yet had a good heart. There seemed to be a ‘light’ illuminating his face. - Mokhtar, Adnan's son

[citation needed]

Battle of Pasir Panjang

Adnan led a 42-strong platoon from the Malay Regiment in the defence of Singapore against the invading Japanese. The soldiers fought at the Battle of Pasir Panjang, at Pasir Panjang Ridge in the Bukit Chandu (Opium Hill) area on 12–14 February 1942.[1] Although heavily outnumbered, Adnan refused to surrender and urged his men to fight until the end. They held off the Japanese for two days amid heavy enemy shelling and shortages of food and ammunition. Adnan was shot but carried on fighting until he succumbed to his injury. After the battle was lost, the Japanese soldiers tied him to a cherry tree and repeatedly bayoneted him to death.[2][3]

Because of his actions Adnan is currently considered by Malaysians and Singaporeans today as a hero.[4] In their textbooks, he is also credited as the soldier who caught the disguised "Indian troops"[5] marching error in four abreast (Japanese marching style) instead of a line of three (British style of marching).[2]


War Memorial

A war memorial plaque honouring Adnan and his Malay Brigade was erected in 1995 at Vigilante Drive, Kent Ridge Park.[6]

Portrayal in Film

Adnan was portrayed by actor Hairie Othman in the 1999 film Leftenan Adnan.[7] He was also portrayed by an unknown Malay actor in the TV series A War Diary. Aaron Aziz is the latest actor to have portrayed him in Life Story, which also covers his personal life.[8]


External links

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