The NST reported:
PETALING JAYA: Retired senior police officer Anthony Petrus died yesterday. He was 76. He leaves behind a wife and five children.
He was rushed to the University Malaya Medical Centre on Monday after suffering from breathing complications. He died of kidney failure at 3.50pm yesterday.
The MSM did not report that he had a stint as the field commander of the FRU in Ipoh. He became the security chief of Genting Highlands but for reasons known only to a few of us, walked out of the comfy job. A RAMROD STIFF POLICE OFFICER JUST DO NOT WORK AS SECURITY CHIEF. PERIOD, PERIOD, PERIOD. (It is so different today. HANTU told me of many still-in-service top guns moonlighting as CEOs and Directors of the plethora of Security Organisations sprouting in the country. Not true yah?)
Yes, Tony was the untouchable, the incorruptible. I remember at an APEX CLUB post-mortem meeting of which I was the organising Chairman and he the President of this service club, he blew his top when RM15 could not be accounted for. He barked: "Bernard, you are the chair, you are responsible....we will deal with the treasurer later...but as of now, you are the chairman, you are responsible....give me the RM15." Fearfully obedient (definitely not a trait of mine, I swear to you) I complied. After the meeting, he spent more than RM15 buying three of us beers at Salt & Pepper.
That was the man....ramrod strict....incorrigibly firm.....but admirably fair. He was like an elder brother to me and a mentor to boot, during my unholy bachelor days. He was the only one who told me in the presence of the future Mrs. Zorro, "I will fry your ass if you allow this woman to get out of your sight." What type of a friend is that? Well, he was that type of a friend I had....that some of you did not have.
In 1977 I was assigned to a school where drugs and indiscipline were imperceptibly creeping in. I was made the discipline master and Prefect Master. Six months into the job I changed the prefectorial board. I made up my mind that this was a school where you do not need top students or teachers' lap dogs to do a man's job. Through some networking I selected my group, the street-wise kids who knew the "ropes". I suited them into jackets and when installation ceremony came around, I got TONY PETRUS, THE OCPD OF PETALING JAYA, to pin the prefect's badge on their jacket lapels. Can you just imagine the boost those "reformed" mobsters had? It was not a word yet in those days, but Tony's speech EMPOWERED those kids. THE SCHOOL WAS CLEAN BEFORE YEAR END.
FAREWELL MY FRIEND....AND WHEN YOU FINALLY NOW GET A CHANCE TO HAVE A BEER WITH THE LORD, SPARE A THOUGHT FOR US WHOSE LIVES YOU TOUCHED. I PROMISE THAT I WILL LOOK IN AT JANET.