Tan Sri Osman S. Cassim is awarded the insignia of Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star. The Order is presented in recognition of Tan Sri Cassim’s service to Sweden during the Japanese Red Army hostage crisis in Malaysia in 1975.
During the event five members of the Japanese Red Army (JRA) took around 50 people hostage at the Consulate of the United States, next to which the Embassy of Sweden was located. Among the hostages were the then Swedish Chargé d’Affaires Mr. Fredrik Bergenstråhle and his secretary Ms. Ulla Ödqvist.
The members of the JRA threatened to kill the hostages if imprisoned members of JRA in Japan were not released and handed over.
Five prisoners were subsequently released by the Japanese government and flown on a Japan Airline aircraft to Kuala Lumpur. The hostages in Kuala Lumpur were then released.
From here the former prisoners and the five hostage takers continued to Tripoli, Libya. In order to ensure a safe passage, two Malaysian and two Japanese government officials were also on the plane.
All four were released upon arrival in Tripoli. Tan Sri Osman S. Cassim was one of the Malaysian officials on board the plane. The other Malaysian was the late Dato’ Ramli Omar.
On Tuesday 16 December the Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia, H.E. Helena Sångeland will present the Order at an reception at the Swedish Residence.
The Royal Order of the Polar Star may be conferred on members of the Swedish Royal Family and on foreign nationals in recognition of personal services to Sweden or the promotion of Swedish interests. The Order was instituted in 1748.