KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — A monument is expected to be built in Rabung Hijau, Kampar, Perak in remembrance of British and Indian troops from the 11th Indian Infantry Division that fought in the country against the Japanese Occupation in World War II.
Malaysian Armed Forces Sikh Veterans Association (MAFSVA) vice-president, (Army) Major (Rtd) Harjit Singh Rendawa said the association was waiting for the Perak state government to gazette the area as a heritage site, being one of the few battlefields in the Kampar vicinity during the war.
He said at the moment, the planning had been finalised, and once a decision was made by the state government, construction of the historic monument would begin.
“It will take approximately six months to complete...the layout design for the monument has been completed,” he told reporters after a ceremony to mark the 75th Year (1941-2016) Service Commemoration of the British and Indian troops, at the National Monument, here, today.
The monument in Kampar is to signify the engagement involving British and Indian troops against the Japanese forces.
On Dec 27, 1941, to prevent the capture of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Kuala Lumpur to the Japanese, the 11th Indian Infantry Division occupied Kampar, which offered a strong natural defensive position.
The Japanese intended to capture Kampar as a New Year gift to Emperor Hirohito. However, they were defeated by the Allied Forces.
On today’s ceremony, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vicki Treadell said it was significant to remember those who fought for freedom and peace during the war.
“It is crucial for the present generation to know the history, besides paying their respects and remembering those who had given everything, including their lives.
“It is an important occasion for us to show gratitude and respect to those who suffered injuries and lost their lives,” she said.
Meanwhile, director of the Operations and Training Division, Malaysian Armed Forces, Brig Gen. Datuk S. Mahendra said this symbolic ceremony should be carried on in years to come.
“We should not forget but remember those who sacrificed their lives for us,” he said.
Earlier, over 200 representatives from various countries observed two minutes of silence in honour of the heroes, who died in two world wars.
The Remembrance Day ceremony was also attended by foreign ambassadors, high commissioners and defence advisers from over 20 countries including Australia, Canada, United States, France, Africa and Pakistan, as well as representatives from the Malaysian Armed Forces.
Organised by the British High Commission here, the event ended with the traditional laying of wreaths at the base of the Cenotaph, an apt tribute to those who gave their lives in the name of peace.
Also present at the ceremony was Tunku Zain Al-’Abidin Tuanku Muhriz, son of Yang Dipertuan Besar Negri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Almarhum Tuanku Munawir. — Bernama