Tribute to Battle of Kampar Sikh soldiers

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The Malay Mail | Malaysia | 23 Jan 2017 | Asia Samachar |
The Malay Mail, 23 Jan 2017

KAMPAR — Gone but not forgotten. That was the intent of the Malaysian Armed Forces Sikh Veterans Association (MAFSVA) as they held prayers and an exhibition to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Kampar at Gurdwara Sahib Kampar yesterday.

Hundreds of Sikhs, including 200 military veterans, attended the event to show their respects for the Sikh soldiers who died in the battle involving British and Indian troops from the 11th Indian Infantry Division against the Japanese 5th Division. The battle lasted from Dec 30, 1941 till Jan 2, 1942.

“It has been 75 years since the battle took place and we lost many good souls. Ceremonies like this have been held from time to time,” said MAFSVA organising chairman Major (Rtd) Tara Singh.

“However, we will carry out this event on the third Sunday of January every year,” adding that the exhibition highlighted various activities that took place in the battle.

SEE ALSO: Battle of Kampar: Battle worthy of mention

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“It displays a synopsis on the initiative taken by the stakeholders, mainly MAFSVA, the Indian High Commission, Khalsa Diwan Malaysia and the Perak government, who were toiling to preserve the 12-hectare battle site,” he said.

The exhibition was also held to push for the preservation of the Green Ridge, a historic World War II battle site in Kampar as a war memorial.

MAFSVA secretary-general Major (Rtd) Suwaran Singh Dhillon said the association had met with the Indian High Commission and government representatives to discuss the project.

“The Indian High Commission has briefed us about their initiative and they have come out with a blueprint for the construction of a monument, observation tower and a gallery,” Suwaran said.

“We are in the process of negotiating with the state government, especially on the procurement and gazetting of the land,” he said.

MAFSVA president Major (Rtd) Baldev Singh Ganda Singh said the fund for the project was about RM10 million.

“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have pledged their assistance during their visit to the site,” he said.

The association state liaison chairman Commander Avatar Singh Sarban Singh said the materials for the exhibition were donated by various sources.

“The pictures, books, video materials and newspaper articles were contributed by Khalsa Diwan Malaysia, historians and former military men.

“There are more than 1,000 photographs in the exhibition,” he said.

The prayers for the Sikh soldiers who fell in the battle was followed by a poetry recitation by Reshpal Kaur from Kuala Lumpur and a speech by Khalsa Diwan president and historian Santokh Singh.

The event was closed with a RM10,000 mock cheque presentation by the Perak menteri besar special officer for non-Muslim affairs Keshvinder Singh.

Also present was Lieutenant Colonel Inderjit Singh who represented the Sikh armed forces personnel who are still in service.

The association also recruited 45 new members during the event.

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]

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