Sikhs of Malaya: Gone but not forgotten


| Malaysia | 14 April 2017 | Asia Samachar |


Star TV, the media channel of Malaysia’s largest English newspaper The Star, released a 7-minute documentary on the Sikhs which captures the early days of the Sikh presence in Malaya and the epic Battle of Kampar.

‘Sikhs of Malaya: Gone but not forgotten’, produced by Charanjeet Kaur, was released as Sikhs worldwide celebrated Vaisakhi, the day when Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa.

Local self-taught historian Harchand Singh Bedi spoke on Battle of Kampar (1941) where many Sikh soldiers were killed in the jungle operations against the Japanese.

The documentary notes: “Sikh soldiers since time immemorial have been in the forefront of many wars around the world. During World War II, 3.400 Sikh soldiers laid down their lives to seek independence for Malaya and this was proven in the historic Battle of Kampar, 1941.
“After the war, many Sikhs left Punjab and settled here to a place now they call home, Malaysia. Together with other multiracial communities, the Sikhs have also played a pivotal role in the development of this country.”


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  1. A reader shared the following observations on the documentary:

    1. Sikhs started immigrating to Malaya in the 1870s mainly to serve in the police and paramilitary forces.

    2. The Sikhs who were involved in the Battle of Kampar were part of the 11th Indian Infantry Division. They were not recruited in Malaya.

    3. The Sikhs involved in the said battle were defending Malaya against Japanese invasion and were not “seeking independence for Malaya”.

    4. In 1921, there were already about 20,000 Sikhs in Malaya.

  2. About 2 years ago, the Federal Police HQ carried an advertisement in the New Straits Times showing the top 10 police officers. None were non-Malays. Unless the Police become sensitive to the feelings of the non-Malays, the top brains including Malaysian Sikhs are not going to join the Police. Tq. Kuldip Singh s/o Durbara, Petaling Jaya.