On Sunday 8 November 2015 as the sun rose in the still of the cool morning at the Tugu Negara in Jalan Parlimen, the dulcet tones of the Sri Dasmesh Sikh Pipe Band floated across the Lake Gardens to welcome guests as they gathered to remember and reflect this Remembrance Sunday.
Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Defence Advisers from more than 11 different countries stood in respectful silence alongside senior representatives from the Malaysian Defence Forces, Presidents of local societies, Head Teachers of schools and representatives from the Kuala Lumpur Cub, Scouts and Guides, to honour those who gave their lives for peace.
The service began with guests joining the voices of the Tenby School choir in singing the hymn, “O God Our Help in Ages Past”. British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Her Excellency Vicki Treadell CMG MVO then proceeded to deliver her address. She said:
The debt of gratitude that we owe those who delivered victory in both World Wars is greater than ever. Apart from war veterans, we should also remember all those who lost their lives, including military prisoners of war and civilian internees who suffered in captivity throughout the region.
Treadell made special mention of the contribution by the Sikhs. During World War 1, the Sikhs fought in all the major theatres contested by British forces from the Western Front to the Middle East. In World War 2, the Sikhs represented more than 60% of the total Indian Commonwealth Force in Malaya that fought against the Japanese invasion. Treadell thanked the Malaysian Sikh community for participating in this year’s Remembrance Service.
The service continued with reflections by Mr Autar Singh, Secretary General of the Coalition of Malaysian Sikh Organisations and the Reverend Timothy Philips from St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral.
The event also saw readings of “In Flanders Fields” and “For the Fallen” by Christopher Chan, Head of Boys at Tenby School and Janice Yap, Head of Girls at Tenby School respectively.
After observing two minutes of silence in respect of the fallen heroes, the ceremony ended with the traditional laying of wreaths. Thirty-nine wreaths were laid at the base of the Cenotaph, an apt tribute to those who gave their lives in the name of peace.