Before the Japanese invasion of Malaya, the Japanese…
The Emergency may seem like a remote period in the sunset of British Imperial rule – but to those who lived through and watched the birth of Malaysia a dynamic, democratic federation it is a formative and important period – and not a time to forget.
So on the second Saturday in June, every year a group of men and women gather at Batu Gajah to remember all those that were killed in the Malayan Emergency from 1948 to 1960. Batu Gajah, along with the nearby towns of Gopeng and Papan are situated in the Kinta district of Perak, were once bustling tin mining towns and the group reflects the diverse population of these communities - multi-racial, multi ethnic and multi- religious group
This is a unique occasion that it draws in not only Malaysians but men and women of all ages from Australia, Fiji, India, New Zealand and UK. The simple ceremony begins at 7.30 am in the Holy Trinity Church, on the site where there has been a church since 1891, but the main event is the laying of wreaths at ‘Centre Point’.
The Centre Point’ memorial was erected on June 17, 1989 by the Perak Planters’ Association and other well wishers, to honour the planters, the miners, the Malayan Police Force, the Commonwealth Forces and the general public who gave their lives during the Malayan Emergency, 1948-1960. It is at the central point of the old Christian cemetery, known world-wide as “God’s Little Acre”, where 116 Planters, Police Officers, Miners and Civilians, killed in the Emergency are buried.
The ceremony however remembers all those killed by the Communists whatever race, creed or religion. A ceremonial guard is mounted by the Royal Malaysian Police, their buglers sound “ The Last Post and after a short speeches, Gurkha Pipers from Brunei play “ The Lament” while long-retired and serving Police Officers and Military Men from home and overseas, together with Planters, Miners and the descendants of those killed in the conflict, lay wreaths to pay their respect to the fallen heroes.
It is a time for reflection and gratitude for the sacrifice of these brave men and women. British and Commonwealth forces are also buried in two military cemeteries and five Christian cemeteries in Malaysia and Singapore.