SANDAKAN: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Peter Pang En said the history of war and the Death Marches more than 65 years ago must be passed on to the future generations.
“Today marks the 66th anniversary of the end of Second World War. Our shared wartime history between Malaysia, Australia and Britain is a reminder of not only the sacrifice and endurance of those who perished but also the loss and longing of family members,” said Pang at the Sandakan Day Memorial Service at Sandakan Memorial Park yesterday.
“We must also remember the local communities who took the risk and lost their lives in helping those Allied soldiers.
“They are classified as our honoured heroes,” he said. He added that as we reflect our continued desire for freedom and peace, we must remind ourselves that there is nothing noble about wars.
Sandakan Municipal Council (SMC) president Datuk James Wong said that we must ensure the endurance, suffering and sacrifice of those brave servicemen and the local people who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of our country must never be forgotton.
He said the selfless actions of these brave and spirited people had paved the path towards peace and freedom that we were enjoying today.
“For the ninth year, we gather here again to remember the 2,428 Australian and British prisoners of war and the local people who suffered under the occupation of our country.
“Let’s also remember that the freedom we enjoy today does not come cheaply and we owe a debt of gratitude to those we have come to honour here,” added Wong.