Remembering communities and the bonds that formed during WWII

A MEMORIAL Day in recognition of the Malay community protecting the Chinese from the brutality of the Japanese during the Second World War will be held this November.

In revealing this to reporters after the presentation of appointment letters to community leaders, Sarawak Deputy Public Health, Housing and Local Government Minister Michael Tiang said this Memorial Day was significant as the organisers wanted the younger generations to learn about the history.

He said they were also considering various ways to help youths get to know the unique society of yesteryears.

The idea of holding the Memorial Day, he said, came about during a visit to the residence of Temenggong Datuk Wan Hamid Edruce to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“During our Hari Raya visit, Datuk Wan Hamid shared with us why the Malay and Chinese communities were so tightly-knit during the Second World War.

“Families adopted Chinese children to protect them during the Japanese Occupation.

“So, there is a beautiful history behind it,” said Tiang.

The paramount leader for the Malay-Melanau community, Wan Hamid recalled that his family adopted six Chinese children during World War II.

He added that they were treated like family.

“We also hid some from the Japanese soldiers,” said Wan Hamid, who was seven years old then.

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