Immerse in Malayan war history at two-day conference


PETALING JAYA: Dive deep into Malaysian history at the 1st Military History Conference in Asia and hear first-hand accounts from witnesses.

Organised by the War History Institute, in partnership with Ho­­li­day Tours and Travel, the two-­day conference will be themed “Malaya At War – Remembering the Malayan Campaign and the Malayan Emergency”.

The conference will be held from Aug 10 to 11 at the Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur.

It will be followed by an optional Malaya At War History Tour from Aug 12 to 18.

“This is a non-commercial event. Its primary objective is to create awareness of Malaysia’s war history and to honour those who served in Malaya.

“One of the projects that we undertook last year was to inspect some of the sites in Malaysia in order to assess and determine its relevance to historical war events,” said War History Institute research director Seumas Tan.

“Some of the sites are not in good condition and are neglected. Therefore, we are promoting military history tourism as this would give incentives to private entities to come onboard and preserve these sites.”

Day 1 of the conference will focus on the Malayan Campaign.

It features sessions on the Defence of Malaya, the Battle of Kampar and the story of Sybil Kathigasu – a World War II Malayan heroine.

Day 2 will focus on the Malayan Emergency.

Sessions will include The Role of British Propaganda during the Malayan Emergency and Special Branch projects in the Second Malayan Emergency.

Among the speakers are Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths (previously of the Royal Australian Navy), who was a young midshipman aboard the HMS Repulse when it sank on Dec 10, 1941, off the coast of Kuantan.

He is now the patron of the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse Survivors in the United Kingdom.

Another is Tan Sri J. J. Raj Jr, who was the OCPD of Pagoh during the Bukit Kepong incident in 1950.

The keynote speaker is Rear Admiral Tan Sri K. Thanabala­singam.

“Some of our speakers are in quite advanced age, some in their 90s. It will be a golden and rare opportunity to hear them speak about their experiences in these historical events,” said Tan.

As part of its corporate social responsibility, Holiday Tours and Travel will subsidise the participation fee for Malaysians and veterans.

The conference fee is RM890, but they only pay RM425.

For more information, visit http://warhistorysites.com.