Three Fijian war veterans who served in the Malaya Campaign of 1952-1956 paid tribute at the Malaysian War Memorial for those Fijian soldiers who lost their lives during the war campaign.
A minute’s silence was observed amongst the three veterans, Mr Manu Korovulavula, Josefa Ramalamala and Inia Rakari, who returned to Malaysia since the campaign and paid tribute at the memorial site.
The three are in the nation’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, to feature in a documentary on Fiji’s contribution and sacrifice during the war. The three veterans served amongst other Fijians who died during this conflict and will tell their stories in the television documentary titled, “Back to Batu Pahat”.
Batu Pahat is located in the State of Johor in Malaysia and is the site Fijian soldiers were stationed during the Malaya campaign. The three veterans will travel to Batu Pahat this week.
The documentary is a cooperation between the Fijian Government and Malaysian authorities as part of efforts to preserve and promote the sacrifices made by Fijian veterans during the campaign.
Mr. Manu Korovulavula who served in the 1st Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (FIR) said the documentary would benefit Malaysians and Fijians.
“This is a chapter of our lives that is very important to us, since it gives an opportunity for both the people of Fiji and Malaysia to understand the sacrifice made by Fiji and her sons.”
“People need to know why Fiji participated in the Malayan campaign,” he said.
Also present at the observance of the laying of the wreaths was Fiji’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ratu Meli Bainimarama, Counsellor Pita Tagicakiverata First Secretary Mrs Vani Samuwai and.
The visit to Malaysia’s War Memorial was also recorded by the Tanah Ratah Production crew who are wrapping up the second phase of the television documentary.
“It’s a very tight schedule and we hope to visit as many sights that we can” said Nordin Abdullah of the Tanah Ratah Television Production company.