Leave our fallen heroes alone

Ex-servicemen upset by MoCS plan to lay wreaths at the Cenotaph in the Museum Gardens and the Heroes Memorial at the Waterfront. RESPECT OUR HEROES: PBTM president Spencer and Major (r) Peter Runin (centre and right respectively) holding the police reports against MoCs wreath-laying ceremonies this Saturday.

The Malaysian Ex-Servicemen Association Sarawak branch has filed a police report at Sg Maong police station last Monday to stop the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCs) from marking their rally tomorrow with wreath-laying ceremonies at the Cenotaph in the Museum Gardens and the Heroes Memorial at the Waterfront here.

The association’s president Spencer Birai in his report said that MoCS would be politicising the war memorials and dishonouring the memory of those in the armed forces.

“We have a democratic system and proper democratic procedures in place: use them and leave our war memorials out of it.

“The war memorials are very sacred to us as they commemorate those who have fought gallantly to preserve the peace and harmony of our country.

“We will be very angry if they go through with this,” he said, explaining there were many time-honoured procedures and rituals to be observed during a wreath-laying ceremony.

“The wreath-laying ceremony must be done in accordance with military tradition,” he said, explaining that parts of the ceremony included the lowering of the flag and playing the ‘Last Post’, a bugle call used at military funerals and ceremonies commemorating those who died in war.

“Much like the miring ceremony, you cannot just do the wreath-laying ceremony ad hoc,” he said, stating that many quarters from both the military and the police forces had spoken out against the ceremony.

“If you want to help us commemorate our fallen heroes, please help us collect donations for next year’s Warrior’s Day,” he advised the MoCs.

Warrior’s Day is celebrated on July 31 every year.

This year’s state-level celebration saw the Head of State Yang-Di Pertua Negeri Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Hajah Norkiah attending it for the first time together with Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib.


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