Malaya & Borneo Non World War
1948 – 1966
During the year 2003, members of this Association waged a campaign, which was directed against the upkeep and conditions of the cemeteries and graves in Malaysia.
Articles were published in local newspapers, military magazines and could be found on the World Wide Web (WWW the internet). These articles were grossly exaggerated and must have come from hearsay and certainly not from people who had visited these graves in recent years.
One member went as far as to have his photograph superimposed against the Cross of Sacrifice at Batu Gajah, when by his own admission he had never been there. This was published in a local newspaper and branch newsletter and can be found on the WWW.
I found this distressing and insulting to my mates, who are buried there, also to the many people who travel from around the World to attend the annual commemorative service that is held at Batu Gajah.
Firstly, I will give you the comment that have been made by members regarding this subject and that have been published in various magazines and newspapers. This will be followed by my interpretation of the situation as I see it after my own visit in 2002 and comment made by other recent visitors to the cemeteries.
These Christian Cemeteries were established since we ruled Malaya from 1786. Many notable Colonial officers of all ranks, who governed the country before Malaysia gained its independence, are buried in them. I see nothing wrong with being buried in a civil or Christian cemetery, you only have to look around the cemeteries and churchyards in the U.K. to find thousands of servicemen’s graves from World War I & II and other campaigns are also buried in civil cemeteries and churchyards.
The Christian Cemeteries where British & Commonwealth Forces and Dependants are buried are:-
Christian Cemetery Western Road Georgetown Penang
Christian Cemetery Kamunting Road Taiping Perak
Christian Cemetery Batu Gajah Perak
Christian Cemetery Seremban Negri Sembilan
Christian Cemetery (Military Annex) Cheras Rd. Kuala Lumpur
This is not a Commonwealth War Graves cemetery, though there are some
666 graves from World War II in the civil section.
All the above-mentioned Cemeteries have graves that are not mixed and are in rows, with the exception of Seremban.
What may give the impression that graves are scattered is that separate plots have been allocated for the various denominations, such as C of E and Roman Catholic, and others are family/dependant’s plots.
Not forgetting the three Roll of Honour plaques that are in
the entrance portal of the Kamunting Road cemetery.
The Malaysian Government have now refurbished the National Monument in the Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur and the crests of the units involved have been replaced.
As an Association we do not have any say in whether a serviceman is exhumed or what happens to his remains or if a cemetery is moved. That is solely up to his relatives and there are still many around.
The movement of any graves is very costly and the fact that Malaysia is an Islamic dominated country whose law forbids graves to be exhumed, could make this an issue. Politically it would be wise to leave graves where they are. Most of these graves are now over 50 years old, so let the remains R.I.P
There are two Military Cemeteries
Cheras Road Christian Cemetery K.L. was never classed as a War or Military Cemetery though it contains the burial of 666 bodies from WW11 in the civil section and in the Military Annex, there are approximately 500 burials from the Malaya Emergency.
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