The Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) Malayan Emergency Monument and Gallery at Sungei Siput Estate, Sg Siput was officiated by the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz on Saturday, August 15.
Heads of plantation groups, namely National Land Finance Co-operative Society Limited, United Plantation Berhad, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, Sime Darby Plantations Sdn Bhd and the High Commissioners of Britain, Australia, New Zealand and India were present to grace the occasion.
The primary objective of the monument and gallery is to honour planters, miners, police personnel, British, Commonwealth and Malaysian troops who rallied to support a fledgling Malaya, and then Malaysia, against communist terrorism and, in the course, made the ultimate sacrifice. The other reason is to preserve the said site which is of significance to the nation’s troubled past. The gallery displays historical information, records and photographs on the Malayan Emergency (1948 – 1960) for public viewing.
According to the Chairman of MPOA (Perak), R. Sivalingam, his association with the consent of the National Land Finance Co-operative Society Limited, initiated the construction of the monument and gallery at the Sungai Siput Estate, formerly known as the Phin Soon Estate. It is at the very spot where the British estate manager was shot by guerrillas of the Malayan Communist Party on June 16, 1948. The assassination led to the proclamation of a state of emergency throughout the country by the colonial government on June 18, 1948.
“Hopefully, the monument and gallery will be a useful source of information on the Malayan Emergency for both the public and tourists,” said Sivalingam.
Sivalingam singled out local historian, Harchand Singh Bedi for his untiring efforts in ensuring the materialisation of the idea and concept. “We wish to record our sincere thanks and appreciation to Harchand Singh Bedi for his invaluable assistance in the project, from start to finish,” he remarked.