Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai attended a memorial service at the Petagas War Memorial here in remembrance of the 176 Sabahan guerrillas that lost their lives defending Sabah against the Japanese occupation in the Second World War.
The ceremony takes place on Jan 21 every year. Yee, representing Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, also performed the wreath-laying ceremony.
Prior to that, the attendees observed a 20-minute silence. The ceremony ended with the sounding of the Last Post and Rouse.
The memorial was built on the very spot where the 176 guerrillas were massacred.
Among the crowd was war survivor, Lee Min, 91, from Menggatal. His eldest son, Lee Yaw Koo, 61, said his father would make it a point to pay homage to his fallen comrades each year despite his health conditions.
Meanwhile, Datuk Fung Khyam Shen, 82, from Singapore, whose elder brother Fung Khung Shen was among those killed in the massacre, said the sacrifices of the fallen guerrillas should be remembered and appreciated.
“Khung Shen was one of the first to be killed by the Japanese with seven others.
“I can forgive them but I just can’t forget…I still feel bitter and my family is very sad about the tragedy,” said Fung who lived in Sabah, then known as North Borneo, during the war.
Source: New Sabah Times