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By Ling Hui & Chris Bishop
KUCHING, July 2: It is only fair that the Borneo Cultures Museum has a section to tell the history of the Sikh, especially their contribution and sacrifices in defending Sarawak during World War II (WWII).
Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said this when officiating at the earthbreaking ceremony of the Sikh Temple extension at Gurdwara Sahib Kuching here today.
“It is after all the Borneo Cultures Museum. The whole culture (and history of Borneo) must be exhibited there.
“I will tell (Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul) Karim (Rahman Hamzah) to include this,” he said.
Commending the past contribution of the Sikhs, Abang Johari also agreed with Sarawak Sikh Temple Association president Dr Kalwinder Singh Khaira to restore the Punjabi barracks and bunker at the Batu Lintang Teachers’ Training College.
Dr Kalwinder, in his speech earlier, said the historical buildings which dated back to the 1940s used to house WWII prisoners, and are no longer in good condition presently.
“These are remnants from the Japanese Occupation where the prisoners of war were kept. Now, they are not in good condition.
“Hopefully restoration can be done, and the history of the area be told for it to be a historical site for everyone,” he said.
Dr Kalwinder also mentioned that one of the roads in Batu Lintang used to be known as Jalan Punjabi, but it is no more now.
He thus expressed hopes that the name of Jalan Punjabi could be restored to remember the contribution of the soldiers back then.
Among other dignitaries present were Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian. — DayakDaily