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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8, 2015:

A tribute was held for the Sikh community for their contributions during the World Wars at the Remembrance Service by the British High Commision Kuala Lumpur.

British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell in her address said the role of the Sikhs in both World Wars was not as well documented as it should have been.

“The Sikhs made up a relatively small percentage of undivided India and yet at the start of WW1 they contributed to over 22% of the British Indian army.

“These numbers swelled over the course of the war and Sikhs fought in all major theatres contested by British forces from the Western Front to the Middle East.

“In WW2 the Sikhs represented more than 60% of the total Indian Commonwealth Force in Malaysia that fought the Japanese invasion,” she said at the tribute ceremony at Tugu Negara here today.

She said over the last few years, as part of the WW1 programme of commemoration, the story of the Sikh contribution to the WW1 was focused on.

“I am therefore delighted to contribute to this initiative by involving the local Sikh community today.

“I would like to mention our Sikh friends here today, including the Sri Damesh Band for welcoming the local Sikh community, for participating in this year’s Remembrance Service.”

The service observed a two-minute moment of silence to show respect for heroes, who died in the World Wars.

The first two-minutes of silence in Britain was held on Nov 11, 1919, when King George V asked the public to observe the silence at 11am, one year after the end of WW1.

Treadell said it was not just the fallen that needed to be remembered but also those who were still willing to risk their lives for tomorrow.

The Remembrance Day service was attended by foreign ambassadors, High Commissioners and Defence Advisers from 11 different countries.

The event ended with the traditional laying of 39 wreaths at the base of the Cenotaph.

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