Sikh military history exhibition to open at Taiping Sikh Temple

A Sikh military history exhibition will be held at the Taiping Sikh Temple on Saturday from 10am till 7pm.

The exhibition will showcase some rare historical pictures and memorabilia from Perak Armed Police (1873), 1st Battalion Perak Sikhs, Malay States Guides (1896), Straits Settlement Police, Word War II & Malayan Emergency.

Exhibition curator Harchand Singh Bedi said the exhibition not only depicts the life of Sikh paramilitary forces who served in Malaya but also documents Sikh military history throughout the 20th century.

“In the later part of the nineteenth century, the security of the developing south-eastern countries such as Malaya was at stake and the need to patrol go-downs, banks and other important buildings and institutions.

“The security in the Straits Settlements and other Malay States was threatened with the rise of secret societies and skirmishes of Chinese clans became acute in the rich tin-mining region of Kinta Valley.

“The British, who admired the bravery of the Sikhs in the Anglo-Sikh Wars in Punjab, began to recruit tall brave men from Punjab to serve as policemen and guards in their colonies,” he added.

They impressed the British officers with their fearsome qualities who considered to be the appropriate racial category for the Para-military policing needs of the Malayan Native States and the Straits Settlements.

He noted eventually Perak became the first state to recruit Sikhs as policemen and the first contingent was named Perak Armed Police which operated in Taiping then the capital of Perak.

9 November 2016 – Thesundaily