Sunday, April 10, 2011

Aussie Defence Minister to 'experience' Death March

Kota Kinabalu: Australian Defence Minister (Material) Jason Dean Clare and two other Australian Members of Parliament will relive part of the 1945 Death March trail with a dozen students selected from nine different schools in Sydney, beginning today (Sunday).

The MPs - Liberal Member of Parliament Scott Morrison and Independent MP Robert James Murray Oakeshott who became world famous for his "king maker" role in the recent hung Parliament - would cover the tough portions of the march over five days.

They flew in from Singapore Saturday.

The walk will cover Bauto to Gamabron near Telupid, Maliau to Wonod, Taviu to Liwagu, Nabutan to Muruk and Marakau to Ranau, culminating at the Last Camp.

Lynette Silver, famed historian and author of several best known books on the Death March, would be the chief interpreter along the way.

State Culture, Tourism and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the visit of an Australian Defence Minister was a "great honour" to Sabah.

He said at a welcome dinner Saturday that Jason Clare's visit reaffirmed the "special bond" between Sabah and Australia based on bedrock of people-to-people relations has never been shaken by any tiffs at the political level in the past.

In response, Clare noted that six thousand Australians walk the Kokoda Track (in New Guinea) each year.

"My hope is not just a better understanding of the story of Sandakan but a better understanding for all Australians so that more Australians will come to visit Sandakan and walk in the footsteps he will be walking the next few days.

"There is a special bond between Sabah and the people of Australia as the Minister has said," Clare said.

Continue reading at: Aussie Defence Minister to 'experience' Death March

No comments: