Fiji's Relationship with Malaysia

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Fiji has a long-standing relationship with Malaysia. This started during the Malaya Emergency when Fiji was part of the Commonwealth forces that came to the then Malaya to defend Malaysia from communist insurgents. From 1952-1956, 1800 Fijian soldiers fought in Malaysia with 25 paying the ultimate sacrifice. The Fijian soldiers were based in the southern town of Batu Pahat in the state of Johor.

Stories of our soldiers’ gallant efforts are very much alive in Fiji. They have been told and re-told through folklore and almost all Fijians are familiar with the story of “Malaya”. Most of the soldiers who fought during the Malaya Emergency have passed on with only a handful left. Very little has been documented about Fiji’s involvement.

In its efforts to recognize the efforts of our soldiers, the Fijian Government is now collaborating with Malaysian Government to produce a documentary titled “Back to Batu Pahat”. This documentary recounts the stories of the Fijian soldiers who fought during the Malaya Emergency; it will take them from Fiji to Batu Pahat.

Back to Batu Pahat best sums the history of Fiji’s special relationship with Malaysia, and which eventually led to the opening of the Fiji High Commission in 1989