Friday, March 19, 2010

A Little Bit Of Malaysian History


Memorial Of The Second World War or known as Bank Kerapu



Two days ago we stopped by at the 'Memorial of the second World War' (War Museum) in Kota Bharu. My son who is very interested in anything to do with 'war' and 'the army' had always begged us to bring him to the war museum. For many years, we passed by the building but never really bother to stop and to see what's inside the historical building. When we finally made our first visit to the museum 2 days ago, my son was so happy and repeatedly thanking us for taking him to the museum. I have to admit that I myself was so glad that I visited the museum that day. It was an enjoyable visit and I had certainly gained some knowledge and insights on what actually happened during the Pacific War in Kelantan. It also makes me appreciate the peaceful life that we have now.




The memorial of the Second World War is also known as 'Bank Kerapu'. It was the first stone edifice in Kelantan (bangunan batu pertama). 'Kerapu' in local dialect refers to the rough and uneven surface of its walls. Bank Kerapu was built by the Mercantile Bank in 1912 on a piece of land that belonged to Nik Yusoff bin Nik Abdul Majid, a famous local chieftain.




The location map of the War Museum . It's at Jalan Sultan

Photo from Militaryforces.net

Japanese troops in Malaya




Photo from virtualmalaysia.com

The bicycle used by the Japanese soldier

Today, Bank Kerapu houses an interesting display of photos, articles and artefacts of the Second World War including a bicycle used by a Japanese soldier upon entering Kota Bharu . The bicycle reminds me of 'basikal tua' zaman dolu2.

Though history points to Pearl Harbour as the start of the Asia Pacific War, historians now say that Kelantan was where it all started. On the morning of Dec 8, 1941 at 12.25 a.m , Japanese troops landed on the beaches at Kuala Pak Amat, Sabak, near Kota Bharu, marking the beginning of the Pacific War (1941-1945). It was 90 minutes before the attack on Pearl Habour in Hawaii. At Kuala Pak Amat, Japanese soldiers swam ashore as well as used small landing boats despite the monsoon. Southeast Asia fell to Japanese invasion just two months later. In the memorial you can see some pictures during the landing assault and also pictures on the Japanese occupation of Kelantan during the war. I saw some of the photos which were snapped by one of the Japanese soldiers during the attack at the beaches. Really amazing! I was wondering, camera apa agaknya mereka bawa-Canon? Fuji?




Photo from Raykinzoku fotopage.


One of the pillboxes found at a beach in Kelantan. The pillbox was built by the British troop, to counter Japanese attack tapi tembus juga.. The British were caught by surprise as they had thought the Japanese would first attack Singapore and definitely not during the monsoon season.


During the Japanese occupation, Bank Kerapu was also used by the Japanese as their secret police station (Kempei Tai). Some of the rooms in the building were used as torture chambers for the war prisoners. The first floor of the building is quite dark and eerie. Rasa semacam je..tegak bulu roma. I didn't dare going into the dark rooms where all the old artefacts are displayed. I had to call my husband (who was on the ground floor) to accompany my children who were so eager to enter all the rooms while I quickly ran down and didn't look back. (Takut pandang belakang) I ni penakut sikit..bukan sikit actually tapi banyak.

There are more than 1,000 exhibits relating to the war, including photos, articles and artefacts. After the war, and following the return of British forces, the building continued to function as a bank until 1992 when it was turned into a war memorial by the Kelantan State Museum Corporation.

Cameras are not allowed inside the museum but I did snapped some photos outside the memorial. The Lanca exhibited outside the building had somehow caught my attention.






Teringat belajar Sejarah tentang Lanca masa sekolah dulu. My late grandmother used to tell me that when she was young, she saw Chinese men with ponytail pulling the lanca/cart in Kuala Lumpur .Today the services of lanca stands as a memory of the past. My late grandmother was one of those who witnessed it those days.




16 comments:

  1. visiting this kind of place somehow boleh buat kita rasa bersyukur dengan keamanan yang kita ada sekarang kan.. :)
    thanks for sharing, really enjoy reading this entry... wow, pillbox dekat Kelantan beach tu masih utuh ya, hope we can preserve it for the next generation..

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  2. hi TK rasa i macam masuk kelas sejarah balik lak heheh- thank cikgu i tak tau pun kelate byk muzium u - but i dont think i berani gak masuk tempat kena torture tu penakut sama cam u heheh

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  3. It just really amazes me how a tiny country of Japan was able to take over so much of Asia. You look at how enormous China is and they were under Japanese dominance. Unbelievable! Reading about how they tortured and abused their captives and using women as comfort women for their soldiers pleasure were disgusting. Although many argue that the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were cruel, it was the only way to stop the long bloody war.

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  4. i slalu lalu n nampak this place tp tk pernah terlintas nak masuk pun...ishhh teruk betull i nih :-)
    ish kalau i pun sure macam u takut nak masuk..hihi teringat balik masa i masuk "japanese tunnel" kat padang dulu..sambil jalan sambil baca ayat2 qur'an sebab takut :-)

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  5. Lady Of Leisure- Yela u r right. PEACE forever! Masa kat dlm muzium tu tgok gambar org2 kene tikam ngan bayonet tu..Kesian..dahlah masa tu hidup dlm kemiskinan.

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  6. Ermayum - I tak taulah, I ni kalau masuk muzium2 ni slalu tegak bulu roma. Masa masuk Muzium Di raja lagilah tegak bulu roma tgok gambar org dolu2 kat dinding tu...

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  7. Salam TK
    Wow that was a good piece of entry you made. I did not know Kelantan has such good history as well. Thanks so much for sharing,I've enjoyed reading this post of yours. Especially when I looked at that old bicycle, it brings nostalgic memory of my stepfather who rode his old bicycle to and from work. He never did have the courage to drive a car in his days :)
    Good to know you and family enjoyed your trip in the museum.
    keep smiling!

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  8. Zarin-My hubby org Kelantan pun first time pegi situ. Mmg menyeramkan pegi tmpt2 macam tu.

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  9. Rosebelle- Yes, you are so right about everything.War brings disaster. Hope for PEACE FOREVER.

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  10. Pn. Isah- Thank You. Kelantan is a very interesting country . The country has a lot of history and interesting culture. They have many museums too!

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  11. err.. rasenye org lemah semangat mcm i agak penakut nak pegi tgk tempat2 menyeramkan mcm tu..

    but surely tak dpt pegi pun takpe bila dah baca ur entry.. :)

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  12. fatenton- same here..I memang lemah semangat. Tempat2 lain I ok. Tempat2 bersejarah je takut.

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  13. saya sungguh merasa malu kerana sudah 10 tahun saya dok gi mari kelik klate saya tidak pun terasa nak singgah ke tempat ini. akan ku singgah nanti. tenkiu TK. teramat lah appreciatenya.

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  14. ComeyBlako-u r welcome. BTW, muzium2 lain tu pun menarik jugak.

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  15. Your corner is truly as informative as any other and I believe through this we can simply create awareness about the importance to know something about the great war and other world war 2 facts.

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