By Hamka Rosli
Malaysia is known as one of the best countries to be visited due to its uniqueness. Not only we have cultural diversity as an attraction, but also historical remains that will tell much the history of Malaysia. There are many remains of history in Malaysia such as A Famosa fortress in Malacca, Bujang Valley in Kedah, Makam Mahsuri in Langkawi and many more.
One of the newest attractions of historical remains in Malaysia resides in Penang, the War Museum. The place was actually a fortress built by the British and abandoned more than 60 years ago. It was until the place had been rebuilt again to become a museum.
The War Museum is also known for being one of the hunted places in Malaysia. It was named as ’10 most hunted sites in Asia’ by National Geography Channel. Surely it is a hunted site because of many people who died, brutally killed by the soldiers back then. The fact that National Geography Channel came to the museum and make documentary at the site can be seen as recognition from the outside.
Besides having the lurid feelings by exploring the museum, one can actually learn many things from the site. The story of the past war and its consequences to this day, the hidden history of the fortress, the intelligence of the past nation and many more. The more we explore, the more we realise that what we have today is never an easy pleasure. Every amity needs sacrifice.
The Penang War Museum was restored as a memorial to its dark days and opened to the public in 2002. Interesting fact, the 20-acre museum houses historical artefacts such as cannons. The museum even features underground military tunnels and ammunition bunkers located nine metres underground. Some of these tunnels lead all the way to the sea as they once served as access routes to get to submarines. Navigating through these passageways sometimes forces one to walk or even crawl through very narrow, confined spaces. Additionally, one can also tour the barracks, cookhouses, gun emplacements and other structures in the eerie and vast Penang War Museum as there are plenty of signposts to guide the way.
The War Museum in Bukit Batu Maung was a fort built by the British in the 1930s. In 1941, it gained fame when it became the site where the battle for Penang against the invading Japanese army was lost. These days it is a museum open to the public and is billed as Southeast Asia’s largest war museum. Situated on the road to Teluk Kumbar on Penang’s southern coast, the fort was initially supposed to be a preserved citadel constructed as part of a plan to protect the island from foreign invasion. It is also known as Muzium Perang Pulau Pinang.***