Promoting World War II relics as state’s tourism product in the offing — Liwan

KUCHING: Efforts to promote World War II relics as one of the state’s tourism products might go through soon as budget proposals for the move can be expected next year.

Assistant Minister for Culture and Heritage Liwan Lagang yesterday said besides promoting books on war history, the ministry would set aside a budget for preserving and locating wartime relics all over the state next year.

“In terms of allocation we’ll try to put it in our budget next year during which we can do something to preserve all the relics and set up some tourist amenities there so they can experience what it was like during wartime,” he said at the launching of ‘Bario Commandos Heritage Exhibition’ at Sarawak Art Museum. The exhibition ends on May 25.

Liwan said among the noted wartime relics are airplane wreckages at Lawas and Kalaka and underground tunnels.

“I believe there are actually many more out there based on reports from timber camps that they saw remains of Second World War deep in the jungle.

“To preserve and locate these relics can be quite a bit of work because going deep into these jungles can be complicated logistically,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Museum Department director Ipoi Datan in his speech said the exhibition focuses on the end of World War II in the north of Sarawak.

He addewd that the exhibition will be brought to Miri and eventually be permanently exhibited in Bario, where the story began.

The exhibition is made possible through the collaboration between Rurum Kelabit Sarawak, Sarawak Kayan Association, Tun Jugah Foundation and Australian Borneo Exhibition Group Incorporation.

According to Sarawak Tourism Federation president Audry Wan Ullok, some of the information and photos at the exhibit were provided by former commando Jack Tredrea and Major Jim Truscott.

“This exhibition is the first of its kind in Borneo and it gives greater awareness on this Borneo counter-insurgency war against the Japanese occupying forces in Borneo,” she said.

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