Thursday, August 22

Ministry to look into plan to build WWII memorial garden at Batu Lintang

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KUCHING: The Tourism and Heritage Ministry will look into the plan proposed by Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) to build a World War Two memorial garden and to upgrade a museum at Batu Lintang.

“The proposal will need to be studied to find out what can be done.

“We will need to work with the British, Australian and even Japanese governments on this. If  they  could reconcile and work together to build the museum, we will support it,” said its minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday.

Earlier, STF Heritage Development Committee chairman Lim Kian Hock in his briefing said  the proposed project would include the development of a memorial square, a Japanese garden and sculptures as well as the development of a wartime heritage museum and restoration of a Punjabi  Barrack.

“There are even remains of a Japanese bunker. We would like to request that the Sarawak Museum team excavate the area to find artefacts that could be valuable contribution to our wartime history,” Lim said.

He added that, should the project take place, STF would collaborate with the Australian ANZAC group and also the British Commission in Kuala Lumpur to make the memorial more complete and meaningful to remember those who had lost their lives in the war.

“We need more feedback to ensure accuracy in  details. For example, the Punjabi Barrack, which is very rundown at the moment, may need to be reconstructed as we don’t have much historical details of the building.

“We want to create something to remember the history of Batu Lintang,” said project architect-consultant David Hollis.

The project, currently still at its preliminary planning stage, is estimated to cost RM74 million.