Sultan Iskandar bridge bombing, battle of Slim River immortalised on information signboards

Sultan Iskandar bridge bombing, battle of Slim River immortalised on information signboards

KUALA KANGSAR: The bombing of the Sultan Iskandar Bridge beam here, and the battle of Slim River that took place during World War II are now immortalised on an information signboard in commemoration of this year’s National Day celebration.

Malaysian Historical Society (MHG) chief researcher cum chairman Shaharom Ahmad said the two occurrences were among the 16 historical events in Perak that happened during the Second World War and needed to be preserved to ensure they would not be forgotten.

“Before we put up the signboards, a detailed study involving many parties, including military war diaries as well as local and foreign historians will be conducted. In fact, there are studies that have been done for decades to prove the existence of historical relics from the war.

“The war remnants include old forts, military assets, aircraft wreckage, memorial stones and underground tunnels, ”he said.

He said this after the installation of the signboard at the Sultan Iskandar Bridge, about 50 km from Ipoh last Saturday, which was also attended by Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council (MPKK) president Zulqarnain Mohamad.

Shaharom Ahmad said that the signboard installed at Kampung Jamuan, among others, displayed important information including photos of the bridge beam that was destroyed by the British Army to stop the advance of the Japanese army in 1942.

According to him, the location was also chosen because of the existence of an old fort which was believed to be used by the British to monitor the movement in and out of Kuala Kangsar and surrounding areas.

He said the installation of the signboard was also part of efforts to save the old fort from being neglected and exposed to vandalism.

“During the Second World War (1941-1945), the bridge that was built in 1938 was a strategic location for the Japanese Army from Thailand to advance to Kuala Lumpur from Kedah.

“After the bombing, the British troops withdrew from the area on Dec 22, 1941. However, they came back after the war ended to repair the damage on the bridge so that it could be used again,” he explained.

On the Battle of Slim River signboard which was installed a day earlier, Shaharom said it displayed information about the significant event that had led to the defeat of the British in the Second World War in Malaya, especially in Perak on Jan 6, 1942.

“About 1,000 fatalities were recorded in the battle while many British army military equipment such as artillery, anti-aircraft artillery, armoured vehicles and trucks were destroyed or confiscated.

“Among the remnants of the war include the Japanese memorial stone, a bridge in Trolak, the old road between Trolak and Slim River and a bridge in Kampung Slim,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shaharom said MHG planned to install or upgrade information signboards at all 16 World War II-affected locations in the state with the cooperation of local authorities, non-governmental organisations and other parties.

He said that this was due to the growing interest in the country’s historical events among the younger generation.

“For example, netizens will want to know more about postings of historical events that are shared on our Facebook page and they are also excited to visit these areas in addition to participating in the webinars held.

“Awareness of the nation’s heritage and history must always be increased, especially when the National Day draws close so that the community does not forget the invaluable sacrifices and services of fallen heroes of the security forces in defending the country,” he said.