Pre-war post office a unique window into Malayan history

  • Nation
  • Monday, 02 Mar 2015

Blast from the past: For many soldiers, the Asahan post office was their only means of communication with their loved ones back home.

MALACCA: The state government has decided to conserve the post office building in Asahan, about 70km from here, as a heritage building.

The now dilapidated building was used to handle letters sent by homesick British soldiers stationed here during the emergency period to their families back home in Fiji, Southern Rhodesia, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and India.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said the state government decided to conserve and recognise it as a state heritage site to honour the fallen soldiers who defended the nation during the insurgency period from 1948 to 1960.

“The post office was once the nerve centre for these soldiers from Commonwealth nations and it is appropriate for us to conserve the pre-war structure as a state heritage site,” he said yesterday.

Idris said the servicemen from the British Empire had contributed a lot to the country by fighting the communists, and the Asahan post office was part of the history of that era.

“Asahan town itself is also rich in history, especially WWII and the emergency period. It can be turned into a living museum,” he added.

He hoped the move to turn the post office into a heritage site would attract more tourists to the area.

Asahan was the operation hub for many soldiers who fought fierce guerilla wars in the jungles of Malaya. Apart from the King’s African Rifles Regiment from Rhodesia, Africa, most of them were attached to the Fijian army and Gurkha regiment.

Many injured soldiers updated their loved ones by sending letters through the Asahan post office. Some of these letters are now on display at the London Museum.

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