MALACCA: The Proclamation of Independence Memorial in Ban-dar Hilir, here, is the best place to revisit the days and events leading to Aug 31 1957, the day Malaya proclaimed independence.
The former Malacca Club, built in 1911 with a touch of typical British architecture, was turned into the independence memorial in 1985.
It is the most appropriate location as the Malacca Club is situated right opposite the Bandar Hilir Field where Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra announced the independence date upon his re-turn from London.
That announcement on Feb 20 1957 was a milestone in the nation’s history.
The memorial presents the days leading to Malaya’s independence, significant documents, pictures, souvenirs, paper cuttings, official costumes used during the proclamation, pens, keris, royal seal, a ballot box and audiovisual material.
Outside the building, there is also the “1957 Merdeka Car” that Tunku Abdul Rahman was in when he paraded around the town and two armoured vehicles used during the emergency period.
The exhibits are placed based on their own category like “Introduction and Malay Su-premacy,” “Challenges by the Foreign Power Sector,” “The Rise of Nationalism Sector,”` “The Rise Against Malayan Union,” “The United Malay National Organisation,” “Communist In-surgency,” “Towards Merdeka,” “Constitutional Monarchy,” “Na-tional, State and Government Leaders” and the “Formation of Government,”
The memorial even lists early freedom fighters namely Datuk Dol Said in Naning, Datuk Maharajalela in Perak, Datuk Bahaman, Tok Gajah and Mat Kilau in Pahang, Sharif Masahor, Rentap and Asun in Sarawak, Mat Salleh and Antanum in Sabah, Tok Janggut in Kelantan, Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong in Terengganu and many others.
The memorial also showcases the brief Japanese occupation and the Malayan People’s Anti Japanese Army (MPAJA), Terri-torial Army, Force 138, Askar Melayu Setia, Gerila Kinabalu and many more.
The acting manager of the memorial, Kamaruddin Abdul Aziz, said 231,197 people visited the place last year. As for the first seven months of this year a total of 143,573 visitors consisting of 111,463 locals and 32,110 foreigners were recorded.
Last year, a total of 806 researchers came to the memorial to conduct research on the nation’s history.
Visitors will have a chance to listen to the patriotic songs played all day during the visiting hours from 9 am to 5:30 pm daily except on Mondays.
However, it is open throughout during school holidays or any public holidays. No entrance fees are imposed on visitors.
“Do come and visit this memorial. You will never regret it,” said one visitor, Zaimi Abu Bakar, 45.
Zaimi, together with his wife, Noraini Abdul Jalil, 41, and his four children, Zhaffan Nazifi, 11, Zhahira Alin Nurhani, nine, Zakwan Nafis, seven and Zai-reen Alin Nurafini, five from Indera Mahkota, Kuantan were here due to the school holidays.
After 446 years of being occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch, British and a long road to independence the memorial has lots to offer for visitors. – Bernama
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