Centre seeks info over wartime British pillboxes

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 09 Aug 2003

KOTA TINGGI: The Kota Tinggi Historical Centre is seeking information from the public over the existence of several wartime British pillboxes located along the Mersing-Kota Tinggi road. 

Curator Mohamad Azlan Hafiz said the data would enable the centre to set up billboards to provide information on the history behind the pillboxes, believed to have been built before the Japanese invasion in 1941. 

Mohamad Azlan believed the British Army had constructed the concrete pillboxes and its bunkers in an effort to stop the Japanese invaders from getting to Tanjung Pengelih. 

He said the British Army camp in Tanjung Pengelih, located 100km from the pillboxes, had facilities like a field hospital, ammunition dump and underground tunnels. 

The Japanese Army was eyeing the camp in Tanjung Pengelih due to its strategic location and the many facilities there, he said. 

“I am of the opinion that the pillboxes were constructed as part of the defence against the Japanese threat which was heading for Tanjung Pengelih and Singapore,” he told Bernama yesterday. 

Mohamad Azlan said the pillboxes were constructed after the sneak attack by the Japanese navy against US ships at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. 

The British Army in Malaya thought that the Japanese would turn their attention on Singapore immediately after Pearl Harbour but this proved to be wrong as the Japanese landed in Kelantan before pushing down the peninsular in December 1941.  

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