The Battle of Kampar site is an upcoming heritage and tourism spot in the state.
Minister of Tourism and Culture, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said that the historical location is valuable and the 16-acre land has to be gazetted as a heritage site for purpose of conservation.
He visited the site which consisted of defence and communication trenches dating back to the Japanese invasion of Malaya in December 1941.
Present was Dato’ Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi, the Executive Councillor for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Multimedia and Communications.
“The Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia views this site as the latest attraction in Perak considering its historical value.
“Plus, the site has a significant role in history. It’s here where the bravery of the Commonwealth troops were tested. They halted the advancing Japanese Imperial Army. The defenders on the iconic ridge were from the 11th Indian Infantry Division consisting of 1st Leicestershire Regiment, 2nd East Surreys and a mixed Jat-Punjab regiment. They were being supported by the 88th Field Artillery Regiment. The opposing troops were from the Japanese 5th Division,” Nazri said during a media conference following the visit.
According to Nazri, the location fulfills the three major criteria for it to be gazetted a heritage site.
“The 16-acre land has more than 10 fire trenches which are of interest to tourists. They can also be a source of inspiration for the younger generation to appreciate those who fought and died for our country,” he stated.
He added that his trip to India with the Prime Minister from Wednesday, March 29 to Tuesday, April 4 will be the opportunity for him to learn more regarding the suggestion to build a war memorial by the government of India that was postponed before this.
“I’ll discuss the progress of the Indian government’s application, as it involves fallen Punjabi soldiers from India,” he added.
“We appreciate the British and Indian servicemen for their fighting spirit. They come from afar to protect our country. It’s a big sacrifice,” he exclaimed.
Nazri hoped that measures to gazette the site as a heritage and tourist spot can be hastened because it is being visited annually by former servicemen and their families.
The defended position, popularly known as Green Ridge, witnessed an intense firefight between the Japanese and the Commonwealth troops that lasted for four days from December 30, 1941 to January 2, 1942. Some 500 Japanese and 150 British soldiers perished in the battle.