By: Aida Aziz
Appreciating the story of history can not only be done through reading but it can be experienced through various ways.
The mural painted in Lorong Seni Muallim was able to attract the attention of visitors and to teach about the wartime story.
The mural depicts the story of the Battle of Slim River during the Second World War. It was produced by a talented local artist, Mohd Afiq Othman, also known as Bop Sopan.
According to the Secretary of the Perak Heritage Association, Nor Hisham Zulkiflee, the mural highlights the history of the war in Slim River, namely in Trolak and Slim Village.
“The mural is accompanied by a QR code that visitors can scan to get information and the story of the painting.
“The response from visitors is very encouraging, including from history buffs, the military doing research and foreign tourists,” he said.
He also said that the art lane initiative also sparked a string of Tanjung Malim cities being declared as youth-friendly cities.
“The Local Authority (PBT) in this state has started highlighting art lanes and murals about local uniqueness.
“This is a positive development because it can be used as a unique local tourism product,” he said.
Meanwhile, when asked about improvements that can be made for the future, Nor Hisham hopes that easier information facilities are provided for visitors.
“Not all visitors know how to use gadgets or technology, most of the murals in certain areas use QR codes, and there are no information boards.
“It would be more appropriate if an information board was provided for those who do not have gadgets or for the elderly,” he added.
Talking more about the Battle of Slim River, he said it was an important story for the country’s history.
“The defeat of the British army to the Japanese in that battle ended the British hopes of defending Malaya.
“It was a battle that took place on January 7, 1942, in which approximately 20 Japanese tanks managed to destroy two British army brigades that were defending at Trolak and Slim River.
“Only in a period of five to six hours, the Japanese managed to capture both bridges at Trolak and Slim River.
“Approximately 3,000 British soldiers were captured and many weapons were confiscated. It became a great memory for the Japanese army when they attacked Malaya at that time,” he said.