by Aida Aziz
PARIT BUNTAR: The presence of several individuals fully dressed in Malay and British soldier uniforms during the Second World War at the tourist hotspot Ban Pecah created a question for visitors.
It’s as if they are from a different era, plus historical artefacts and classic old bikes that evoke memories of the past.
When observed closely at the Ban Pecah square, it seems that a non-governmental organisation (NGO) from the Malayan History Group Association (MHG) is organising an exhibition of the Second World War and the Emergency.
The reception received from the public during the two days of the exhibition was so encouraging with more than 1,000 visitors to the parade of historical artefacts.
In fact, it can be said that all eyes were focused on the historical artefacts exhibited in conjunction with the 66th Malaysian Independence Day, no less than many who wanted to take selfies with the organisers.
Different from the norm, MHG Chairman Shaharom Ahmad informed that the representatives of the residents in the Ban Pecah area invited their party to organise the exhibition last Saturday and Sunday.
He explained that it became a two-pronged way for both parties to provide knowledge about the country’s history in addition to them vacationing with their families.
“We exhibit artefacts from the Second World War and the emergency period, including military clothing worn during that period.In fact, we ourselves are dressed in pre-independence soldiers’ uniforms.
“Some are dressed as Malay State Volunteer Soldiers and British soldiers during the Second World War, including the Malaysian Army from 1969 to the 1980s.
“The local community and visitors can not only see the artefacts up close, but we also provide more information about the wartime situation in Malaya.
“It’s good for visitors to increase their knowledge, plus it’s the beginning of the school holidays, so it’s full of visitors and children to be exposed to the country’s history,” he said when met here.
Shaharom further explained that the purpose of his association to wear old military uniforms, is to give exposure to the public in a real way.
In addition, it is able to evoke nostalgia for veterans and families of ex-soldiers.
“We were also able to share stories with the previous generation and ex-soldiers who came about their experience serving as soldiers during the emergency period.
“In fact, many visitors who came did not expect such an exhibition to be organised here; they seemed excited to hear the explanation about the historical artefacts.
“The artefacts are indeed from our own collection of more than 30 years and some of them we found from former soldiers and old shops, ” he said.