KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — The restoration of a Japanese war monument in Alor Setar, Kedah, last Thursday is a state matter as it is not within the compound of the Tourism Ministry office there, said Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi.
The tourism and culture minister said the monument occupied land on an adjacent lot and was consequently not under his ministry’s purview.
“Where it [monument] is placed, it is next to our area it is not ours, we have determined this.
“This is a state matter and I cannot comment federal ministers cannot comment on state matters,” he told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby here today.
When asked whether the neighbouring land is privately owned, the Silam MP refused to comment, reiterating it is a state matter.
Yesterday, it was reported that the Kedah administration had overseen the removal of a signboard at a Japanese war monument which had described its soldiers involved in the invasion of Malaya as “heroes”.
The monument was said to have existed under the former Barisan Nasional (BN) administration and restoration works were on behalf of the Japanese consulate, as it was previously dirty and covered in shrubs.
The restored monument was unveiled on March 21.
The description board in three languages — Bahasa Malaysia, English, and Japanese — was set up as part of the restoration project, describing the soldiers commemorated by the monument as “heroes”.
The sign explains the memorial commemorating the act of Commander Platoon Lieutenant Hajima Asahi and two others, who died in an attempt to secure what was then known as the Alor Setar bridge on December 13, 1941.