IPOH, May 6 — After a campaign of more than a decade, the Kampar Green Ridge battleground will be finally gazetted as a historical site.
Kampar MP Thomas Su said the National Heritage Department and the federal government have agreed to this.
“A committee has been set up to oversee the process. We are now seeking the state government’s consent, which should not be a problem.
“We need to have it gazetted according to the National Heritage Act 2015,” he told Malay Mail.
Local historians and former army officers living in Kampar have been working to have the location gazetted as a historical site for years.
Su also said the war memorial project to honour the British and Indian soldiers during World War II is also expected to be continued in the area.
“However, this will only come after the area has been gazetted as a heritage site. There was a proposal by the Indian Government to provide funding to build the memorial.
“We will pursue the allocations soon,” he added.
The Malaysian Armed Forces Sikh Veterans Association (MAFSVA) has spearhead efforts for the memorial and expressed hope for the new government to carry out the project that was promised under the previous administration after a long wait.
The memorial, which would be located on a 6.5ha hillside expanse, is meant to honour some 1,300 British and Indian soldiers who delayed advancing Japanese forces during 1941’s historic Battle of Kampar.
The Battle of Kampar saw the combined troops of the British Royal Leicestershire and East Surrey Regiments, as well as the 11th Indian Infantry Division, putting up resistance to slow the advance of some 4,000 Japanese troops towards Singapore.
Around 500 soldiers from both sides were killed in the ensuing battle.
Historians credit the Allied soldiers’ valorous efforts with critically delaying the Japanese advance southwards.