War Museum Penang

These photos were captured last year when I went to my wife’s hometown in Penang.

this is an article taken from the penang tourism website:-

Like other countries during the Second World War, Malaysia (and Penang) suffered greatly. Lives were lost, families were torn apart, homes were razed and food was scarce. For sure, the war left no fond memories for those who suffered through it.

Enter the country’s premiere War Museum, located right here in Penang. It is here to tell stories covering all aspects of life in wartime. Its purpose is to encourage the study and understanding of the history of modern war and how it affects our lives and as a memorial to those who died defending the country.

Take a trip back in time and get a first hand account of wartime with the impressive exhibits, including a ‘glimpse’ into the daily lives of soldiers during WWII.

Situated on Bukit Batu Maung, the 70 year-old old former British fort was ‘rediscovered’ by Johari Shafie during an adventurous and brave hike. Because the hill was reputed to be haunted, it was avoided by everyone except the brave and the skeptical. But this is a good thing for the museum because it provides an excellent ambience to the scenario. With a little imagination, one could even imagine hearing the phantom screams of soldiers brutally tortured and killed here.

To add a further touch of realism to wartime ambience, the War Museum plans to hold war games where opposite teams will be armed with paint gun to shoot paint balls at their ‘enemies’ while trying to steal their flags.

According to Johari the fort was manned by soldiers of different races – English, Indians and Malays mostly. When the fort fell to Japanese hands, parts of it were turned into torture chambers where executions took place.

The parts of the fort that have been restored so far are the aforementioned torture chamber, medical infirmary, ammunition store, observation tower, canon firing bay, well, generator room, quarters, pill boxes, tunnels, lock up and cook house.

A forthcoming addition to the museum will feature exhibitions and information on naval warfare.

My mother visited the museum last year and she described the place as a little “creepy” although she appeared visibly excited by the experience. Having been a war child herself and then going through the May 13 incident as an adult, the museum must have suddenly reawakened memories of suffering.

Although the Penang War Museum will play a significant role in educating visitors of all ages about life during wartime, one could do well to also recall Picasso’s Guernica, Goya’s The Third of May or Ibrahim Hussein’s May 13 and remind oneself that there is no glory in war.

Thankfully today, Malaysia is a strife-free country. We can go about our business with little or no worry. Be that as it may, the museum will serve to continually remind us, lest we forget or take for granted, of the importance of maintaining peace in the country.

When visitng the museum, you are advised not to do the following: take any photographs of the exterior or the interior; bring pets, radios or bicycles into the museum or smoke. You should dress in light, cool clothing; wear comfy shoes; put on a dull coloured hat and be armed with a pair of binoculars, insect repellent, notebook and pen.

The Penang War Museum
Lot 1350 Mukim 12, Merah Barat Daya, Batu Maung, 11960 Penang
Tel: 016-421 3606 / 604-391 0067 • Fax: 604-644 8015
Opened seven days a week (including public holidays), from 9:00am to 7:00pm.
Entrance fee is RM15 for adults and RM7.50 for children.


img_33451Ammunition room


Secret Tunnel connecting ammunition room and turret area.


Bunker wall. The wall thickness is 1 feet.


Ammunition hole connecting to the canon turret.

img_33571Army officer room during the British era and turn to punishment room (hukuman tembak) after Japan invaded Malaya. Very spooky place.. huhuhu

img_3372You can see Seberang Perai from this British military fortress known as Bukit Punjab.

img_3381Cannon turret base. the cannon have been demolished by British army before they surrender to Japanese.

img_3390Logistic base if i’m not mistaken.

img_3396Food supply storage (British), Tortured room (Japanese)

img_3400Potong ‘kapara’ house.

img_3401 soldier barrack.

img_3406Malay soldier barrack.

img_3415High Rank soldier officer room.

img_3417Torture weapons used by Japanese.

img_3419Tunnel to communication area.

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