Collaborative efforts for military pillbox restoration in Penang


A TOTAL of RM132,646.51 has been spent to conserve and preserve historic military pillboxes in the state.


Penang Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Wong Hon Wai said the amount was allocated for the conservation, documentation, and official search efforts of these historic military pillboxes.


“In this initial phase, 26 locations have been identified, with 3 fortresses successfully restored. These include BD01 (Jalan Gertak Sanggul), BD02 (Jalan Cikgu Abu), and BD03 (Jalan Teluk Kumbar), all situated in Teluk Kumbar.


“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) team, the villagers, and the community of Kampung Nelayan.


“Not forgetting the Teluk Kumbar police branch, the Penang Land and Mines Office, the Southwest District and Land Office, the Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia, the contractor teams from 7DSM Projects Sdn Bhd and Seriousbiz Enterprise Sdn Bhd.”


Wong also extended his congratulations to Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), the Army Museum, the Malaya Historical Group Society, Penang Island City Council, and Wawasan Open University, who have provided significant support and assistance throughout the project.


“I urge all parties to continue playing their roles in ensuring the preservation and protection of our state’s heritage elements for the benefit of the local community and future generations,” Wong told a media conference at Komtar today before presenting awards to two winners of a poster competition regarding the adaptive re-use of historic military pillboxes in Teluk Kumbar.


The competition was jointly organised by GTWHI and Wawasan Open University (WOU) recently.


The winners – USM lecturer Farhana Mohd Razif and designer Tan Chee Sing – took home a certificate and RM2,000 each for their creative ideas and proposals.


Wong (centre), Dr Ang (right) and Khalid checking out the winning posters.


Farhana proposed the idea of transforming the pillboxes into a glamping venue to help the local economy and preserve cultural heritage; while Tan suggested using the bunkers as a venue for ‘theatre’ to showcase Penang’s or Malaysia’s historic past.


Also present at the award presentation ceremony were GTWHI general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee, WOU alternate director Janice Yeap, WOU School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences Assoc Prof Dr Chew Cheng Meng, WOU School of Science and Technology senior lecturer Dr Teoh Ping Chow, WOU School of Science and Technology lecturer Dr Nurul Ulyani Mohd Najib, and Southwest District and Land Office penghulu Khalid Zakaria.



Story by Christopher Tan

Pix by Darwina Mohd Daud