IT has become a tradition for well-wishers to visit the Penang Overseas Chinese Anti-Japanese War Memorial at 11.11am on Nov 11 to pay respect to the Penang Chinese who died under the Japanese occupation in World War II.
However, this year is extra special as the memorial, located at the Air Itam roundabout, received a RM400,000 facelift in conjunction with its 60th anniversary.
The memorial was originally built by the Penang China Relief Fund, a Penang-based fund-raising organisation.
After the organisation disbanded in 1952, the responsibility of managing the memorial was passed on to the Kong Min School board of trustees.
Board chairman Datuk Chuang Keng Kung, who was present at the special ceremony held at the monument, said three new features were added to the memorial to enhance its historical value and tourist appeal.
Among the new features added are a model of Chinese transport volunteers pushing a truck up a slope along the Burma-Yunnan Road, a relief wall with carvings featuring volunteers and trucks being bombed and shot at by Japanese aircraft and a column featuring pigeons circulating around them.
“These added new features were meant to instil awareness among the people in promoting peace in the world.”
Funds for the upgrading works were raised through donations from the state government, various organisations as well as the public.
Present at the memorial to officiate the ceremony was Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
In his opening speech, Lim said he hoped the memorial would serve as a symbol of peace and harmony throughout Malaysia.
Also present at the ceremony to pay their respects were state Gerakan leaders and Penang Chinese Town Hall committee members.