Monday, July 05, 2010

Memorial of the reconnaissance mission built in Bario

A MEMORIAL that commemorates the landing of Allied Force paratroopers in Borneo against the Japanese occupation has been erected in Bario.

Located on a foothill in the hinterland, which is about 50 minutes by flight from Miri, the memorial will become the start of an eco-tourism trail that will eventually stretch all the way to Sibu town.

The trail will retrace the route of the reconnaissance mission, Operation “Semut”, 65 years ago by the British and Australian army. While the memorial was launched last Saturday, the trail packages will proceed in stages due to the lack of infrastructure.

Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) Heritage Development Committee chairman Lim Kian Hock said without the success of Operation Semut, the founding of Malaysia may have been thwarted.

“When the Allied Forces landed, headed by Major Tom Harrison of the British Army, who later became the Sarawak Museum curator, the locals welcomed them. They did not report the troops’ presence to the Japanese,” Lim said.

Other Allied personnel, who landed across the border in Dutch Borneo (now Indonesia), were not so lucky. “They were reported and were beheaded,” Lim said.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Memorial of the reconnaissance mission built in Bario

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