Bank Kerapu: World War II Memorial.
This is a historic building located in the downstream side of Padang Merdeka, Kota Bharu , Kelantan. This building, built in 1912 was first used as a commercial bank and believed as the first building/bank opened in the state. The Mercantile Bank of India Limited, thus the name Kerapu Bank. The word ‘Kerapu’ however refers to the rough exterior walls of the building. During the Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945, this building was used as the headquarters of the Japanese secret police, or known as Kempetai. After the war, the building was reused as a bank.
In 1981, the first floor of the building was converted into an Art Gallery while the ground floor was used to display handicrafts. The building was turn into a memorial dedicated to the World War II in 1992 and was officially opened by the (then) Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Ismail Petra in 1994. Item on exhibit include artifacts, photographs and other memorabilia of the war. Meanwhile, the first floor of the building displaying the history of Modern Kelantan, its statesmen, religious roles and administration from 1900 until now.
Perhaps, this is an ideal place to begin the visit or to conduct a research of Kelantan history is at the Kerapu Bank World War II Memorial (War Museum) in Kota Bharu. It has a number of wartime memorabilia, information and artefacts of the war inside and outside of the building. Besides that, it display Kelantan-Thai history of pre-independence Malaya , and the life of the native under the British Occupation in the state before and after the war.
Exclusively, I will bring to you some of epic rare color film which took place during the Japanese Occupation from December 8th, 1941 which we can see the real scenes from the landing assault in Sabak Beach, the movement in the Peninsula until the fall of Singapore to the Japanese Army on February 15th 1942.