Sunday, November 1, 2015

History of Kerapu Bank at Kota Bahru, Kelantan, Malaysia

Kerapu Bank is a historic building located on the downstream of the Padang Merdeka, Kota Bharu, Kelantan. In 1912, the building was completed and first used as a bank by ' The Mercatile Bank of India Ltd '. This building was the first bank opened in Kelantan.

Kerapu Bank perched on top of a piece of land owned by a local leader named Nik Yusoff bin Nik Abdul Majid. This building was also a first building in Kelantan using brickstones. The building was known by the locals in Kelantan as the Kerapu Bank building since s part of building’s surface was cemented by using small bricks which had caused its surface rough and sputter. During World War II, the Japanese secret police force had used the building as their headquarters. The building was also being used as a prison, interrogation centre, torture center and other violent activities. When the Japanese surrendered and the British ruled the State, the building was used again as a bank.

Building of Kerapu Bank nowadays
(Memorial World War II of Kelantan)

In 1977, the bank's name changed to 'The Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation', and in 1981 the building was converted as Kelantan Art and Handicrafts Gallery Hall. Later, since 1992 the building was used as a Memorial World War II in Kelantan.

Starting in 1992, the building was used as a memorial of World War II in which the Japanese military began landing in Malaya during World War II. The building currently owns and displays more than 1000 exhibits related to warfare consist of photographs, articles and artifacts. Other exhibits include photos of Sultan Ismail Petra as the Honorary Colonel of the Royal Artillery Regiment, history of Kelantan-Thai relationship before independence era, the British people's life in Kelantan before and after the war. The bicycle that was used by the Imperial Japanese army during the invasions into Malaya during World War II is also displayed here.

Some of the displays which related to Japanese invasion into Malaya through Kota Bahru, Kelantan during World War II

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