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Malaysia World War Two tunnels to open as tourist attractions

Underground tunnel. world war two. Malaysia. tunnels. attractions

A series of tunnels built under the city of Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia by Japanese forces in World War Two are to be turned into tourist attractions.

The network of tunnels and bunkers were only discovered by authorities in 2011. The city government of Kota Kinabalu now plans to turn four of them into tourist attractions.

Datuk Joannes Solidau, director-general of the city, told The Borneo Post that some locals had been aware of the bunkers for many years, however there was no official documentation of their presence.

“We are working with the state museum to obtain more information on their history,” he said. No artefacts were found in the tunnels.

Two of the tunnels are located close to the community hall, while the other two are at Kopungit Hill.

Joannes said: “These tunnels are among the ones with the most potential for development because they are not far from the city centre, so it’s quite strategic.

“Moreover, the view from Bukit Kopungit is priceless because it overlooks the city and Tanjung Aru, all the way to Penampang.

“When tourists come here, not only do they get to see the historical tunnels, they will also enjoy a magnificent view.”

The tunnels at Kopungit are larger than those in the city. One of the larger tunnels measures 18m long and the other is big enough for people to stand in. Extensive work is needed to develop the path to these two tunnels in order for them to open as an attraction.

“We will need funds to develop the tunnels into tourist attractions including to construct pathways and to erect signboards,” Joannes said.

Discussions are underway with the Sabah Tourism Board regarding funding for the work needed.

Image: Generic tunnel. 

Four World War II tunnels earmarked as tourist attractions

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