Monday, December 16, 2013

Pengerang Battery (Heritage Trail of Pengerang)

Pengerang is a very well know place for many Singapore tourist as a destination for seafood such as lobster, cycling and kelong (offshore platform /house built by wood on stilts).

What is lesser known is the historical aspects of the community that call Pengerang their home. Last weekend, i was one of the privilege few that got to experience and see how some of the Chinese Community (who make up 10% of Pengerang's population) engage in their religious and community activities as well as interesting sights within Pengerang.

Heritage Stop: World War II Pengerang Battery
The arrival point coming by boat from Changi Village would be Tanjong Pengelih ferry terminal. Nearby Tanjong Pengelih, about 100m after you walk out the main gates, you will see by the roadside concrete gun pill box. This landmark was a reminder of a time where the British ruled over Malaya and in anticipation of a Japanese invasion from the sea, pill boxes, bunkers and gun batteries were constructed at this strategic location at the mouth of Sungai Santi, overlooking the narrow Singapore Straits between Pengerang and Tekong Island.
Machine gun pillars from World War II

Close up of the pill box. It has rails to allow ease
of moving of the heavy gun 
The Pengerang Battery, Sajahat Battery (Pulau Sajahat) and Johore Battery (in Changi) were part of the defense plan network put together to foil a sea invasion. The defense system were coastal defenses facing seaward. The guns utilised were either for close defense ( 6 inch or 9 inch )  or counter bombardment guns (15 inch)
source: NewspaperSG 
They were primarily built to deal to with hostile warships or motor torpedo boats. However most were never used. Reading through what other researches have written, the Pengerang battery saw brief action firing at Japanese planes flying overhead and a suspected "Japanese" junk around the end of the war in February 1942.


Heritage stop: First village closes to Tanjong Pengelih (a village under threat) 

A one street village was our first stop. This village at a glance is not significant, but on closer inspection it plays host to a 100 year old provision shop " Leong Hup " and two of the wooden shops close by has very interesting spear motif. 


Spear motif near roof top 
This village is potentially threaten together with other major coastal pengerang areas due to a major oil bunkering project by Petronas. I will cover this and other heritage trails of interest in my upcoming post on Pengerang.

Related post

Pengerang Temples, posted on December 17, 2013
Pengerang Battery, posted on December 16, 2013
Day Trip to Pengerang and Sungai Rengit, posted on August 6, 2010.
Trip to Sebana Cove, Pengerang to watch fireflies, posted on April 9, 2007


Getting to Pengerang via boat

From Singapore, the place you can take the boat is at Changi Village Ferry Terminal. Upon reaching Tanjong Pengelih, Johor, there will be many taxi's that will be able to bring you to the major town nearby, (roughly at the cost RM$20 - RM$25 for 1 cab) Sungai Rengit. The ferry will only leave when there are 12 people available to board it. So try to go with a group of friends consisting of 12 pax. At the point of writing, it cost about $11 - $13 per pax for a one way trip.

Cost of getting to Pengerang

References
History. [Website] The Pengerang Battery
Pulau Sajahat: Forgotten outpost of the war. (1981, January 10). The Straits Times

1 comment:

Raz_Urbex said...

Greetings, the Pengerang coastal battery website is moving to a new address:

http://raztalhar.com/pengerang/index.html

Thanks
Raz