The Importance of the Muara Coast Sites for Bruneian World War II Heritage: the Muara Beach Memorial, the American Wreck and the Australian Wreck

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Abstract

The area of Muara experienced intense fighting in World War II. This was the area from where the Japanese troops made their approach to Bandar Seri Begawan and also the area where the Australians fought their way ashore to liberate Brunei. As such the site of Muara Beach is now home to a yearly commemorative ceremony in Brunei and a war memorial erected on the beach itself. The sea off the Muara Coast holds important additional remnants testifying of World War II in Brunei. Two frequently visited diving wrecks originate from World War II and can be accessed by regular divers. These wrecks are called the ‘Australian Wreck’ and the ‘American Wreck’. Both have an interesting and particular history connected specifically to World War II in the area. The paper will discuss how all these sites now serve as reminders of Bruneian World War II heritage and make the Muara Coast area important for this heritage. The paper will argue that the preservation of the wrecks and the Muara Beach memorial is imperative as sites of Bruneian World War II heritage and memory but also for the potential they hold for visitors from Brunei as well as abroad.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-47
JournalAsian Issues
Volume6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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