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New Marsiling Tunnels tour to commemorate "Battle for Singapore"

The National Heritage Board (NHB) has launched a new tour of the Marsiling Tunnels, to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the "Battle for Singapore".

SINGAPORE: The National Heritage Board (NHB) has launched a new tour of the Marsiling Tunnels, to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the "Battle for Singapore".

The battle took place during World War II from February 8 to 15 in 1942.

Hidden in the Marsiling jungle, most of the tunnels, a former fuel reserve depot, are buried, and most of the entrances are also sealed.

Some think that the tunnels span across the causeway, but in fact, they are no longer than 200m.

The old depot is believed to contain five large tanks which at full capacity, would have provided enough fuel to fill 4,000 Japanese warplanes.

They were rebuilt by the Japanese when they were abandoned by British forces during the invasion.

Due to safety reasons, the public will not be able to go into the tunnels.

Dr John Kwok, assistant director (research) at NHB, said: "It is extremely rare because the jungle is going to replace all of this -- I mean this used to be empty land and you could actually see the facility from the air, and if you look at it now, it's all jungle, and it's going to be only a couple of years' time before the jungle will reclaim this site.

“Once that happens, it'll be too thick for anyone to come in, this whole place will be buried under nature and we can't see it anymore."

Free tours to the tunnels will be held on February 8 and 15.

NHB also offers tours to four other sites this month that include interactive tours to Labrador Park which promise to take visitors back in time to relive the battle, and also to the Tiong Bahru air raid shelter.

The tours are aimed at raising awareness, especially to those who did not witness the war.

Alvin Tan, group director (policy) at NHB, said: "NHB hopes to inculcate a culture of remembrance, especially among the post-war generation, so that we believe that by remembering the past, we can better appreciate the present and also prepare ourselves for future."

Besides the tours, special programmes will be held in participating museums -- Reflections at Bukit Chandu, Changi Chapel and Museum -- this month. 

For more information on the events, head on to the NHB website for details. 

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