Emergency Gallery Visit

Bukit Kepong Emergency Gallery

SHAH ALAM: Emergency Gallery. During a a recent trip down south, my family and me visited the Emergency Gallery located at Bukit Kepong, Johor. The gallery was opened by the Sultan of Johor on the Feb. 23, 2017, 67 years after the attack on the police station at Bukit Kepong at the height of the first Emergency.

The three-storey gallery incorporated the old Bukit Kepong memorial, the building built to replace the police station which had been burnt to the ground in the 1950 attack. I am not sure when the police station was turned into a memorial but it’s likely it was after the 1981 film of the same name.

Bukit Kepong Emergency Gallery

By the time I visited the old memorial in 2011, it was in a bad condition mostly due to neglect as it had been flooded in various times in the past as it is located on the banks of Sungai Muar. Even the newly completed gallery was inundated by flood waters in late 2016 some two months before the opening ceremony though the damage was minimal.

Commando V100 APC. The Commando was introduced into police service in 1972. Like the Lynx. these APC has been displayed at Bukit Kepong memorial for some time now although in the past both were left out in the open.

Plans to revive the Bukit Kepong memorial begun in 2011 after the graves of those killed (located in the cemetery across the road) were damaged in a storm. It was for this reason I visited the old memorial that year following complaints from the descendants of those killed and injured in the attack. Apart from damage to the graves, I also found the memorial in a bad state. The two armoured cars and police boat on the grounds were also in a bad shape as well.

Ford Lynx Scout Car on display on the ground floor of the gallery. The Lynx, with Commando had been displayed at the site when it was just the Bukit Kepong memorial. It was put into service with the police in 1952

Fast forward to 2017, some 815 artifacts are now displayed at the RM11.5 million gallery including firearms, uniforms and items used by the police and also the CPM during the Emergency.

In contrast, the old memorial only had a plaque in memory of those killed, remnants of the burnt police station while the displays were limited to the armoured cars and boat.

Some of the firearms that were used by the police during the Emergency

As for the old memorial, it had been repaired with the first floor used to show what police stations looked like in the 1950s.
Despite some shortcomings, I think the gallery is a worth visit. I would have preferred that they displayed more artifacts and used less information boards. I guess they do not have enough artifacts or interactive displays were too expensive to carry the story of the Bukit Kepong attack and the Emergency without relying on the information boards like the Army museum at Port Dickson and the police museum at Tasik Perdana in Kuala Lumpur.

The M1 Carbine with the unidentified grenade launcher.

Anyhow, I was intrigued by two of the artifacts on display. Both are firearms of course, an M1 Carbine fitted with what appears to be an under-slung grenade launcher and a HK33 assault rifle. I failed to find any reference to an under-slung grenade launcher for the M1 Carbine despite a Google search so it remained unidentified.(see comments section for updates)

The HK33 on display at the gallery.

As for the HK33, I was not aware that the police had also used them in the 1970s so seeing it there was quite interesting. A Wikipedia entry on PDRM stated that the HK33 was withdrawn in 1978 after it suffered stoppages in service. The entry could be correct as the HK displayed at the gallery was in a pristine condition, compared to the M16A1s used by the police, though not displayed at the gallery.

Anyhow, Merry Christmas to those celebrating and a Happy New Year to all Malaysian Defence readers.

* The Bukit Kepong Emergency Gallery is open from 10am to 6pm on a daily basis, though it closes on most public holidays. Admission is free.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1188 Articles
Shah Alam

15 Comments

  1. That m1 was confiscated from the communist, so probably a makeshft DIY granade launcher.

    Was seen here in perajurit photo in 2012

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/vat69-tfb.jpg

    BTW the Commando is made by cadillac gage, not chrysler. They are still being used by armoured sqadrons of PGA.

    Reply
    The M1 was in the PDRM weapons section. From my Internet search I believed the grenade launcher was the Mark 4 Lee Enfield grenade launcher meant for Mark 4 rifle. As for the Chrysler reference it was part of the notes on the display

  2. Yes and they still have 20mm and 90mm barrels on the V-100/50s but no actual gun [long removed] and ammo was never issued. PGA/Field Force also had 81mm mortars that were never issued; there were plans to sell them years ago.

    On the M1 yes it may have been captured from the communists and it may also have been one that found its way from Indochina across Thailand to Malaysia – if so the modification was performed here or across the border. From the mid 70’s onwards stuff from Indochina made its way here courtesy of smugglers/dealers based in Thailand – that’s how the handful of AK-47s and RPG-2s the CPM had were obtained.

    Great write up Marhalim. I never knew the place was worth a visit.

    Now if only we can get a pic of the elusive Armbrust in service. We had a few but no pics so far have been released.

  3. @ sham

    Chrysler never owned the cadillac gage brand. But yes the commando uses a chrysler engine.

    @ marhalim

    Lee enfield never had an underslung granade launcher, as is the m1. Most granade launcher attachment is meant for the rifle barrel itself. This is the lee enfield granade launcher attached to the rifle

    http://www.deactivated-guns.co.uk/images/uploads/1LAUNCHER/1launcher-010082.jpg

    @ azlan

    Most police v-150 i’ve seen has the 20mm cannon, i believe the ammo is common with 20mm oerlikons on polis marin ships.

    Reply
    Yes I also found the same grenade launcher after a Google search. Based on the picture by Perajurit I believed the grenade launcher was probably fitted to the M1 Carbine by the PDRM armourer after finding it laying around in the armory. This was probably done for some diorama/recreation during police day or something. As you are aware the grenade launcher is attached to the barrel of an SMLE Mark 3 rifle and like much grenade launcher, a blank round is fired through the barrel to fire the grenade. So it is unlikely that the M1 was recovered from the communists with that grenade launcher attached to it. The communists are too savvy to put a useless thing on a gun.

  4. I don’t know much about historical guns but that granade launcher underneath the M1 imo is not a lee enfield granade launcher. The shape is different, and the tube diameter is much2 bigger, it is likely a 40mm granade can fit into it.

  5. … – ”Most police v-150 i’ve seen has the 20mm cannon”

    The ones I’ve seen have the barrel but not the gun …. The gun was long taken off and ammo never issued.

    It’s an Oerlikon and yes, same gun and ammo as that fitted on the Marine police’s Brooke Marine boats.

  6. The UBGL on the M1 Carbine closely resemble to the Japanese WWII grenade discharger or a copy of it

    Reply
    Yes it could also the so called knee mortar. AFAIK there is no UBGL made for the M1 Carbine so it is likely added much later by a police armorer for a recreation scene and returned to the armory without any notes attached to it. When they scoured the armory for displays for the gallery no one realized it was not an authentic weapon just a mishmash. It’s a pity as the gallery is supposed to teach the public about history

  7. I think i finally tracked what that thing is. Thanks marzuq for the info that directed me to find the type of weapon it is.

    It is probably a ww2 chinese made Type 27 granade discharger, a copy of japanese type 10. It has the tapered body at the bottom unlike the japanese model.

    https://s28.postimg.org/7qkiz10dp/271894.jpg

    So was it really a doctored weapon as marhalim suggested, or was it really as captured from bintang tiga insurgents?

    Reply
    If it’s a copy of the Type 10 its fired from the ground and not as an UBGL. Yes it could have been fitted to the M1 Carbine as a convenient carrier and taken off to fire grenades but my guess it would have been awkward especially for long walks up and down thick jungles even when slung behind the shoulder

  8. My guess?

    Probably fired in a position similar to the picture below
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cd/M1_Garand_rifgren-shooting_line.jpg

    This chinese grenade discharger weighs around 2.5kg (firing 50mm grenades), compared to 1.3kg for a M203 grenade launcher (40mm grenades). Would be quite a heavy combination with the m1 garand, but is a workable combination imo.

    Reply
    The M1 Carbine and M1 Garand are completely different guns. Anyhow the gun and grenade launcher you linked are the standard shoot through the barrel combo whereas the mishmash is an UBGL, there’s no connection to the barrel at all. There was no UBGL during that period.

  9. Read carefully I meant fired in a similar position (holding the gun and resting the stock on the ground), not fired in similar working principle (that is exactly why the lee endfied granade launcher you suggested previously is so wrong). the granade discharger is originally fired in a similar position too.

    http://www3.plala.or.jp/takihome/GD-USE.gif

    Yes my mistake its M1 carbine not M1 garand.

    What “period” are you talking about? This gun is probably confiscated late 70’s/early 80’s. So those M16+M203 combo are probably the “inspiration” for the communists to have the type 27 to be scabbed onto the M1 carbine.

  10. The attaching points on the “UBGL” seem very well made and replace some of the carbine’s original parts. I doubt it was made as a prop.

    To know if it is a real functional weapon, see if you can identify any items such as safety, charging handle, trigger or grenade unloading function. If there are none, it could be something entirely different from an UBGL.

    It should be worth asking the experts in identifying firearms, high chance it is news to them.

  11. @ AM

    There was people like “stanman” who previously frequents this page that knows more about firearms than most of us here. Would love to hear his comment on this subject.

  12. “Zambry spoke to reporters after a visit to the newly unearthed World War II underground bunker built by the British military near the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport here today.”-bernama Jan 3,2018. Article on the “viral improper direct translation notice”.

    Sounds interesting and significant. I don’t think it is a normal defensive bunker that warranted the MB visit. Maybe a command HQ (like SG’s Battlebox) or a big underground RAF ammo/bomb dump.

    Reply
    When and if it’s opened to the public I will try to visit the bunker. Don’t think it’s a command bunker though.

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