Proceed into the main exhibition hall where you can watch a film about the early days of Singapore and how Sang Nila Utama discovered our little island. (P.S.: On a lighter note, there’s also a great opportunity for taking a commemorative photo with the large keyboard and mouse at the starting point of the exhibition).
The Horrors Of War – Military Defence
Next, step into the first section of the exhibition which highlights the Japanese Occupation in the 1940s during World War II. This follows the Fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942, a key significant moment in Singapore’s history that’s widely regarded as its darkest period and whose impact still reverberates up till the present moment.
There are two routes which you can take in this section, one is a more visceral tour of atrocities conducted during the Japanese Occupation, while the other route is a more child-friendly route (we suggest going for this if you have kids with you). View artworks by renowned Singaporean artist, the late Liu Kang, and see how the Japanese ruled with an iron fist during these times. Some of the more thought-provoking artworks depict brutalities like babies and toddlers being bayoneted at the whim of the Japanese, and incidents and stories of rape and forced prostitution during this period.
This part of the exhibition ties in with the importance of Military Defence, a pillar in Singapore’s Total Defence which highlights the dangers of dependency and the importance of safeguarding our sovereignty. For a small country like Singapore, Military Defence is about building a strong and formidable defence force, and the commitment to defence and support for National Service is vital in ensuring the security and peace we enjoy.