Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Deadly Finger Pointing - WW


On February 15, 1942, the British surrendered to the Japanese. 6 days later, all male Chinese in Singapore were ordered to concentrate at five assembly points. Truckloads of them were sent to face the machine-firing squad.

My grandfather was lucky, he had a narrow escape. But he was feared by many in the Chinese community. Why was he so lucky? They suspected that he was working for the Japanese as a spy. Friends and neighbours avoided him like the plague. When my grandmother tried to buy food, nobody wanted to sell to her.

My grandparents had to move inland to escape the hostilities of their neighbours. They cleared land to build their own simple hut and to plant their own food. My grandfather couldn't work as a tailor any more. He farmed while my grandmother walked long distances daily, from house to house, to sell their produce.

Tragedies like this were seen everyday during the Japanese Occupation....

When Japanese military police (kempeitai) turned to locals to provide information on those who were anti-Japanese, some Chinese men volunteered, in return for food or special treatments.

It created much fear and suspicion in the Chinese community. It set friend against friend, neighbour against neighbour, even family members and relatives against one another. The unscrupulous turned to blackmail while the vindictive had a chance to get even with foes.

The informants wore masks when they identified the suspects from the innocents. They didn't have to utter a word. They just needed to point a finger at one man and he would be severely tortured by the kempeitai before being executed. It was so ridiculous! A life was worth nothing then.

Locals were tortured for information of anti-Japanese groups

At the end, the spies didn't have a good ending. They were also sent in the backs of lorries to face the machine-firing squad. Some were beaten to death by their countrymen when the Japanese surrendered.



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Question No.4

On which date was all Chinese males gathered, screened and later faced the machine-gun firing squad?


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15th Sept - 25th Oct 2008

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Relive the horrors of World War II at
Memories at Old Ford Factory




51 comments:

  1. Cool catch on the red chair. And I don't know about how edible the mushroom might be. I didn't test it to see, but I'm guessing you probably shouldn't.

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  2. mojo,
    awww... the red colour is a 'danger' warning? I would like to see how a red mushroom tastes. hehe....

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  3. interesting story... as always! have a nice week!

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  4. Ah, such awful moments in our human history. Always a good story and lots of thought when I visit here.

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  5. Powerful post! We must ALL of us around the world work towards peace and never allowing such things to happen again.

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  6. Sad history but good to tell it none-the-less.

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  7. Sue,
    Yes! All bloggers, let's work towards Peace. Spread love!

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  8. Raven,
    Thanks. It has to be told. A reminder for my future generations to cherish what they have and to thank their ancestors for giving them a better life.

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  9. I shudder at these stories ECL.. but still thanks for the history.. I pity your grandparents lah..

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  10. Looking forward to more history and heritage posts from you. Are you intending to submit this for the Heritage Starbloggers Contest?

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  11. sad moments ...... and i'm sorry that your grandparents had to deal with this.

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  12. I'm handicapped in history, I admit it. I "flung" history in sec school. Did not how to study it. Then the system taught me to "memorize" and I could get flying colors. But too bad, in this process, lost the appreciation for history.

    Hey, you stopped at qns #2? I have not found any qns posted since then. :P

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  13. It must have been difficult for you to share such a sad story.

    Happy WW!

    My WW entry is here.

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  14. Thanks for such an informative history lesson. Happy WW! :)

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  15. LadyJava,
    After visiting the Memories at Old Ford and Reflections at Bukit Chandu, you would shudder more. These are true events and happenings.

    I sayang my grandparents too.

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  16. oceanskies,
    I have a series of posts on Singapore heritage and history. Will post as I see fit. :)

    Jaymes want the Nintendo Wii. So I might submit one of these stories. haha....

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  17. Hi Life Ramblings,
    I admired the courage, determination, resourcefulness and resilience of my grandparents who was going through so much. I might have given up and just die. :P

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  18. tigerfish,
    I love History! It's just as if I'm listening to stories. Of course in schools, when you have to study it for exams, it is hateful. The teachers who teach History are not helpful, they are so boring when it comes to teaching it.

    I score distinction for my History, even Geography.

    It's qns #4 now, dear. You have to read the posts lor. The questions will be all over my blog. :)

    S$10,000 product, very easy to win. Grab your chance!

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  19. MommyOnTop,
    It is difficult for me to share my grandparents' story, but I had to do it. Especially for the youngsters in my family clan, they are too comfortable, pampered and picky. They don't appreciate what they have now and are always looking out for more material things.

    My grandparents' story is sad, but the state of our youngsters is sadder. sigh...

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  20. Hi ECL, this wasn't a good scene. We had a lot of mistrust in this country also even though we were not occupied. My greatgrandfather changed our family name so it woul not sound German. Once he had to hold off some people with his shotgun.
    ..

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  21. Jim,
    Wow! You have some great stories to tell about your ancestors too!

    It's not easy to trust someone nowadays. Too much temptations and material things to bring out the evil and meanness in people. Terrible world this has become....

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  22. Good to have elderly folks around giving life encounters during WWII.

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  23. napaboaniya,
    The elderly who went through WWII would be constantly reminding the youngsters about their horrifying ordeal. They don't want us to forget.

    For us who have never experience real hardship, it sounds incredible and we think it is unlikely to happen in this new millennium.

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  24. Interesting story! You should be my History teacher! I remember I hated history in school last time. I've always found it boring!
    Btw, do drop by my blog today. Your name is mentioned in my post : )

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  25. i didn't know there were also masked informants in singapore during world war 2. same story in the philippines. the masks informants were called 'makapili'. my grandfather was one of their victims...he was beheaded by japanese soldiers in 1944. thanks for sharing your story.

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  26. my gosh this was really a terrible time. The japs did a lot of wrong-doings all over the world. I wish that this never ever happens again.

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  27. this is so sad... thanks for sharing.. the Phlippines was attacked by the Japanese too, we have the same story ay your grandfather. My grandfather was a "guerilla" that's what they called the ordianry Filipino turned to soldiers and help out to win our freedom. The japanese was so cruel. They even killed newly born babies, by throwing them in the air to cath them with bayonets, long gun that has a sharp knife on its tip. very cruel.. sad.. happy ww! my wordless entries are here and here

    http://www.sweetprettynaughty.blogspot.com
    http://www.memoryfilled.blogspot.com

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  28. oh wow! i sure didn't expect a rather heavy post. thank you for sharing this. it must have been difficult to remember and share the ordeals of your grandparents.

    just the same, happy wednesday!

    BenToy
    Monster Truck Driver

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  29. Very impressive. My heart began to race as I read the story of your brave grandparents. It's a very good thing that you honor them publicly by telling their story.

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  30. you must keep your stories written down for your generations....

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  31. It's hard to believe when you visit Singapore today that this is the history behind today's city.

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  32. ecl,
    Just a point of finger and he would die?! Eeekkkss!! You don't have such powderful finger hor?? I scare!!!!

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  33. the pretty girl is my daughter... my blog is all about her.. sweet..pretty//sometimes naughty...

    http://www.sweetprettynaughty.blogspot.com

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  34. Sharing our life stories is necessary for us to move beyond our history and limitations. Thank you.
    Hugs and blessings,

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  35. Thank you for sharing this. Remembering the past is the first step in not repeating it.

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  36. How sad and scary. Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my place and leaving your kind comments!

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  37. History is too awful, however its important that such stories do not get covered up. The future needs to know about such tragedies to avoid the same fate!

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  38. What a lovely post about the past. We should not be afraid to tell how t was before so that others may earn from the lessons being imparted.

    Have a great week, ECL :)

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  39. Hey dear, I was trying to do research on Operation Sook Ching and learnt that "General Yamashita ordered on 18 February 1942 for notices to be posted, recalling Chinese men between the ages of 18 to 50 to congregate at concentration centre". (Source here.)

    For research purposes, may I ask if you could please help refer me to the source that tells you that all male Chinese in Singapore were ordered to concentrate at the assembly points six days after 15 Feb 2008?

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