Singapore Invasion
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The Singapore Invasion

narrated by Koh Teck Ghee

"They never expected them to cycle all the way from Kota Baru. They used banana leave's stems as a snorkel and swam across the Johor Straits. The Ang Moh soldiers were caught totally unaware. That's why the soldiers absconded from Paya Lebar Girls school. So I ransacked the belongings that they left behind."

"All the preparations were made by the British at Sentosa. They never expected the Japs to come from the East due to the monsoon. They prepared all the gun emplacements there but were never used."

"They set up sentries and road blocks at the corner of Yio Chu Kang and Upper Serangoon when they just came in. Our house was the first to be visited by the forward troops and they rested there for 2-3 days. Our neighbours were taken away by the lorry load but our house was spared as the Japanese Captain was there. If they didn't like your face, that was the end for you. They were taken to Siglap where trenches were dug and they were beheaded with a Samurai sword. The last condemned person had to bury the previous bodies, and then on to the next trench."

"The Cenotaph was built in memory of the people who were slaughtered. Only comprised of Chinese people because of communist China - if you were Chinese, you must be communist - the Japanese were out for the Chinese."

"Can't remember when they packed off - before you knew it, they were assembled and off they went. A few days later, they surrendered. The last fight was at Kranji. They finally surrendered to the British."

"There was a lull period of two days - it was terrible. Chinese were hunting for Malays as they were informers to the Japanese Kempeitei - any Malays. I was almost mistaken for a Malay when I was going back in a taxi - I was stopped by Chinese. Lucky for me, the taxi driver spoke out for me , and I was let off."

At Sah Kor's house, I witnessed this incident. I took a bus ride going along Bras Basar Road. I saw some Chinese yank a Malay down and threw him into a monsoon drain. This was at the corner of North bridge road and Victoria St - there was a red house there. The water in the drain was full, but he was too fat to fit. 3-4 men jumped on him and forced his body down into the drain. He was really drowned. That was really very bad - nothing you could do as there was a whole gang of them. Whenever there's a riot, always stay away."

"Mariah Hertogh was a Dutch girl who was looked after by a Malay family. She was married to a Malay guy. Her parents came to get her back to Holland, but there was a riot as the court ruled that the parents could take her back. The riot was between Malays and Europeans. Any white skinned person driving a car was pulled out, the car burnt and things like that. In the end, she did go back , but without her husband."

"The Hock Lee bus strike originated from Nanyang University - but it was called Nantah then. It was founded by Tan Lark Sye who was a philanthropist. All mediums of lectures were in mandarin. Lee K Y got the students to change to the English medium by comparing the salaries of graduates of Nantah and SU. The disparity was quite wide. With English proficiency, one can draw the same pay as SU graduates. This broke the gang or union that they were forming. The union at that time was very strong. He's very far sighted and knows how to get things done. He got the union leaders to be on his side. Toh Chin Chye was a minister and left later, and Teo Chye Poh - were detained for union activities that were anti-govt."

"Lani Lee's father's brother - they were the Lee rubber people - the brother was in charge of Nanyang Siang Pao and he edits all the reports. Some were anti govt. He was only let free after 8-10 yrs with the condition that he leave Singapore, so he went to Canada."


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