Name of war: Second World War (World War II, WWII) / Japanese Occupation of Malaya
Nama perang: Perang Dunia Kedua (Perang Jepun)
War years: 1941 - 1945
Government: none; Malaya was in a lawless state
(i) In Kuala Lumpur:
Bapak was 11 years old when Perang Jepun occurred in Malaya.
In the evening, Bapak would go to read the Quran at the surau. It was almost near to WWII and there was no order - Malaya was in a lawless state (tidak ada undang-undang). Bapak saw Australian/British soldiers grabbed (sauk) a Chinese lady dressed in cheongsam and they took her away. They grabbed her at the waist at Jalan Circular.
A bomb fell in Imbi Road but Bapak hid under the table and survived.
The family then moved to Banda Hilir, Malacca. Bapak returned to Malacca via Tampin; he boarded the last train before the Japanese landed. He went to Banda Hilir.
When Bapak reached Banda Hilir, Nenek Jah, Nenek Ani and Nenek Yah were already there.
When he arrived in Banda Hilir, he saw the pool (kolah) at Masjid Banda Hilir and jumped into it. He got scolded. He didn't know the difference between kolah masjid and a swimming pool.
Bapak loved water and loved to swim. Bapak said he usually swims in the Straits of Malacca and raced with his father (Walid). They were good swimmers.
(ii) In Malacca:
When the war began, and before the Japanese invaded Malacca (Jepun belum masuk Melaka), there was no government. Malacca was in a lawless state.
In Malacca, Bapak and his grandfather, datok Haji Mohd Nordin went to
take some goods from the godowns (ambil barang-barang kat gudang) and
placed them on the pull-cart (kereta sorong) to take home. They took
When the Japanese then entered Malacca, they could not go to take anymore flour from the godowns as the Japanese soldiers would chop off their heads or shoot them (tak boleh buat hal, kena pancung atau tembak).
There were 2 places where the Japanese killed people in Malacca:
1. Meng Seng building
2. Padang Niru
Meng Seng was a notorious Japanese torture house. Bapak never went close to the building. If one passes by near it, one has to stop and bow (macam rukuk). If not, one will be called and asked to re-do the bow.
Padang Niru is an open field in Malacca. It is shaped like a triangle. Padang Niru is at a central part where cars turn, and a lot of cars turn here. It is near Simpang ______ and Bunga Raya. Here, the Japanese would poke the heads and hang them without the bodies (gantung kepala tanpa badan).
Bapak studied at a Japanese High School at St Francis Institution. It was called Kotokogakko. He wore white shirt and light blue pants. He was prepared to go to Japan to further his studies but it was the end of WWII, and he went to UK instead.
The Japanese had good discipline and taught good discipline. There was Radio Taiso.
Officer Tanaka would stand on the platform with his sword ever ready.
The Japanese gave his family a plot of land in Padang Banda Hilir (1 lot tanah) for them to plant, grow paddy (sawah) and buffaloes to help plough the land. They were given hoes (cangkul) to plant sekoi, paddy, ubi and ragi (a finer variety of _____?). The Japanese taught them how to plant but they were allowed to plant anything.