Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jap-murdered Memorial



The following account is made by this blogger's uncle, Mr Chong Yuk Hien, the son of one of the murdered innocent civilians at the end of World War 2 when the defeated Japanese army were forced to surrender following the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Rather then surrender peacefully, the vengeful cowardly Japanese prison wardens, guards and soldiers massacred the 28 tortured and malnourished civilians.

Please note that all additional comments in Italics that appear in the account are made by this blogger, based on personal research carried out following the first hand account given by Mr Chong Yuk Hien. 

Part 1: Introduction
The Japanese army landed at Tanjong Lobang beach in Miri, Sarawak on 8th December, 1941. Thus began the Japanese occupation of Miri town till the end of the Second World War in August 1945. The cruel treatment of the local people by the Japanese had been well – known. Many had disappeared mysteriously, believed to be murdered by the Japanese and buried in unknown / unmarked graves,  never to be recovered. Fortunately some did not suffer the same fate. Although dead, their remains were recovered and given the proper burial they deserved. Such an example was the common grave in the church graveyard in Miri. This is the story behind it. 
PART 2: Betrayal & Arrests
Sometime around the end of April or beginning of May, 1945, the Japanese Military Police, called the Kem Pet Tai, arrested a number of people who were suspected of supporting the Allied Forces operating in the Upper Baram area at that time. They were also accused of being anti-Japanese elements. One or two pro-Japanese informers were believed to have submitted the names of these suspects to the Kem Pet Tai: one of the informers was Lo Thau Chin. People living near the Kem Pet Tai office - situated near the present Lopeng Reservoir had often seen Lo in that office. It is therefore not surprising for people to believe that he had some connection with the arrest of the suspects, for nobody dared to go near the Kem Pet Tai office at any time.

Among those arrested by the Kem Pet Tai was Revd. Lim Siong Teck who was the priest-in-charge of St Columba's Church during Othe war and whose surname is being used by the school as "Lim" House. Another person was Chong En Fui (Note: father of this contributor) who was a teacher at St Columba's School before the war. A third person (of the Anglican church) was Joel Paul, a member of the St Columba's Church Council. All these three persons were good friends of Lo Thau Chin.

Others who were arrested government servants, local businessmen, Sikhs who were former World War 1 heroes and SHELL staff members. Their names were:

Internment and Torture

No comments: