Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sook Ching

Tratorism (Boredumb)

Tommorow’s the end of the PSLE holidays, shame. Still, there are still the super long nov/dec holidays. But enough with that, it’s time to get on with the facts.

Sook Ching are a group of Japanese soldiers that went around that searched around for people who were:

  • People who collected money for the China Relief Fund.
  • Rich people who had given loads of money to the China Relief Fund
  • Hainanese (which is a type of Chinese dialect), who were communists. (see my post on communists, socialists and capitalists)
  • Chinese who were born in China who came to Malaya (today known as Malaysia) after war.
  • Men with tattoos who were Chinese gangsters
  • Chinese who joined the Singapore Overseas Chinese Anti-Japanese Volunteer Army (quite a mouthful, I know)
  • People who they thought might try and help the British
  • People who possessed weapons and would likely try rebelling against the Japanese

All men in between the age of 18 to 50 would have to be examined to check if they were anti-Japanese. If they did not fit into any of the categories above, the Japanese would stamp a square stamp on their body (it could be anywhere, face, hands, clothing etc.) which had the word “cleared’ (in Japanese of course) on it. Those who failed would have a triangular stamp stamped on. They would then bring them to remote places like Changi and shoot them.

Overall, the Sook Ching killed many people. The Japanese documents said that they had only killed less than 5000 civillians, but the Chinese reported up to 100,000 deaths. In fact, there is still a dispute today on how many people died. Former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew says that are around 50,000 to 100,000 deaths. He later claimed, “But they (The Japanese) also showed a meanness and viciousness towards their enemies equal to the Huns'. Genghis Khan (One of the Sook Ching leaders) and his hordes could not have been more merciless. I have no doubts about whether the two atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were necessary. Without them, hundreds of thousands of civilians in Malaya and Singapore, and millions in Japan itself, would have perished.” There was also a survivor called Chia Chew Soon who witnessed as his family was viciously bayoneted, one by one by the Japanese.

Despite this, there were still people who fought for justice in Singapore. You might have already learned about them, perhaps you’ve heard stories of their members. Whatever the case, they fought bravely for Singapore, and despite having hundreds supporting the cause at first, there now remain only 9 surviving members to tell the tale. By now, you might be itching to know what organization I am talking about, or perhaps you have already guessed and you are waiting to check your answer. Well, I will not reveal it here, because ending off the post with mysterious circumstances is much cooler, but to all of you who have no idea, here’s a small clue to get you started:

lim bo seng

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