Monday, 8 May 2017

LOVE KNOWS NO BOUNDS

Theirs was the ultimate love - a love for their country

Our nation experienced its darkest hours during the Japanese Occupation. For almost three years and nine months local civilians endured untold atrocities at the hands fo their new master, the Japanese Imperial Army. Thousands died at the hands of dreaded secret police and its hooded informers. With a mere point of a finger, a civilian standing in line had his or her fate sealed. Countless fathers, sons, mothers and daughters were taken away by the kempetai, never to be seen again by their bereaved families.

In the midst of the doom and gloom, many ordinary Malayans stood up to be counted, contributing in their own way to help end the occupation. Their willingness to pay the ultimate price for freedom will never be forgotten. Let us all take sometime to reflect on the scrifices of these gallant Malayans who gave their greatest love to the nation.

DEATH BEFORE DISHONOUR

The intelligence, alertness and intuition of Lieutenant Adnan Saidi helped the largely outnumbered and outgunned Malay Regiment repel Japanese invaders during the Battle of Singapore. 


During the early hours of the battle, Adnan saw soldiers marching up the hill. The approaching group, dressed in Punjabi military uniforms, advanced in a four abreast formation. Observant Adnan immediately became suspicious. He knew that British-trained troops always marched in lines of threes. He saw through the Japanese deception and ordered his men to open fire with their Lewis guns. All the disguised Japanese soldiers were killed. 

Enraged, the Japanese Imperial Army launched a full banzai assault. The Malay Regiment stood its ground and opened fire until its ammunition ran out. It then resorted to hand to hand combat. Adnan was badly wounded in the skirmish but he refused to retreat or surrender. Instead, he became the rallying point for his men to continue fighting. The Malay Regiment soldiers killed as many Japanese as they could.

Adnan bore the brunt of his aggressors' fury when he was finally captured. They tortured him mercilessly before hanging his body in a gunny sack from a nearby cherry tree. The Japanese soldiers took turns to plunge their bayonets into Adnan's lifeless body. Finally, his dismembered body was doused with petrol and set ablaze.

The wrath of the Japanese Army didn't end with Adnan's death. The kempetai traced his origins back to his village near Kajang, Selangor. Fortunately, his family received news about the approaching search party and burnt everything related to him. As a result, the secret police faied to find any evidence linking to the village. His family was thus spared.

HELPING THE RESISTANCE FIGHTERS

Sybil Medan Kathigasu and her husband, Dr Adbon Clement Kathigasu operated a clinic in Ipoh prior to the Japanese Occupation. The couple decided to relocate after Dr Kathigasu was injured in a Japanese air-raid. They moved to the nearby town of Papan just days before the Japanese took Ipoh.


At their new home, Sybil who was a trained nurse, continued to help her husband treat local residents. During her spare time, she secretly used her shortwave radio set and listened to BBC broadcass. Sybil disseminated the news among her trusted friends so that they wouldn't be misled by the Japanese propaganda machine. The couple also quietly provided medical services and gave information to the resistance forces around Papan.

Sadly, their activities were uncovered by the kempetai in 1943. Both Sybil and her husband were apprehended and taken to the Ipoh Central Police Station. They were tortured by the kempetai but both refused to cooperate. Finally, the secret police tied Sybil to the summer house and brought her daughter, Dawn into the garden. They threatened to burn Dawn alive but the trick failed. Dawn shouted, "Don't tell Mummy. I love you and we'll die together." Sybil said to the Japanese sergeant, "I always thought the Japanese were coward. Now I know it's true."

Fortunately for them, a higher ranking Japanese officer arrived just in time and ordered Dawn's release. Sybil managed to call out "Long live Malays!" before she was knocked unconscious by a sentry. Sybil was kept in the Batu Gajah prison while her husband was taken to Taiping. After the occupation, Sybil was flown to London for further medical treatment. She received the George Medal for Gallantry from King George VI himself just months before she died on June 12, 1948. Her body was brought back to Malays whre thousands attended the funeral of perhaps the greatest heroine of Malaya at that time.

SINGA, LION OF MALAYA

Gurchan Singa believed that he has more lives than a cat. He was nearly bitten by a crocodile when he was less than six months old. When he was 7, he was almost drowned and three years later he nearly stepped on a fallen live electrical cable. In 1933, he survived after falling off a cliff while climbing Mount Everest.


Gurchan moved to Kuala Lumpur when the Japanese invaded Malaya. He was on the kempetai watch list because he used to be a police inspector. Together with his brothers, the trio printed leaflets telling people to defy the Japanese. He always sighed his name as SINGA, the lion. Gurchan distributed his work all over Malaya and managed to avoid detection by hiding his papers in his bicycle frame.

After some time, the kempetai raided his house and destroyed his printing machine and paper stocks. A guard was assigned to secure Gurchan. Seizing a moment of distraction, Gurchan knocked the guard down and escaped into the darkness. As a show of defiance, he handwrote 28 copies and pasted them around town that night.

The Japanese were furious. They ransacked his house, ill-treated his family and killed his two dogs. Gurchan decided to escape to Allied-occupied Burma with three other friends. Bala, Kitchey and Bul. Calling themselves the Four Musketeers, the men attacked trains carrying petrol on their way to the Siamese border. 

The war ended before Gurchan could reach his destination. He later became the principal security officer of Tunku Abdul Rahman. Gurchan Singh died in an accident in Johor in 1965.

FORCE 136: PREPARING FOR THE RETURN

Lim Bo Seng was already a successful businessman when he decided to help defend Malaya from the Japaneseattacks. Knowing that the kempetai would be looking for him, the British advised Lim to seek refuge in India. His wife, Gan Choo Neo was left to care for their young children in Singapore.


In India, Lim helped recruit and train hundreds of secret agents for the Sino-British guerilla task force called Force 136. The British planned Operation Gustavus to secretly ship their agents back to Malaya to aid local resistance fighters. Lim and his men reached the coast of Teluk Anson on board a Dutch submarine.

He travelled under an alias to avoid arousing the suspicions of the kempetai. Together woth Captain John Davis and Major Freddie Spencer Chapman, Lim established contact with the Malayan Peoples's Anti-Japanese Army including Chin Peng and Lai Teck. He convinced the guerrilla fighters to obey British command in exchange for weapons, training and supplies.

Operation Gustavus failed when a captured guerrilla fighter, doubling as a fisherman in Pangkor Island, alerted the Japanese. Lim was arrested at a roadblock in Gopeng and taken to the Ipoh kempetai headqueartes. Despite being severely tortured, he never disclosed any information about Force 136.

Lim Bo Seng died of dysentery and was buried in an unmarked grave outside Batu Gajah prison. After the surrender, his widow brought his remains back to Singapore where he was buried with full military honours at a hill at MacRitchie Reservoir. 



Written by : Alan Teh Leam Seng



CINTA TIDAK MENGENAL SEMPADAN

Cinta abadi mereka - cinta terhadap tanah air

Negara kita mengalami zaman kegelapan ketika pemerintahan Jepun. Hampir tiga tahun sembilan bulan, rakyat menanggung kesengsaraan yang tidak dapat diceritakan dalam tempoh pemerintah Tentera Imperial Jepun. Ribuan mati di tangan polis rahsia dan pemberi maklumat rahsia. Hanya menunjukkan jari, rakyat biasa yang berbaris ditentukan nasib mereka. Tidak terkira berapa ramai ayah, anak lelaki, ibu dan anak perempuan dibawa pergi buat selama-lamanya oleh kempetai, tidak dilihat lagi oleh keluarga mereka.

Dalam zaman gelap inilah, muncul ramai rakyat Malaysia bangun dan menyumbang untuk tanah air dengan cara mereka tersendiri bagi mengakhiri zaman pemerintahan Jepun. Pengorbanan mereka untuk kemerdekaan tidak harus dilupakan. Mari kita mengambil sedikit masa dan mengimbas kembali pengorbanan rakyat Malaysia yang memberikan cinta mereka ke negara tercinta ini.

MATI SEBELUM DIAIBKAN

Kepintaran, kesedaran dan gerak hati Leftenan Adnan Saidi membantu mengalahkan dan membunuh serta menangkis penceroboh Jepun ketika Peperangan Singapura. 



Jumlah tentera Jepun melebihi bilangan tentera Regimen Melayu.

Pada peringkat awal peperangan, Adnan ternampak tentera sedang berarak menaiki bukit. Kumpulan yang sedang menghampiri memakai pakaian tentera Punjabi dengan bilangan empat orang sekumpulan. Adnan yang sedang memerhati dengan teliti terasa curiga. Beliau tahu tentera yang dilatih oleh British akan berarak dengan bilangan tiga orang sekumpulan. Beliau dapat membaca kelicikan tentera Jepun dan mengarahkan tenteranya menyerang menggunakan senjata mesin buatan Lewis. Kesemua tentera Jepun dapat dikalahkan.

Tentera Jepun merasa marah lalu melancarkan serangan banzai. Tentera Regimen Melayu berdiri teguh dan melancarkan serangan sehingga kehabisan peluru. Kemudian, serangan beralih menggunakan tangan. Adnan mengalami kecederaan teruk dalam pertempuran kecil tetapi beliau enggan menyerah kalah atau beundur. Beliau terus menggalakkan tenteranya meneruskan pertempuran. Regimen askar Melayu berjaya membunuh tentera Jepun seramai mungkin.

Apabila Adnan berjaya ditangkap, beliau menjadi mangsa kerakusan tentera Jepun. Mereka menyeksa beliau tanpa belas kasihan sebelum menggantung jasadnya di dalam guni dan digantung pada pokok ceri. Tentera Jepun mengambil giliran menikam jasad Adnan yang tidak bernyawa. Akhirnya, jasad beliau dituang dengan petrol dan dibakar.

Perasaan ingin balas dendam Jepun tidak berakhir dengan kematian Adnan. Kempetai Jepun berjaya mengesan asal usul beliau ke kampungnya di Kajang, Selangor. Nasib menyebelahi keluargannya apabila mereka mendapat perkhabaran mengenai tentera Jepun sedang menghampiri perkampungan mereka dan membakar semua barang milik Adnan. Polis rahsia Jepun tidak menemui sebarang bukti yang mengaitkan Adnan dengan kampung. Akhirnya, keluarga Adnan dilepaskan.

MEMBANTU PEJUANG

Sybil Medan Kathigasu bersama suaminya, Dr Abdon Clement Kathigasu membuka klinik di Ipoh sebelum pemerintahan Jepun. Mereka bercadang berpindah setelah Dr Kathigasu tercedera dalam serangan udara oleh tentera Jepun. Mereka berpindah ke bandar berhampiran dengan Papan beberapa hari sebelum tentera Jepun menawan Ipoh.


Di rumah baharu, Sybil ialah jururawat terlatih terus membantu suaminya merawat penduduk tempatan. Apabila beliau mempunyai masa lapang, beliau akan mendengar berita BBC di radio. Sybil akan mengongsi berita yang beliau dapat dengan rakan-rakan yang beliau percaya supaya mereka tidak tertipu dengan dakyah tentera Jepun. Pasangan suami isteri ini memberikan khidmat perubatan secara rahsia dan memberi maklumat kepada pasukan pejuang di sekitar Papan.

Malangnya, aktiviti mereka diketahui oleh kempetai pada tahun 1943. Sybil dan suaminya ditahan dan dibawa ke Balai Polis Ipoh. Walaupun mereka diseksa oleh kempetai tetapi mereka enggan memberikan kerjasama. Akhirnya, polis rahsia mengikat Sybil dalam rumah musim panas dan membawa anak perempuannya bernama Dawn ke taman. Pihak kempetai mengugut akan membakar Dawn hidup-hidup namun ugutan itu gagal. Dawn menjerit kepada ibunya," Jangan beritahu, Mak. Saya sayang mak dan kita akan mati bersama-sama. "Sybil berkata kepada sarjan Jepun,"Saya selalu menyangka tentera Jepun pengecut. Baru saya tahu ia benar." 

Nasib menyebelahi mereka apabila seorang tentera Jepun berpangkat tinggi tiba dan mengarahkan Dawn dibebaskan. Sybil sempat menjerit "Hidup Malaya!" sebelum dipukul sehingga pengsan oleh sendri. Sybil ditahan di penjara Batu Gajah sementara suaminya dibawa ke Taiping. Selepas pemerintahan Jepun, Sybil diterbangkan ke London untuk rawatan susulan. Beliau menerima pingat George Medal untuk Gallantry daripada Raja George VI sebelum meninggal dunia pada Jun 12,1948. Jasad beliau dibawa semula ke Malaya untuk pengebumian dan dihadiri oleh ribuan hadirin. Beliau merupakan wanita yang berani pada ketika itu.

SINGA, HARIMAU MALAYA

Gurchan Singa percaya beliau mempunyai umur panjang. Beliau hampir-hampir digigit oleh buaya ketika berusia kurang dari enam bulan. Ketika beliau berusia 7 tahun, beliau hampir lemas dan tiga tahun kemudian, beliau hampir memijak kabel eletrik yang masih mengalirkan elektrik. Pada tahun 1933, beliau terselamat setelah terjatuh dari cerun ketika mendaki Gunung Everest.


Gurchan berpindah ke Kuala Lumpur apabila Jepun menceroboh Malaya. Beliau diletakkan dalam senarai orang yang dikehendaki kerana beliau pernah menjadi polis inspektor. Bersama-sama dengan dua abangnya, mereka bertiga mencetak risalah memberitahu orang ramai supaya menentang Jepun. Beliau sentiasa menandatangani nama beliau sebagai SINGA, the Lion. Gurchan mengedarkan hasil kerja beliau ke seluruh Malaya dan berjaya daripada dikesan dengan menyembunyikan hasil tulisan beliau di dalam bingkai basikal.

Beberapa lama kemudian, pihak kempetai menyelongkar rumah beliau dan memusnahkan mesin pencetak dan stok kertas. Seorang pengawal ditempatkan untuk menangkap Gurchan. Apabila Gurchan mendapat peluang, beliau memukul pengawal tersebut dan berjaya melarikan diri. Sebagai menunjukkan semangat beliau, beliau menulis 28 keping risalah dengan tangan dan menampalnya di sekitar bandar pada malam itu juga.

Ini membuatkan pihak Jepun menjadi marah. Mereka menggeledah rumah beliau dan menyeksa anggota keluarga beliau dan membunuh dua ekor anjing peliharaannya. Gurchan mengambil keputusan menyelamatkan diri dengan berlari ke Burma yang dikuasai oleh pihak Bersekutu bersama-sama dengan kawan-kawannya iaitu Bala, Kitchey dan Bul. Memanggil diri mereka sebagai the Four Musketeers, mereka menyerang keretapi yang membawa petrol ke sempadan Siam.

Sebelum Gurchan sampai ke distinasi beliau, perang telah berakhir., Beliau kemudian dilantik sebagai ketua pegawai keselamatan Tunku Abdul Rahman. Gurchan Singh meninggal dunia kerana terlibat dalam kemalangan jalan raya di Johor pada tahun 1965.

ANGKATAN 136: BERSEDIA UNTUK PULANG

Lim Bo Seng ialah ahli perniagaan yang berjaya apabila beliau mengambil keputusan mempertahankan Malaya daripada serangan Jepun. Beliau menyedari pihak kempetai akan mencarinya dan pihak British menasihatkan beliau agar mencari perlindungan di India. Isteri beliau, Gan Choo Neo tinggal di Singapura untuk menjaga anak kecil mereka.

Di India, Lim membantu melatih ratusan agen rahsia untuk pasukan gerilla Sino-British yang dinamakan Angkatan 136. Pihak British merancang Operasi Gustavus untuk menghantar agen mereka kembali ke Malaya dan membantu pejuang tempatan. Lim dan pasukannya tiba di perairan Teluk Anson untuk menaiki kapal selam Belanda.


Beliau mengembara dengan menggunakan nama samaran bagi mengelak menimbulkan syak kempetai. Bersama-sama dengan Kapten John Davis dan Major Freddie Spencer Chapman, Lim dapat berhubung dengan Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army termasuk Chin Peng dan Lai Teck. Beliau berjaya menyakinkan pejuang gerilla agar mengikut arahan British sebagai ganti mendapat bekalan senjata, latihan dan bahan keperluan lain.

Operasi Gustavus menemui kegagalan apabila seorang pejuang gerilla yang menyamar sebagai nelayan di Pulau Pangkor memberitahu tentera Jepun. Lim ditangkap di Gopeng ketika pemeriksaan jalan raya. Beliau dibawa ke ibu pejabat kempetei Ipoh. Walaupun beliau diseksa teruk, beliau tidak mendedahkan sebarang maklumat mengenai Angkatan 136.

Lim Bo Seng meninggal dunia akibat disentari dan dikebumikan di kubur yang tidak bertanda di luar penjara Batu Gajah. Setelah Jepun menyerah kalah, balunya membawa jasadnya kembali ke Singapura dan dikebumikan dengan penuh kehormatan tentera di bukit di takungan MacRitchie.


Diterjemah oleh : Teratai Melur
E-mel ; terataigenius@gmail.com

**Jika memerlukan khidmat terjemahan, sila e-mel butiran ke alamat e-mel tertera di atas.

Terima kasih.

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