History Channel (555) is currently airing Asia History and Malaya is included. The program was initially documented and expected to be premiered for 2 hours but it was edited to 1 hour. Do watch this program, for the interviewees are those who experienced the real battle, who’ve seen their own family members died in the hand of the land of the rising sun.
THE FALL OF SINGAPORE
|15 February, |
|During 1941 and 1942, under the baking Pacific sun, the world was introduced to the terrible power of the land of the Rising Sun. Japanese aggression, which had begun for the Allies at Pearl Harbor, led to the fall of Singapore to the Japanese. It had been Britain's most important Eastern base – now a force of 130,000 men under the command of General Percival surrendered to General Yamashita. It was a low point for the Allies, and there was a hard road ahead – but a road that would culminate in the development of the atomic bomb and the crushing defeat of the seemingly invincible Japanese.|
|RISING SUN OVER MALAYA ||15 February, |
|The Second World War in Malaya from 1941-1945 was a time of darkness and despair - where innocent lives were lost and blood ran freely. The Japanese ruled with an iron hand, slaughtering tens of thousands of Chinese citizens. They forced young women to work as sex slaves, and tricked others into working on the notorious 'Death Railway'. The people of Malaya struggled for survival. When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, Malaya plunged into a period of turmoil that brought it to the brink of civil war. But amidst the fire and ruins, sparks of resilience and courage grew. The painful war experience gave a great impetus to a new awakening. "Rising Sun Over Malaya" tells this little known story through the eyes of the people who experienced the occupation first hand. |
*A 2012 HISTORY Asia Local Production in collaboration with FINAS, Novista and
|THE SOOK CHING MASSACRE||16 February, |
|1942. The British colony of Singapore falls to the Japanese. The victorious army seeks revenge. They will not forget that for 7 weeks, the city's |
Chinese population fought alongside the British. They will not forgive the Singapore Chinese for opposing their war in China, for sending funds to help the Mainland China and for boycotting Japanese goods. The Japanese are determined to purge the ringleaders. The order goes out for all Chinese males to report for registration immediately. What followed was a week of terror. When it ended, thousands had died. The Japanese admitted to killing 5000. The Chinese estimated the massacre claimed 25,000 lives.
|FIGHTING FOR INDIA: |
THE WOMAN WHO DARED
|16 February, |
|Japanese forces sweep down from newly conquered China. In planes, tanks, on foot and on bicycles they arrive in Southeast Asia pledging a new world order. One by one the colonial empires in the region collapse before their advancing armies. The British are caught unaware, as Malaya, Burma and Singapore fall before the sudden onslaught. |
In India there is one man, Subhas Chandra Bose, who sees this as a golden opportunity – to use the weakened state of the British at war, to finally oust them from his homeland, India. His story is well known. But what is less well known is the story of the women who followed him. The story of the one thousand Indian women of South East Asia who are brought together in one of the modern world's first female combat units.
The Rani of Jhansi Regiment; Young, idealistic, fresh from the harsh conditions of Malaya's rubber plantations, they leap at the opportunity to help win freedom for India.
Fully armed and trained for combat roles, they proudly march alongside the men of the Indian National Army to attack the British where they least expect it – across the border of Burma and India.
This is the story of their journey and their battles, their courage and their fears, told by five of the survivors of that extraordinary regiment.
|THREE YEARS AND EIGHT MONTHS IN HONG KONG||17 February, |
|On December 25, 1941, British-ruled Hong Kong was forced to surrender to the Japanese after 18 days of fierce fighting. Japan would occupy Hong Kong for the next three years and eight months. Relive this famous time in Hong Kong's history, as the Japanese rule would pervade all ways of life, as Hong Kong knew it.|
|PHILIPPINE RESISTANCE: REFUSAL TO SURRENDER ||17 February, |
|General Douglas MacArthur famously promised 'I shall return' before retreating but this was possible only with Filipino guerrillas bravely fighting on. |
The film also relates how Richard Sakakida, a first generation Japanese-American, together with members of the Filipino resistance, helped the escape of 500 resistance fighters from prison.
Hubby once told me that his grandfather was kidnapped from one small coffee shop, where he was enslaved and brought over to the northern area, to build the “Death Railway.” He was one of the sufferers who live and came back to his family, two months later. Can you imagine that? He wrote everything in his journal. Sadly, we couldn’t locate where the journal is!
And so I thought of revising my trip’s side objective, to carry out a short quick “mouth-to-ears” firsthand real life story with old folks, particularly on their war moment, during war time. How I wish I can produce this column. (If and only if, I can find one. I should have done this during my visit to Vietnam and Cambodia.)
Go make your own history by submitting your photo, here.