Chapter 5: Did the Japanese Occupation (JO) Change the Way People Viewed…
Chapter 5: Did the Japanese Occupation (JO) Change the Way People Viewed Singapore (I and II)
Views bout SG before JO
Singapore as home
e.g Indian immigrants main intention was to earn money and go back to India
Views of immigrants towards SG
Felt very attached to their homelands as they remained in close contact with their families back home through sending letters, hearing from friends and relatives who returned from visits to their homeland. Wealthier immigrants started newspaper to report news bout their homeland.
Sun Yat Sen and the Chinese Revolutionary Movement
Led by Sun Yat Sen. Believed China would remain backward if it continued under rule of weak and corrupt Qing government. Aimed to remove Qing government. Movement sought support from the Chinese lived outside China aka overseas Chinese. Many Chinese in SG contributed funds. Some even returned to fight against Qing government. When Qing gov overthrown in 1911, many Chinese men in SG express patriotism towards China by cutting off queues, a pigtail hairstyle which was required by Qing gov.
Gandhi and the Movement for Independence for India
Led by Mahatma Gandhi. Wanted Independence for India from British. The movement influenced some of the Indian immigrants in SIngapore. Expressed support for movement through activities of Indian Youth League, a social club for Indians
Local-Born people towards SG
Thought SG was their home. Localised. Didn't bother bout background much.
Some adopted Western ways of dressing, customs and pasttime
British as rulers of SG
Believed European culture was superior
Bias to British. High ranking positions given to British.
British given better pay and given privileged treatment
SG as an "Impregnable Fortress"
Japan saw SG as the solution to their problems as there were places near SG with materials
USA tried to cut the supply of war materials to Japan to end the war.
People in SG aware intentions of Japan. Chinese immigrants boycott Japanese goods and attack Japanese to show resentment.
British were aware. Built naval base to protect British colonies. British said SG as an impregnable fortress. Some called it Gibraltar of the East aka heavily fortified.
'White man' superiority
Fall of the 'Impregnable Fortress'
Japan sly and cunning as they landed opposite the naval base. They bombed Changi and Pulau Ubin in the north- eastern part of SG but crossed the Johor Straits and headed to the north- western part of SG.
'Strongest Nation' beaten by Japanese within 2 weeks
Promoting 'Asia for Asians'
Japan sought to dispel myth of 'white man's' superiority. Interned Australians, the British and other Europeans including women and children at the Sime Road Camp, Selarang Barracks and Changi Jail
Renamed SG to Syonanto, aka 'Light of the South"
Made the Allied prisoners of war (POWs) do menial tasks outside camp, such as repairing and cleaning the dock facilities, water works and the airfields damaged by Japanese bombs during invasion
POWs given little food and were tasked to do various jobs. They were very thin and malnorished.
Eurasians treated harshly and many interned with Europeans. Think they were associated with Europeans. Seen as British supporters. Suspected of helping the British were killed.
Cultivation of Asian Consciousness
Tried to cultivate a sense of Asian consciousness and pride. Spread idea that Asians were just as good as Europeans.
Learn Japanese instead of English
Take part in activities such as gardening and cleaning, that promote Asian values such as hard work and humility
Sing Japanese National Anthem in the morning
Info or idea that are spread deliberately to influence people's views
e.g. Comic books, cartoons, newspaper, movies etc
Attempts to Win Local Support
treat all alike.
Helped Indians to gain independence for India. Indian National Army(INA) was thus formed with Japanese support to recruit Indians in SG to fight against the British in India.
Japanese treated Chinese differently. Chinese in SG opposed Japanese invasion of China, some even went back to help fight Japan. Therefore, Japanese became suspiciousof the Chinese.
Daily life in Syonan-to
Brought fear and hardship to the lives of many people
e.g had to bow to Japanese sentries or face punishment
Rule of fear and the Kempeitai
Sook Ching or 'cleansing'. Aimed to remove people who were anti-chinese. Targeted the Chinese.
Living in Hardship
Rationing was introduced
Becuz of limited goods, goods sold at high prices on black market
Many people had to take 2 jobs. Women had to take jobs and enter workforce. Even young children helped.
People were able to bond and make friends. Able to understand the other different races.
Different people had different thoughts. Some thought they became more self-reliant. Some thought it didn't really impact them.
Resisting the Japanese
Malayan People's Anti Japanese(MPAJA)
Led by Lai Teck, a senior communist leader in Vietnam. Right-hand man, Chin Peng, a Malayan Chinese from the states of Perak.
Led by Lim Bo Seng. Comprised mainly Malayan Chinese. Concentrated its resistance force in Malaya by collecting info bout Japanese and organising attack when possible.
Some members were arrested by the Japanese,. They were interrogated and tortured but many of them refused to give infomation about their activites