Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 09-24-11 19:52
The formation of the 2nd MPAJA Independent Regiment - 1942
We shall go back for moment to December 23rd 1941, when Lai Te (萊特), the
Secretary-General of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), arrived at a zinc
roofed wooden shop house (白鐵屋) at Malim Nawar (雙溪古月) in lower Perak.
Immediately, Lai Te convened an emergency meeting of the Perak branch MCP.
In the meeting Lai Te told the MCP members that the British Colonial Authorities
in Malaya had recognized the MCP and the British also agreed to train and
arm members of the MCP to fight the Japanese.
Originally, the MCP Perak branch had selected 39 cadets to be sent to Kuala
Lumpur for military training. Now they were told to go to the No.101 Special
Training School in Singapore to receive military training by the British.
These members were (1) Lai Laifu 賴萊福 alias Du Longshan 杜龍山 (2) Huang
Guoping 黃國平 (3) Liu Guanwen 劉冠文 (4) Ma Ding 馬丁alias Zeng Guanbiao
曾冠彪 (5) Liao De 廖得 (6) Deng Chang 鄧昌 (7) Xu Guobao 徐國保 (8) Hu Li
胡力 (9) Li Ming 李明 alias Li Kan 李侃 (10) Liu Bai 劉白 (11) Lin Ming
林明 alias Lin Run 林潤 (12) Guan You 關友 alias Wu Qunwei 吳群威 (13) Qiu
Ruihua 丘瑞華 (14) Huang Dongan 黃東安 (15) Zou Yulin 鄒育林 (16) Zhang
Tiandai 張天帶 alias Zhang Zou 張佐 (17) Han Fei 漢飛 (18) Xu Da 徐達 (19)
Lao Feng 老馮 (20) zhong Ping 鐘萍 (21) Ke Li 克力 (22) Ya Tang 亞唐 (23)
Chen Yamao 陳亞毛 (24) Xu Genben 徐根本) and the rest, making up a total
of 30. They were the 2nd batch of MCP cadets to be trained by the British.
They arrived in Singapore on the 29th December 1941.
Before entering the No.101 Special Training School, they were housed in
a big government building. Lai Te, Huang Cheng (黃誠) and Zheng Yaning (鄭
亞寧), the two members of the Central Executive Committee of MCP, welcomed
the cadets to Singapore. The cadets were given lectures on the policy, the
history and the future aims of the MCP and the policy of the cooperation
with the British to resist the Japanese invasion of Malaya (Note: at that
time Malaya included Malaya peninsula and Singapore).
Two day later, on December 31st 1941, Huang Cheng representing the MCP announced
the formation of the 2nd Independent Regiment of the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese
Army (MPAJA) of the state of Perak with 30 cadets who were to be the core
members of the MPAJA fighters in Perak.. Huang Guoping was appointed the
MCP representative of this regiment. The commander was Lai Laifu (賴萊福
) and the deputy commander was Liu Guanwen. The political commissarial was
Liao De (廖德 alias Zeng Quan 曾權) and the administrator was Ma Ding (馬
丁 alias Zeng Guanbiao 曾冠彪)
(The photo is from the book 神秘萊特 by Guo Rende 郭仁德
Lai Laifu was killed in Batu Caves massacre)
On January 1st 1942 they moved to the building, which belonged to a Jewish
businessman (probably the father of the future Chief Minister of Singapore,
David Marshall?). The building became part of No.101 Special Training School.
The commander of this training school was Major F. Spencer Chapman. The
liaison officer was Jonh Davis a British Chinese-speaking police inspector
who learned his Chinese in Guangzhou city, China. There were nine British
military instructors. F. Spencer Chapman was not at the school at that time
to receive the 2nd batch of trainees. Chapman was sent behind Japanese lines
to make a reconnaissance report on the movements in Dindings District, lower
part of the state of Perak. He was away from the 19th of December to the
31st of December 1941.
Originally, it was planned to give two weeks military training to the 2nd
batch. However, due to the urgency of the war situation the Special Training
School gave them a crash course of ten days. After graduation they were
given one heavy machine gun, two light machine guns, ten Tommy-guns, fifteen
pistols and sixty boxes of hand-grenades, containing twelve hand-grenades
in each box, and large quantities of explosives. They were also provided
with tinned provisions and a few bags of rice.
On 11th January 1942, led by a British officer and in two military trucks
the 2nd Independent Regiment of the MPAJA returned to Perak. They sang patriotic
songs along the way. At about four in the afternoon they arrived at Tampin
(淡邊) but were prevented by the retreating British soldiers from going
further. A British officer told them that the Japanese had already occupied
Kuala Lumpur that morning and they were approaching Seremban. The two British
truck drivers and their British officer were worried. They ordered the MPAJA
men to unload their weapons and explosives. The two truck drivers reversed
their trucks and drove back to Singapore with the British officer leaving
the 2nd Independent Regiment stranded in Tampin.
As night was approaching and without any alternative, the 2nd Independent
Regiment carried all their weapons and buried them near a rubber plantation
nearby.They tried to contact the MCP branches of Malacca and Negri Sembilan
but to no avail.
It was mistakenly reported that the Japanese had discovered the place where
they had left their weapons. Liu Guanwen, the deputy commander, with a dozen
of his men removed the weapons and hid them in bush near a rubber plantation
on the outskirts of Kuala Pilah. The weapons were well hidden. Someone
discovered them and reported to the police station at Kuala Pilah. The policemen
took all the weapons back to the police station. The deputy commander was
furious when he discovered what happened.
On 7th February 1942, Liu Guanwen led his men and attacked the police station
trying to retrieve the weapons. Firing a sub-machine gun Liu Guanwen reached
the front door of the police station. However, he was shot dead when the
police who opened their semi-automatic weapons. Wu Zhizhang (烏痣張 a Hainanese)
was also killed in the unsuccessful attack. The rest of the fighters returned
to their camps without recovering any of the lost weapons. It was a big
lose of men and weapons, to the 2nd Regiment.
Through the MCP branch of Kuala Pilah, Lai Laifu, the commander, managed
to contact the members of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of MCP.
Xiao Zhong (小忠), representing the CEC arrived at their camp and announced
that they were not going back to Perak and that the ECE had decided that
they should stay in Negri Sembilan. Amalgamating with the local members
of MCP there were over 300 fighters in this regiment and they established
their base at Menchis (知知港). They became the 2nd Independent Regiment
of the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army in the state of Negri Sembilan.
Posted to Hakka Forum at asiawind.com
By CHUNG Yoon-Ngan
(Pusing Hakka Lao)