[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
A Taiwanese Hakka in the Japanese army (2)
A Taiwanese Hakka in the Japanese army (2)
The Malayan Communist Party was founded in Singapore in 1935. Three
months before the Japanese attacked Malaya the British Government in
England sent Lieutenant Colonel Spencer Chapman to Singapore with the
intention to train a special force called 136 to be remained in behind if
the Japanese overran Malaya. Just ten days before the Japanese attacked
Malaya in December 1941 the British Colonial Authority accepted to train
165 Communists at the 101 Special Training School in Singapore.
The Impregnable Fortress of Singapore fell and the British surrendered
to the Japanese on Sunday, Febuary 15, 1942. The Chinese in Malaya knew
what the Japanese did in China. In order to fight them the Chinese formed
the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese-Army (MPAJA). The core of the MPAJA was
the 165 Communists who had a few weeks training by Colonel Chapman who
stayed behind with the Communists through out the Japanese occupation of
Malaya for three years and eight months. Colonel Chapman became the
military instructor of the MPAJA.
A MPAJA base was established near the Hakka towns of Pusing, Siputeh
and Papan in the district of Kinta with a small Hakka Communist guerilla
band. Later, the band grew into a formidable force of over three hundred
fighters who harassed and gave the Japanese occupation forces a hard time.
There was a Japanese garrison in Batu Gajah and Kon Lai was attached to
this garrison. There were a few Korean and Taiwanese soldiers in this
garrison too and Kon Lai was the only one who could speak the local
tongue, Dongguan Hakka.
Whenever Kon Lai was off duty he went alone touring these Hakka towns.
Sometimes he forgot himself that he was in Malaya as he talked to the town
folks who spoke Dongguan Hakka like him. However, they did not know that
he was a Japanese soldier. Kon Lai heard alot about the MPAJA in the
jungle. Kon Lai did not approve what the Japanese were doing to the local
Chinese population in Malaya. Defection to the MPAJA was what he was
contemplating whenever he was in the Hakka towns. He had to be very
careful lest he could be executed by the Japanese if they discovered his
Kon Lai began to cultivate friendship with some of the shop keepers who
secretly gave financial support to the MPAJA. Before any friendship began
to sprout Kon Lai casually talked about his ancestors village, Chang Ping
in the county of Dongguan. There was a shop keeper named Chen Tian Song
who responded that his grandfather also came from Chang Ping. After a
long conversation Kon Lai and Tian Song came to the conclusion that they
were cousins as they shared the same surname, Chen, came from the same
village, Chang Ping, and possibly the offspring of the same ancestor. As
we all know to the Hakka the surname is of the utmost important in fixing
one's identity. The bond of kinship tie between Kon Lai and Tian Song
began to take root.
One day, Tian Song was in such a shock that he nearly fainted when Kon
Lai told him that he was a Japanese soldier. Kon Lai told him to calm down
and not to reveal his identity and the secret of his intenting to defect
to the MPAJA and wanted Tian Song to contact the MPAJA. Since they were
clansmen they supposed to share the honour and misfortune. Tian Song
promised that he would help.
A few days later, when Kon Lai was off duty he went to Pusing to visit
Tian Song's shop and Tian Song told him the the MPAJA were ready to accept
him. After spending a day in Pusing Kon Lai went back to the barrack in
Batu Gajah preparing to desert. Kon Lai told no one, not his Taiwanese
There was a day when he was off in the afternoon he told his sergeant
that he wanted to borrow a bicycle from the barrack to go to Pusing, which
is about four kilometers from Batu Gajah, to see a girl who had the
honoured to be friended with a Japanese soldier. To show his appreciation
he wanted to give the girl a big present. He needed the bicycle to carry
the present. The sergeant lent him the bicycle and even wished him good
luck. Kon Lai gathered a few personal belongings and headed off to Pusing.
It was late in the afternnon when Kon Lai arrived at Pusing. The
contact man was already in Tian Song's shop waiting for Kon Lai. After the
brief introduction Kon Lai and the contact man headed off to the jungle.
That evening Tian Song reported to the Pusing police station that he saw
his friend Kon Lai being abducted by the Communists. The next day the
Japanese sent out a search party to the jungle looking for Kon Lai. The
search was of no avail and since Kon Lai was not a Japanese personnel the
Japanese captain in charge of Kon Lai's platoon did not paid much
attention but recorded in the log book that Kon Lai was missing and killed
by the Communists. ...................to be contiuned...................
CHUNG Yoon-Ngan. email@example.com