Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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Victims of war

Millennium markers - Japanese Occupation

CHONG Teck-Wan was 15 years old when almost all his fellow villagers were killed by the Japanese army in Timon. He escaped by running into the jungle with his mother, returning after the massacre in search of Chong's father. What they found was many dead bodies. They checked the faces of the bodies, one by one.

When they could not see the faces of a pile of corpses in a hole, they checked shirts and hands. ``This hand is not father's. That hand is also different....'' They kept searching, increasingly desperate. But they never found his body.

Hj Mohd Noor Hj Mohd Shah was 15 years old and living in Telok Sengat when he saw bodies floating in Kota Tinggi River.

Some were tied with rope; some were only heads, others only legs.

He heard that the Japanese had murdered unresisting Chinese villagers in Lampuing nearby.

He was very frightened.

The Orang Asli community in the Kota Tinggi area also experienced hardships.

They normally lived on boats but the Japanese Army forced them to remain on land opposite Telok Sengat. Many died of malnutrition and disease.

Gure (full name unavailable) was about 12 years old at the time; four of his eight siblings died due to the food shortages.

Despite the great suffering the Japanese soldiers brought them, however, the Orang Asli did not turn the soldiers away when they asked for food during the Occupation.

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