People’s Story: Indian Cook Who Saved Chinese Girl During Japanese Invasion Of Malaya
My Grandfather vs Japanese Army !
My grandfather was a working in railways before 1940’s. In 1941, Japanese Army invaded Malaya gradually and occupied until 1945. That 4 years were terrible time for Chinese people in Malaya.
Because of China-Japan war in Far East, The Japanese and Chinese were like sworn enemies. After the Japanese Army invaded Malaya, many Chinese Immigrants were killed by beheadings and Chinese women were tortured and raped.
To avoid get caught and raped by Japanese soldiers, the Chinese girls applied charcoal on their faces and their hair were cut short to look very messy and ugly.
Meanwhile in Slim River, Perak when the Japanese was trying to do a bridge ,someone has to climb up a to a coconut tree to tie rope to put pulley.
When the Japanese Soldiers were struggling to put up the pulley, within minutes my grandfather climbed up and tied the rope.The Japanese were impressed and ask him about his occupation , whether he can cook. He agreed and became a cook to Japanese soldiers.
The Japanese officers were very fierce in their commanding. Any mistakes during job or even you forget to bow your head, it will be gone, beheaded by their Katana, the Samurai Sword!
Once, the Japanese officer spotted a young Chinese girl near their camp. My grandfather were ordered to catch and bring her to the camp for you know what.
Defying an order will cost your head but obeying to this cruel act was equal to committing the crime.
What my grandfather did was just a small act of defiance. He did ran after the Chinese Girl , but not to catch her. He was shouting lari, lari ( run, run in Malay) to startled the girl . And since the girl knew someone chasing her , she ran with all her might and after she vanished from sight , my grandfather will take some time to return back and put up excuses like she ran away or her family was around.
This happened few times and other workers started to do the same thing. While the world war still on raging, the soldiers were not very focus to verify the excuses and a lots of young girls were spared.
My grandfather was a family man with 6 kids to support. If he follows every order the officials gave, he will be rewarded handsomely though. But he chose to stand by his philosophy, character and consciousness.
But , there were still many rapes, beheadings and tortures occurred to Chinese families during Japanese invasion. We should not forget that!
The thing is, you don’t have to be a war hero, Government Official, freedom fighter or holy man to do good things. A simple cook can and did save lives and honour of many people. When you were told or ordered to commit something against your conscious or philosophy just defy it! A small act of defiance will collapse any empire in no time.
There were many heroes 🦸♂ that doesn’t wear badges, uniforms or capes, and I’m proud my grandfather was one of them! #thepowerofcommonman #happyfathersday
The article were written by Mr.Theeyagu Logananden in conjunction with Father’s Day and published by TM.