|Parit Sulong Catafalque|
14th February 2012 - Ever since I was a little boy, I was always intrigued by the World War 2 in Malaya stories and some of the personnel accounts told to me by my grandfather and his generations that lived through the war. As such, most of the book that I borrowed at the school library since my elementary days will always be about the World War 2 fought here in Malaysia. The best one I read so far was by John Fleming entitled Twilight in Malaya. Reading it give me the thrilling experience as I was one of the defending personnel against the Japanese agression through the Malayan campaign.
2. I always have my own reservation about the Malayan campaign. Through my reading and life long research, I can conclude that the Fall of Singapore on the 15th February 1942 was the biggest ever blunder made by the British military commanders. It's effect were massive, the British colonial power not only lost their grip and power in Malaya but also the respect of the Malayan people mostly the loyal Malays afterwards which was translated into an independence in 1957.
|Battlefield in 1942|
|The location of Parit Sulong bridge defended by the Australian 8th Division|
5. It was a gruesome massacre but one of the victims, Lt Ben Hackney survived the massacre and the war managed to tell his stories to the Allied war crimes investigator. Of the estimated 150 wounded prisoner who were captured by the Japanese, only three survived, one died couples of days later in the Battle of Singapore and two survived the war.
|Australian war heroes|
6. I have the highest respect for the Australian 8th Division and Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from the British force that fought the war in Malaya. Through my reading, the battle that gave some heavy resistance towards the advancing Japanese would involved the Australian 8th Division in Johore and the able unit of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders throughout the Malayan campaign. They were the real fighting man of the defending Allied forces in Malaya. The book entitled Moon Over Malaya by Jonathan Mofatt and Audrey Holmes McCormick offers vivid details of the personnel accounts and dramatic moments of the Argylls and Sutherland Highlanders unit throughout their Malayan campaign against the Japanese invasion and highly recommended by me.
7. Today I have the honor of meeting some of these war heroes. It was truly was an honorable experienced, instead of reading about them in books since my childhood times, now I have an exclusive opportunity to shake these men hands. I have the highest respect to them, fighting in another country thousand of miles away from their home, just show the true brevity and spirits of these legendary warriors.
|Wreath laying ceremony|
|The dilapidated state of the PWD barracks where Australian POWs were machine gunned and lit up fire by the Japanese Imperial army|