|Talking to Bro Leong (center) with my father-in-law, Bro Ong|
Brother Leong said that day after day, the Japanese took helpless victims to be shot in very remote areas. One of them was the grandmother of Brother Kui Jee, one of the elders of the Church in Kerteh. When the Japanese fired their machine guns, the grandmother put her hand to her eyes and was shot only in the arm. The blood that covered her arm and face saved her life. She remained very still until the murdering team of Japanese executioners departed. She then got up and made her way to her village. Along the way, she was met by some villagers who helped her. She did survive her injury.
After the war, Brother Leong had to collect coconut husks to be burned as fuels. One day, he wandered deeper into the jungle and met with a gruesome sight. There were skulls and human bones every where. He had stumbled upon an execution site.It was recorded that more than 100,000 civilians were killed in all of Malaya during the war.
Another exciting episode of Brother Leong's life was during the Malayan Emergency. From 1948, the Communists of Malaya were waging a guerrilla warfare against the British rulers of Malaya. Many of these Communists were Chinese even though there were some Indians and Malays in their midst. At that time, Brother Leong was still a boy and he actually witnessed an execution conducted by the Communists. Apparently, in his area, there were two police detectives who were bullies. According to Brother Leong, these were the bad people. They made the lives of the people there very miserable.
The Communists captured these two 'bad' people and tied them up. One of the captured detectives was a Chinese while the other was a Malay. The villagers were invited to pass judgment on these police officers. When asked whether they should die, everybody just raised their hands and voice in agreement of the harsh sentence. Immediately, after that, the two condemned men were dragged to a open space and shot.
Throughout the emergency period which lasted up to 1960, Brother Leong and his family were not interned in any 'New Village". Millions of Chinese who lived near the forests were deported and interned in guarded camps known as "New Villages". This move by the British authority was very effective because it dried up the food supplies to the Communist fighters in the deep jungles. To prevent raw rice from being smuggled out of these camps, the British instituted communal kitchens in all these 'New Villagers. No villager was allowed to cook his or her own rice, Everybody had to receive their cooked rice rations from the communal kitchens. That new move literally helped win the war because the Communists in the jungle were being starved to death.
|Bro Leong healed|