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Japanese Occupation in Malaya

By sarathadevi Feb 26, 2013 1722 Words
The Japanese occupation towards the Malay rite
The Japanese invasion took place in 1942 and the occupation lasted until 1945. The whole of the Malay Peninsula and Singapore were captured by this Japanese in the middle of February 1942. Due to possible reason Japanese easily occupied Malaysia. Mainly, British were unprepared to face Japanese attack from south Singapore as that was where the British administration center. Also Japanese started to attacked from north (Kelantan) and take over Malaya states one by one. British faced delayed military aid from London and India due to financial crisis. British expected the Japanese will attack by air but Japanese well planned and attacked through sea routes. Well preparation by Japanese launched their attacks after going intelligence on British main ports, airfields and barrels. Japanese army well trained had high morals well experienced and used compact tactic that suited the terrain. Japanese used bicycles to more easily in rural areas very smartly used war tactic. In contrast British were low motivated and less disciplined. The Japanese used military rules to rule Malaya. Japanese restructure public orders, like restructure local community which was against western rules. The aimed to targeted an “Asia for Asians” administration. Japanese concurred Malaya’s economy and wealth. The income from the economy were intended to use for Japanese supplies of war item like military facilities ,weapons and food and other needs military needs. “Malai Baru” borne and was lead by a Japanese president or Gunseikan who will be reported to the Army Chief General, 7thdistrict in Singapore. A Japanese governor or Syuchokan appointed to assist District Council, an entity to replace the State council. All top level passion occupied by Japanese and lower level were oc cupied by malay members. During Malai Baru the northern Malay States of Terengganu,Kedah,Perlis and Kelantan were handed over to Thailand in August 1943. The Japanese occupation thought us good and bad effects on the community in the Malaya. There are three main categorized as economic, social and political effects during Japanese occupation.

Economic effects as follows
Economically all major business activities by foreigner and local activities were taken over and guarded and the majority of factories taken over by Japanese. Also public transportation and necessity unavoidability due to shortage of fuel. Ten’s of thousand of people became homeless and helpless majority were unemployed. Life was hard and scary under Japanese rules. It was insufficient food supply, Japanese rationed applied for such as rice, sugar , flour , oil and salt. A lot of people do not have sufficient food to eat and many died .Resources were scare during the Japanese occupation. The prices of basic necessities increased drastically due hyperinflation . The Japanese issued rationed cards to controlled the amount of rice. Rice for adult was reduced by 25% as the progressed. Many people experienced hunger during the occupation because there was a shortage of food. Essential foodstuff like rice, salt and sugar were controlled. The country faced shortage of rice resulting from the disruption of world trade. The shortage of food caused people to rely on other food resources such as cassava. Food quantity and availability decreased greatly. Yam and sweet potatoes served for alternative for rice. It became the staple food of most diets in Malaya because consumer found cheaper compare to rice and could also be ground in home gardens. Tapiocas consuming nutrients regularly invented in order to stave off the monetary. Japanese encourage and motivate the population to grow their own foods if they had small piece of land. These vegetables can easily grew well near the watery area. The Japanese issued banana money as their main currency. Since straits currency become rare. The Japanese instituted elements of a command economy in which were restriction on the demand and supply of resources thus creating a popular “black Market”. The banana currency started to suffer from high inflection and dropped drastically in value because the authorities would simply print more whenever they needed more money. If any food necessity people will control by Black market , so if any person willing to give higher price they can get the thing immediately, if pay less they will not able to get the item. The situation was made worse by the money which the Japanese issued. Banana currency had banana trees or other fruits trees print on the notes. The money was printed on very poor quality paper and had no serial number on the note. Whenever the authorities needed more money they printed more notes. As a result there were lots of banana notes and their value dropped. Social and Charity effects

During the occupation hospital available to the need was limited. Many people the faced health problem, which were mainly caused by the lack of medical supplies and malnutrition. Despite the lack of medicine and fund, many people suffer serious health problem. The were very few public hospitals during the Japanese occupation as many of them forced to be converted to military hospital. Through schooling mass media and other means of propaganda the Japanese tried to control mind set of Malaya’s people so as to build a stronger administration Reggie. Japanese was a common means for restricting people’s thinking, and it prevailed in different aspects of daily life.

Subjugation of the Chinese people. At that time, Japan was at odds with China. Furthermore the Chinese community had close ties with China. Many youths were conscripted as labour to build the Death Railway that connected Thailand and Burma. Many of these people who worked on the railway died of sickness and hunger. Japanese were generally well treated and given high administration posts to Malays, while Indians were treated as kindly. The Chinese were harshly treated very poorly while Japanese treated the Malays better. Japanese favourite Malays over Chinese and Indians. Japanese replaced the British civil servents, 70% of malays given appointments and high posts in administration. This caused people to resend Japanese, rules because they felt disadvantage this resulted in a sense of disunity in the people . Also caused a rift between the Chinese and Malays and led to racial strife. Political effects are as follows.

The Japanese occupation brought about political awareness to the local population and made them want to achieve independence. This was caused by the Japanese propaganda slogan “Asia for Asian”. The Malays were given many chances to experience being in administrative posts and they were confident that they could rule their own country very soon. The locals were now aware of the weakness in British rule. British power had been challenged and defeated by an Asian power (Japan) and this gave the locals even more confidence. The Japanese occupation gave birth to the sprit of nationalism amongst the local people. The Chinese were also now more active in the political scene and joined the Malayan Communist Party. The Party served to protect the Chinese who were repressed by the Japanese. The Malay Peninsula After the Japanese Occupation

The Japanese Army retreated from the Malay Peninsula on 15 August 1945 when they were defeated by the Allies; and as a result of America dropping atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When Japan surrendered, the British took 14 days to return to the Malay Peninsula. During this period, the Malayan Communist Party(Bintang Tiga) tried to take control of the Malay Peninsula. Most of the communist party members were Chinese who had communist ideologies.This caused incidents of racial strife,where the Chinese who were repressed by the Japanese sought revenge on the Malays who were treated well during the Japanese occupation. In September 1945,the British returned to the Malay Peninsula and tried to control the situation by waging war on the communists.The British declared a state of emergency and started the Briggs Plan and the Templer Plan to restore order. The conflict was worsening by the day,and on 16 June1948,three European farmers were killed by Malayan Communist Party members in Sungai Siput,Perak.As a result of this incident,a state of emergency was declared on 17 June 1948.The Malayan Communist Party was outlawed on 23 July 1948. The state of emergency in the Malay Peninsula lasted from 1948 to 1960.The Malayan Communist Party members tried to take over the Malay Peninsula by force.These communist terrorists destroyed rubber plantations,equipment and machinery.They also burnt public vehicles.Using special laws imposed during the state of emergency,the government was authorized to outlaw radical parties,make arrests without warrants,and exile or kill anyone who was involved in communist activities.Around 7,000 Chinese who was suspected of being communists were sent back to China under the Emergency Laws of 1948. During the emergency,the government spend almost $300,000 a day to fight the communist threat.The army and police needed to bolster their forces and form a new Speacial Constable team to protect rubber plantations and tin mines. Sir Gerald Templer introduced the system of categorizing areas as Black or White areas.Black areas were areas known to have communist activities and needed to be tightly controlled security forces, whereas White areas were areas that were safe and free from the Communist threat. The British also introduced the identity card system whereby every individual above 12 years of age was required to register and obtain an identity card.This document was important as it proved one’s citizenship and distinguished them from the Communist. Another strategy taken during the Emergency was the Relocation Plan.This plan was put in place to restrict the food supply and thus starve the communists,who previously gained their supplies from villages located near jungles.The hope was that the communists would starve to the point that they had to leave the jungles.The Briggs Plan was formulated by a British General named Harold Briggs. He was elected as the Director of Operations against the communists in1950.Under the Briggs Plan,villages near the forests were relocated to new areas known as Kampung Baruor New Villages.These New Villages were fenced up and provided with facilities,such as schools and health centres. To ensure the eradication of the communists,the British chose Gerald Templer as the new High Commissioner as he seemed more capable. These steps eventually weakened the Malayan Communist Party and the Emergency was lifted on 31 July 1960.

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