Monday, March 25, 2019

Banzai in Kedah

The Consulate-General of Japan in Penang had restored the 1.8m stone memorial at the northern side of the Sultan Abdul Halim bridge recently.

According to a tri-lingual sign next to the site, the memorial commemorates the act of Commander Platoon Lieutenant Hajima Asahi and two others. The trio had died while attempting to secure what was then known as the Alor Setar bridge on Dec 13, 1941 during the early stages of Imperial Japan’s conquest of Malaya and Borneo.

Jointly with the Kedah chapter of the Malaysian Historical Society (PSMCK) and the Kedah State Museum, the Consulate organised an official event to commemorate the war memorial.

The tri-lingual sign referred to the trio as “heroes”. 

Japanese soldiers who tortured, murdered and oppressed Malay Chinese during WWII not unlike Nazis torturing Jews in Europe also during WWII commemorated as 'heroes'?

what Japanese troops did to Chinese civilians during WWII

eg. bayoneting a baby

What atrocious BS!

This has been the biggest insult to Chinese Malaysians and an insensitive faux pas to their feelings. Their forefathers (grandparents, parents, relatives, friends, neighbours, community) were tortured, mutilated and murdered kaukau by Japanese soldiers during the Japanese occupation of Malaya.

While most Chinese Malaysians are prepared to forgive and forget, it's too much to address their forefathers' torturers, murderers and oppressors as 'heroes". Just ask South Koreans and Mainland Chinese how they feel, even today.

South Korean 'Comfort Women' memorial 

Shanghai Normal University Chinese Comfort Women Museum

The Chinese Anti-War Memorial at Air Itam, Penang, is where some 800 victims of the Sook Ching massacres during World War II were laid to rest.

Wikipedia says:

The Sook Ching (肃清; 肅清; Siok-chheng, meaning 'purge through cleansing') was a systematic purge of perceived hostile elements among the Chinese in Singapore by the Japanese military during the Japanese occupation of Singapore and Malaya, after the British colony surrendered on 15 February 1942.

The purge took place from 18 February to 4 March 1942 at various places in the region. The operation was overseen by the Imperial Japanese Army's Kenpeitai secret police and subsequently extended to include the Chinese population in Malaya.

Scholars agree the massacre took place, but Japanese and Singaporean sources disagree about the number of deaths.

According to
Hirofumi Hayashi, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs "accepted that the Japanese military had carried out mass killings in Singapore ... During negotiations with Singapore, the Japanese government rejected demands for reparations but agreed to make a 'gesture of atonement' by providing funds in other ways."

Officially, Japan says that fewer than 5,000 deaths occurred, while
Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister, said "verifiable numbers would be about 70,000". In 1966, Japan agreed to pay US$50 million in compensation, half of which was a grant and the rest as a loan. They did not make an official apology.

The ugly fact is the Japanese possessed (even today) an invincible hatred of Chinese, a hatred even greater than what they had for Westerners. Once I had written of that in response to an article by Josh Hong, then a columnist for Malaysiakini. The following was our exchange through Malaysiakini:

Josh Hong is one of my fave columnists at Malaysiakini. I’ve been following his articles for several years, enjoying his generally astute grasp of international politics. However, I have not blindly agreed with everything he wrote. For example, in January 2005 I disagreed with some points in one of his MKINI articles Chinese racism - not quite in a nutshell.

In that very well written article, while I agreed/agree with his observations that some Chinese have what I termed as a boorish 'Middle-Kingdom' mentality, I believed (still do) that he was incorrect in querying (surprised?) that China's humiliation at the hands of western powers in the 19th Century did not affect the Chinese perception of their grandiose civilization, which according to Hong's line of argument, perhaps might not have been so grandiose after all .

In a letter to MKINI I stated my disagreement with Josh’s contention on the following points:

An English anthropologist, Edward Burnett Tylor, described 'civilization' as synonymous to 'culture', which he termed as that complex whole including knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.

Also, UNESCO defines 'culture' similarly as a set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs.

Therefore, regardless of the fact that China was defeated pitifully in its military encounters with the western powers or a technologically more advanced Japan during World War II, the greater body of Chinese 'civilization' would remain largely intact as it must have, …

… though of course like all values and norms that come into contact with foreign culture, they would evolve naturally to eventually change the greater whole. Now, whether this [change] was fast or significant enough for Josh’s liking remains subjective.

However, what we may say with some certainty is that Chinese ego after a serious of military humiliations and foreign occupation would be considerably dented, but a crushed conceit or flattened arrogance would be quite different to their awareness/perception of their magnificent 5000-year old civilization.

Japanese troops murdering Chinese civilian during WWII

The Chinese would in all probability be banging their head hard against the walls, lamenting wailfully how in the f*, given their great civilization and thus supposed 'superiority', they had come to be so defeated ... and not surprisingly, might have even blamed it all on that nebulous feng shui thingy, wakakaka.

If we look at the great civilizations of Greece, Rome and Egypt, which in turn were invaded and severely defeated by other nations or even nomadic hordes through the ages, the depth, durability and indeed grandiosity of their civilizations have never been in question, and exist till today (through assimilation) into the civilizations of modern European and American nations.

Indeed Western philosophy, politics, culture, arts, and science can trace their origins to Greece while we know that western laws draw heavily from Roman law, even preserving many of its Latin terms. While Rome had considered Greece as its model, the latter in turn viewed Egypt as their spiritual and cultural example.

I had (then) stated that Josh might have been confused between Chinese civilization and Chinese pride. While the latter is influenced by the former, the former is not necessarily by the latter. Thus the former would remain intact even if the latter might have been dented.

Now, whether one should consider Chinese civilization as grandiose would be also another subjective issue, but in this regard I believe there is already virtually universal acceptance (especially in learned/academic circles) it has been so.

However, as an associated item of interest (related to another of Josh’s remarks), the Japanese, who denigrated the Chinese shockingly as sub-humans (as the Nazis had termed the Jews, and the Israelis had termed the Palestinians), had no compunction about adopting the Chinese language as its own. It is suggested that half the Japanese vocabulary are of Chinese origin. Even the name Japan or Nihon consists of 2 Chinese characters.

riben = the origin of the sun = Japan

A curious trivia in the shared language has been the Japanese adopting or inheriting the Chinese’s superstition in the utterance of the word ‘4’, pronounced as sì in both languages (in the 4th tone in Chinese), a taboo-word on auspicious occasion.

According to the Chinese dictionary, there are 15 different words pronounced as si of which 9 are in the 1st tone, 1 in the 3rd tone and five in the 4th tone. Because the one in the 3rd tone, which means ‘die’ or ‘death’, is almost similar in pronunciation to the word ‘4’ (4th tone), its utterance is studiously avoided during auspicious occasions like weddings, birthdays, New Year period (15 days), etc.

But the Japanese easily and cleverly avoid the taboo by resorting to an indigenous Japanese word for ‘4’, namely yon. But nonetheless the avoidance indicates the Japanese inheriting Chinese belief (culture).

4 = si (pronounced shi) in Chinese and Japanese
also yon in Japanese

Thus Japanese culture borrowed heavily from and adopted Chinese culture.

Another interesting item is that the Japanese monarchy, even 
until today, continues the tradition of having a Chinese name for a newborn baby.

Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako named their daughter with a Chinese name, Aiko. Most Chinese would recognize the words Ai and ko.


This practice stems from medieval times when the refined Chinese language was largely (and only) spoken by Japanese royalty, nobility and the cultured.

Josh had an interesting theory on why Chinese harbour a latent and seldom discussed animosity towards the Japanese – he believes the Chinese detested and still detest the Japanese because they couldn't accept being beaten by a barbarian race of dwarfs.

Well, I didn’t agree with his way out theory because Josh matey, being brutalized, raped, tortured and massacred by the Japanese during the last war were terrible and hateful enough without worrying about Chinese-Japanese comparative culture or the enemy’s anatomical measurement.

depicting the uncivilised barbarism of Japanese during WWII

Chinese woman with baby decapitated by Jap at Nanjing

I then riposted with my theory as to why the Japanese were unusually feral with the Chinese, calling them sub-humans and showing no bounds to their bloody barbaric brutal savagery, horrendously demonstrated in the most primitive genocidal fashion in Nanjing – the Japanese could not accept being culturally beholden to the 'weak man' of East Asia, thus they strove to erase completely from their consciousness and physical presence this reminder of their embarrassing cultural womb.

The Japanese atrocities merely demonstrate that while Chinese racism is real and regrettable it is not unique.

The sorry affair in Kedah has in many ways suggested an emboldened Japanese Consulate, perhaps encouraged by the revitalised 'Look East' policy of the new Malaysian givernment. The Japanese know PM Mahathir favours them over China.

Banzai - which BTW is derived yet from another Chinese term, wàn suì (萬歲; literally 'ten thousand years' or 'long live ...' or 'dirgahayu').

wàn suì in simplified Chinese


  1. Kimigayo .....The Japanese War Time Anthem....

    I have no hatred for modern-day Japan. The old generation that carried out the atrocities is almost completely dead.
    There is much to admire with modern Japan.

    But I agree, calling them Heroes is bad form.
    A simple memorial to remember the dead would have been OK

  2. Hah...after this screw up by the Japs, the hero of the Malaysian Chinese (Guanee, not MCA, ha ha) can bang table to get an even better (lower) interest rate for the next tranche of the samurai bonds.

  3. Instead of the memorial, Koji my good friend on MM2H, said we should ask Japan to plant a thousand sakura trees where the masses of the flowers from the trees will be like cherry blossom from the cherry trees in Japan in March.

    1. Can cold latitude sakura trees grow in tropical Malaysia?

    2. the japs will sell u fertilizer, air-cond n pipe dream, is that not how msia start to build car?


    4. not sakura but Tabebuia pentaphylla (or Tabebuia rosea)

    5. Can be considered as Malaysia Sakura or Malaysia Cherry blossom..

    6. My friend Koji said, can request Japan to plant a thousand sakura trees from Japan, at Gunung Jerai Hill resort. A Kedah Kyoto, it will be an awesome feel of 'taiping' and life. A lot Japanese and others will come.

    7. Still wondering WHY these mfers collaborated with the Jap during the invasion?

      Deep down, they were/r just like the Jap, having an inferiority complex when facing up to the cinapeks!

  4. This confirms that Malaysia is a Japanese proxy.

    Japan is the 3rd partner of the Trilateral Commission that plans to rule the world. The other 2 are USA and Europe.

    Malaysia will be collateral damage in any conflict.

    1. Wow !
      The foreign affairs equivalent of the Flat Earth Society.

    2. Ti-lateral Commission is an established fact. Flat Earth Society is theoretical. Therein lies the difference.

    3. As far as I can see, the Trilateral Commission is a Talk--shop, like Davos.
      The conspiracy theories about dark maneuverings have no supporting evidence.

    4. David Rockefeller's brainchild. He is on record wanting a one world government.
      There was Zbigniew Brzezinski,the man considered the ideological godfather of Trilateralism and his (in)famous 'Great Game' theory for whoever controls eurasia controls the world.

  5. Gen Y and Gen Z are pretty relaxed about Japan. Chinese youngsters are among the biggest Anime and Manga fans, and followers of Japanese cuisine.

    We should not forget WWII history, including the Japanese and German crimes and atrocities.
    Also, the United States played a major, major , essential, role as the liberator in World War II, paid with American blood, something the younger generation forgets in the way it demonizes America today.

    But we should also be able to let go the past.

    1. i think both wilson n roosevelt did contribute much to world peace during ww1&2, of course with american support, thats is oso the reason that make usa a great country. though i like to talk bad american because i am a chinese, but i still think american is relatively selfless. wrt japs, i still think they r one most selfish people living on earth.