Monday, May 31, 2010

Comments on Group 2

WAHLAO YOU ALL SO LAZY HAVEN'T DO !!!! Unlike us. Doing the project on 31st May. LOSERS :)


Singapore World War II

Battlefield Singapore 1942

Renacting the scene (made by other schools)

Sunday, May 30, 2010


What makes a hero? Are heroes only those who have achieved what they want to achieve or did they arise from some 'special' circumstances?
A hero is a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. He is one who is willing to sacrifice himself for the country.
Heroes are not only those who have achieved what they want to achieve, but rather, those who arise from adversities. In Jan 1942, he provided Chinese labour to British governments to man essential services and build defense positions. By doing so, he helped to strengthen Singapore's defence. It shows that he is different from the rest because nobody will be willing to do so much for one's country. In Feb 1942, he escaped to India before Singapore fell and underwent British intelligence training in Kahdakvasla, near Bombay in the latter part of 1942. He could have done so to upgrade and improve himself in order to protect his country better. Besides, as quoted from, "Lim Bo Seng possesses qualities such as reliable, caring, and fearless. Reliable is a good quality to describe Lim Bo Seng because he was trusted not to tell the names of any of the people fighting. He showed the quality of being caring because he chose to fight in World War II for his country. He was fearless because he kept trying to help his country no matter what got in his way." Hence, with reference to this source, it can be pointed out that heros may not be those who achieve what they want, but those who possess positive qualitites such as reliability, fearlessness, patriotism, and mostly important, those who stand strong and arise from circumstances.

What challenges does a hero face and how does his/her qualities enable him/her to overcome challenges? Describe at least ONE challenge and HOW the hero overcomes the challenge.
With evidence from Lim Bo Seng's biography, "With the fall of Kota Bahru in Malaya in 1942, Lim, as head of the Labour Services of the Overseas Chinese Mobilization Council, and Tan Kah Kee organised more than 10,000 men for the British Government to man essential services and to construct defenses around the island. ", his achievements and perseverance made him a hero. His heroic acts allowed him to save his country from the attacks of the Japanese. With reference to the evidence, "Lim was caught and taken to the Kempeitai headquarters for interrogation. Strong as he was, Lim battled through all sorts of physical and mental torture and duress daily but he never uttered a single word about pain and refused to give up information about Force 136.", quoted from, we can infer that when our hero faces obstacles, he does not succumb to the enemy. Instead, he stands strong and loyal to his country, even though he had to face torturous physical abuse. He kept his mouth sealed tight and refused to reveal the plans of Force 136. His patriotism and loyalty enabled him to overcome the challenges he was up to. "However, Lim soon became ill with dysentery and was bedridden by the end of May 1944. In his final letter, Lim bade farewell to his wife: Don't grieve for me, but take pride in my sacrifice." This shows that he was proud of his sacrifices and did not regret the choice he made. Even when dealing with torture, Lim Bo Seng never gave up on his patriotism towards Singapore, and with response to the challenges he faced like illnesses and punishment, he faced them gallantly. Though he never overcame his challenges, but instead, died as a prisoner, his qualities of loyalty and bravery, were those of a hero.

About Lim Bo Seng

Major-General Lim Bo Seng alias Tan Choon Lim (b. 27 April 1909, Nan Ann, China - d. 29 June 1944, Batu Gajah Jail, Perak, Malaya) was a prominent Hokkien businessman who undertook active leadership in anti-Japanese activities during World War II and is recognized as a local war hero.

Early Life
Lim was the 11th child but the first son of Lim Chee Gee. At the age of 16, he came to Singapore and studied at Raffles Institution. He discontinued his education at the University of Hong Kong in 1929 when, upon his father's death, he inherited senior Lim's businesses which included the Hock Ann Biscuits and factories for brick manufacturing. In 1930, he married Gan Choo Neo, a Straits-born Nonya with whom he had seven children. Theirs was a love marriage, unusual in those days.

Japanese Occupation
In the 1930s, Lim under the alias Tan Choon Lim participated in anti-Japanese activities in Singapore, particularly in supporting the China Relief Fund. Upon the request of Sir Shenton Thomas, the Governor, he also formed the Chinese Liason Committee to assist in civil defense. With the fall of Kota Bahru in Malaya in 1942, Lim, as head of the Labour Services of the Overseas Chinese Mobilization Council, and Tan Kah Kee organised more than 10,000 men for the British Government to man essential services and to construct defenses around the island. As the Japanese troops descended upon Singapore, his men helped dynamite the Causeway.

He escaped to India before Singapore's fall where he was joined by the British resistance group, Force 136, and was trained by the British for intelligence work. In 1943, he went to China to recruit Kuomintang colleagues for Force 136 - a special operations force formed by the British and the Chinese governments in June 1942 to support resistance groups behind enemy lines and to coordinate guerilla operations in support of the eventual British invasion of Malaya. With a group of fellow Force 136 members, he landed in Japanese-occupied Malaya by submarine in 1943 and set up an intelligence network in the urban areas in Pangkor, Lumut, Tapah and Ipoh. The intelligence network - Operation Zipper - was targeted at recapturing Malaya with British support by 1945. While on a mission in Ipoh on 27 March 1944, Lim was betrayed by Lai Teck, the Malayan Communist Party leader, and was caught by the Japanese at a road checkpoint. He died in Batu Gajah Jail on 29 June 1944 under torture. Lim was posthumously awarded the rank of Major-General by the Chinese Nationalist Government and his remains reburied in Singapore at the MacRitchie Reservoir.

1930s : Participated in anti-Japanese activities in Singapore
Jan 1942 : Provided Chinese labor to British Governments to man essential services and build defense positions.
Feb 1942 : Escaped to India before Singapore fell. Underwnet British intelligence training in Kahdakvasla, near Bombay in the latter part of 1942.
Apr 1943 : Recruited Malayan Chinese students studying in Chongqing, China for subversive work in Malaya.
Nov 1943 : Landed in Malaya by submarine and set up intelligence network in Pangkor, Lumut, Tapah and Ipoh
27 Mar 1944 : Captured by the Japanese.
29 Jun 1944 : Died in Batu Gajah Jail under Japanese torture and because of severe malnutrition.
13 Jan 1946 : The British brought Lim's remains to Singapore and reburied him with full military honors at MacRitchie Reservoir.
1954 : The Lim Bo Seng memorial, a 3.5 m high pagoda, was officially unveiled at the Esplanade to remember the sacrifice he had given for the country.

Force 136 was led by British officers and senior ranks, who were specially trained in espionage, surveillance and sabotage tactics. Because they could not move about these Asian countries disguised as locals or speak the local languages, they had to recruit local men into the Force. Canadians and Australians of Chinese or Japanese descent were similarly recruited to operate in these countries.

Suitable local men were often difficult to find. Many of them were either indifferent towards their Japanese occupiers, or were antagonistic toward the British who were their former colonial masters. Those who were accepted, mostly Burmese, Indians and some Chinese and Siamese; were trained in India and sent secretly into Malaya to help organise and support local resistance movements in their fight against the Japanese. One of these men was Lim Bo Seng, a prominent Singapore businessman who was actively involved in fighting the Japanese.

Members of Force 136 would contact and co-operate with local resistance movements such as the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) to harass the Japanese. They were regularly supplied by submarine and airdrop. Hit-and-run guerrilla warfare ensured that the Japanese were kept busy maintaining law and order.

Besides conducting anti-Japanese activities, Force 136 was also involved in laying the groundwork for a planned Allied invasion of Malaya. However, the surrender of the Japanese after the bombing of the two Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki meant that the invasion never took place. Force 136 later assisted in the search and recovery of former Japanese prisoners-of-war (POWs) scattered about in prison camps. They also served to accept the surrender of Japanese units and helped maintain public order until a civilian government could be restored.

Daniel Goh