35 mass grave sites were discovered all over Singapore in 1960, the graves of 25000 – 50000 Chinese males who were systematically murdered by the Japanese, engineered by Colonel Masanobu Tsuji (author of The Fall of Singapore), in what is historically known as the Sook Ching Massacre.
There were 250,000 Chinese population in Singapore at the time of British surrender in Feb 1942. They didn’t run away, including the rich Chinese business families, believing the British’s word that Singapore is an impregnable fortress just like they boasted about their two warships Prince of Wales and Repulse undefeatable.
35 mass graves and 50000 Chinese massacred. It took only 5 days for the Japanese to do that with bullets. It took 4 years for Singapore government to stop construction works at all sites where the mass graves were found to relocate the remains of the dead to what is now known as Sook Ching War Memorial.
In a gathering after the completion of the Sook Ching War Memorial, the victims’ families had only this to say, “We can forgive but we cannot forget”. How can they forget, they have 50000 skeletons buried under the memorial to not to remember, and every year they have a day to remember the dead. But yet they can forgive. And Masanobu Tsuji was never convicted, not as the butcher of Sook Ming and not as a war criminal. The massacre was executed by the Japanese Kempetei under direct supervision by Masanobu Tsuji at the time when Yamashita was in Indonesia launching his invasion campaign.
To say Yamashita was responsible for the massacre, yes Yamashita was convicted for all atrocities in Malaya and Indonesia and hanged to death after a trial that proved him guilty as a war criminal on the charge of crime against humanity. Yamashita was tried by a tribunal according to the Geneva Convention.
What is the moral of this story and what has it to do with Chin Peng? The Chinese has suffered more than us to forgive the Japanese. If for whatever reason we have all the reasons in the world to not to forget Chin Peng, have we any reason to not to forgive him?