PETALING JAYA: Stories of Malaysia’s World War II survivors have been coming in from across the country since R.AGE kicked off The Last Survivors, an online interactive video project.
The project aims to get young Malaysians to explore the country’s WWII history through the eyes of its survivors, in line with the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 22.
While some submissions were from the grandchildren or children of survivors, others were written by the survivors themselves.
For example, John Robson, 84, said he started working when he was nine because of the war. He narrowly escaped execution after a bag of rice went missing at his workplace at the Tapah Road railway station.
“The Japanese captain slapped and kicked me. Then he went to his room and came out with his sword. The lorry driver and I were shivering,” Robson recounted.
“I cried and begged for forgiveness. I peed in my pants! Luckily, the captain believed me because he saw how scared I was and let me go with a warning.”
Another survivor, Lim Chung Bee, 93, was held captive in Japan from 1942 to 1946. His daughter Doreen Lim e-mailed R.AGE.
“He was 17 years old then and he experienced it all as a Japanese prisoner of war working in the copper mines for four years,” said Doreen.
“I’ve found photos of him when he and other British soldiers were captured in Java in 1941.”
R.AGE also produced a mini-documentary series on several WWII survivors.
Ethelin Teo, 85, was featured in episode three. She spoke of how she was almost taken as a comfort woman during the Japanese occupation of Kuantan.
Teo was 13 when the Japanese invaded Kuantan. She recalled how Teluk Cempedak, now a popular beach, was used as a killing field and mass grave.
Watch The Last Survivors and read all the WWII stories contributed by the public at age.com.my.
By Vivienne Wong The Star
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