Singapore Expats Forum

Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

User avatar
Wd40
Director
Director
Posts: 3936
Joined: Tue, 04 Dec 2012
Location: SIndiapore

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby Wd40 » Sun, 10 May 2015 10:53 pm

ecureilx wrote:
Meaning ?

Am a bit lost there


Don't try to look for any inner or cryptic meaning. It's very straightforward, Singapore was under the British and then the Japanese whereas India was only under the British.

Singapore Eagle is probably implying that Singapore should also celebrate the defeat of Japan because the Japanese were bad to them. But then that would imply that Singapore was fine with the British ruling them. I am yet to see a colony openly acknowledge that they would rather be ruled by someone than be independent.

User avatar
ecureilx
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 9812
Joined: Fri, 20 Aug 2010

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 11 May 2015 1:21 am

Wd40 wrote:Don't try to look for any inner or cryptic meaning. It's very straightforward, Singapore was under the British and then the Japanese whereas India was only under the British.


I asked, because I wanted to dispute it ... and I understood you correctly now !

The British were colonial masters, but the Japanese weren't colonial masters, and the Japanese were not welcome, vs the British .. and after the War, the British were left to run the affairs and until 1959 (??), when Singapore merged with Malaysia. (or my history is a bit rusty, but the British weren't unceremoniously ejected), so per se, Singapore didn't have "TWO" Colonial masters

As for countries that were comfortable being a Colony, Brunei comes to mind, for a start. It was a win-win relationship, remaining a colony which was sort of what I believe influenced Singapore to not demand independence, when the Japanese surrendered

In other words, the Japanese were treated as invaders .. makes sense ?

User avatar
Wd40
Director
Director
Posts: 3936
Joined: Tue, 04 Dec 2012
Location: SIndiapore

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby Wd40 » Mon, 11 May 2015 2:00 am

ecureilx wrote:
Wd40 wrote:Don't try to look for any inner or cryptic meaning. It's very straightforward, Singapore was under the British and then the Japanese whereas India was only under the British.


I asked, because I wanted to dispute it ... and I understood you correctly now !

The British were colonial masters, but the Japanese weren't colonial masters, and the Japanese were not welcome, vs the British .. and after the War, the British were left to run the affairs and until 1959 (??), when Singapore merged with Malaysia. (or my history is a bit rusty, but the British weren't unceremoniously ejected), so per se, Singapore didn't have "TWO" Colonial masters

As for countries that were comfortable being a Colony, Brunei comes to mind, for a start. It was a win-win relationship, remaining a colony which was sort of what I believe influenced Singapore to not demand independence, when the Japanese surrendered

In other words, the Japanese were treated as invaders .. makes sense ?


I understand what you are trying to say. You are talking about how the "people of Singapore" looked at the British v/s Japanese. I am talking about the Republic of Singapore and as a sovereign country, it doesn't differentiate b/w it being occupied by the British v/s the Japanese. Both were colonial masters and hence the VE day is of no importance to it. It probably was for British Singapore, but not for the country in its current state. VE day is a public holiday in Allied Europe, here it is not and it cannot be.

User avatar
ecureilx
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 9812
Joined: Fri, 20 Aug 2010

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 11 May 2015 2:42 am

Wd40 wrote:Both were colonial masters and hence the VE day is of no importance to it.


My contention is only with including Japanese asa Colonial master .. I am pretty sure none of the Singaporean's even dare to think anything close to that, and a lot of old folks who lived through those times have severe scorn for the Japanese .. and have interacted with some of those who were lived through the Japanese occupation (including a friend's grandma who is still bitter about the Japanese, and hates Ayumi Hamasaki just because Ayumi is Japanese .. )

Singapore being not a fan of too many ceremonies, holidays etc, probably downgraded the VE Day to the Memorial Day, and I don't quite agree with the notion that Singapore doesn't care .. or is not bothered about VE Day ..

Every year, on the Sunday closest to Remembrance Day on 11 November, a memorial service is held to pay tribute to those who gave their lives

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby nakatago » Mon, 11 May 2015 7:16 am

As a citizen of a Pacific rim country, I would just like to say that we do remember World War II, although it's more about fighting the Japanese, rather than fighting Nazis.

Growing up, everything I know about the European campaign is sparked by interest from war films rather than stories from my grandparents.

User avatar
ecureilx
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 9812
Joined: Fri, 20 Aug 2010

Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 11 May 2015 7:49 am

nakatago wrote:As a citizen of a Pacific rim country, I would just like to say that we do remember World War II, although it's more about fighting the Japanese, rather than fighting Nazis.


Yep, maybe that sums it up neatly !!

Though, unlike most Asians, Indians did fight in the Eastern front as well as the Western front, having been recruited by the British !

User avatar
PNGMK
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5764
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2013
Location: Sinkapore

Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 11 May 2015 9:05 am

Plenty of Australian's died here in both defending Singapore and as POWs. Many Singaporean's recognize this IME.
IANAL. IANACPA. IANA Teacher.
Arrested? Lawyer Up
International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
School advice? Avoid for profit schools
Tax advice? CPA
Pay me $5k for 100% success filling in PR form!

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby nakatago » Mon, 11 May 2015 10:42 am

PNGMK wrote:Plenty of Australian's died here in both defending Singapore and as POWs. Many Singaporean's recognize this IME.


Just one quibble: OP's observation was about how Singapore doesn't seem to remember VE day. I guess it's unfair to say Singapore doesn't remember WWII.

Hey, it's called "world war" for a reason--it happened all over the world.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby JR8 » Mon, 11 May 2015 10:57 am

Wd40 wrote: VE day is a public holiday in Allied Europe, here it is not and it cannot be.


[JR8 observes:] That's incorrect. re: the UK, VE day was a public holiday on that one day in 1945; it never has been afterwards.The end of the war is not recognised by any public holiday in the UK.

'Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day, VE Day or simply V Day was the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 (7 May in Commonwealth realms) to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces.[1] It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_in_Europe_Day

re: 'Allied Europe'... i.e. apart from the UK
It is a public holiday in Holland, and France, both occupied by the Germans, but not in Poland, Belgium, Norway, Greece, [etc] which were all also occupied.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_holidays_in_the_[insert country of choice]

Most constituents that were part of 'Allied Europe' do not have a public holiday marking VE Day.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby JR8 » Mon, 11 May 2015 11:21 am

Afterthought: Might any point be better made by asking why VJ day isn't a public holiday here?
Maybe, Singapore Eagle, you could look into which countries mark it as a public holiday?



Oops/Edit: I originally wrote, 'Maybe, WD40...' incorrectly thinking it was he that made the original point.
Last edited by JR8 on Mon, 11 May 2015 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

singapore eagle
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun, 30 Jun 2013

Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby singapore eagle » Mon, 11 May 2015 11:42 am

Just to be clear: I wasn't thinking that SIngapore ought to be commemorating VE Day. That's obviously a European thing.

It was more that WWII, as it impacted on Singapore, hardly gets a mention even though thousands died here. This is clearly deliberate.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby JR8 » Mon, 11 May 2015 12:22 pm

singapore eagle wrote:Just to be clear: I wasn't thinking that SIngapore ought to be commemorating VE Day. That's obviously a European thing.
It was more that WWII, as it impacted on Singapore, hardly gets a mention even though thousands died here. This is clearly deliberate.


Ah, I see.
A question might be how many people here have an interest in the history of WW2? And how deep is it's significance to the current State of Singapore?

The history is very much there if you go and look for it. But if you visit somewhere like Fort Canning, i.e. the areas relevant to military history, IME you see very few locals there, it's almost all tourists. Hence you might ask why tourists appear more interested in SGs military history than locals are? [ironic]
Last edited by JR8 on Mon, 11 May 2015 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

User avatar
maneo
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 744
Joined: Sat, 15 Mar 2008
Location: Titik Merah Kecil

Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby maneo » Mon, 11 May 2015 12:27 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:You may also recall that the British had guns pointing seaward, at Labrador Park, to repel the expected Japanese invasion from the south. Only, they came from the north and the British high command refused to turn the guns northward, leaving Singapore a sitting duck for the invading forces. Not much to celebrate, and the image of British 'invincibility' was forever shattered.

That is a myth.

The issue with the guns was not the direction, but rather the type of ammunition available.
The guns were firing on Japanese positions in the north (e.g. Johor, etc.), but they were not very effective because the shells were armour piercing (for ship armour) rather than the high explosive (HE) type that would have been more effective against land based forces.

Percival was arrogant, dismissing the warnings about a land based attack from the north, hence the lack of suitable ammunition. He also ignored the recommendations to fire on the Japanese forces amassing on the other shore, which could have had a real impact on their preparations for crossing.

A final irony is that the Japanese commander later confessed that if the forces in Singapore had held out just a few days longer that the Japanese would have run out of supplies and would have had to withdraw.

It was an extremely tough time for those that lived in Singapore during that time, and in light of what really happened, perhaps unnecessarily so. We'll never really know.
It is something most of that generation would like to forget.
So, please, do forgive them for not wanting to celebrate with you all what happened on the other side of the world 70 years ago.
It was a very painful memory.


Edited to acknowledge the similar post by curiousgeorge earlier.
Last edited by maneo on Mon, 11 May 2015 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ecureilx
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 9812
Joined: Fri, 20 Aug 2010

Re: RE: Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 11 May 2015 12:38 pm

singapore eagle wrote:.
It was more that WWII, as it impacted on Singapore, hardly gets a mention even though thousands died here. This is clearly deliberate.


Errrr...... Did you miss the remembrance in Kranji?

User avatar
maneo
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 744
Joined: Sat, 15 Mar 2008
Location: Titik Merah Kecil

Re: Why doesn't Singapore remember World War II?

Postby maneo » Mon, 11 May 2015 12:39 pm

x9200 wrote:
JR8 wrote:What do they say, something like; 'Understand your past, to better gauge your future'.

Or, Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.

The actual quote is:

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. "

- George Santayana, The Life of Reason (Vol. I), 1905.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest