60 years later ... Parit Tinggi, Kuala Pilah
港 尾 村 - 六 十 年 之 后 （瓜 拉 庇 劳 )
One of the persons qualified to attest the Parit Tinggi Massacre is Mr Soon Kian Seng who is one of the massacre survivors. He lost 9 family members in one day while he was just 7 years old. Over past years he actively participated in meeting and conferences on presenting the truth about the massacre to the world. He also lobbying for compensation from Japan government but without success. He worked as taxi driver at previous Subang International Airport and now at 67, as security guard in Kuala Pilah. He is holder of following titles.
Pro-tem Committee for The Association of the Families of Victims of the Japanese Occupation in the Malaysia Peninsula.
Vice-Chairman (South East Asia)
International Alliance For Preserving the History of WW II in Asia
His story of survival
At age 7, he had a warm family of 11 making living by growing vegetables and farming. On the day of massacre, the village chief entertained the Japanese soldiers with meal and invited everyone to gather in open field upon the request of army chief, under the pretense of giving them "safe residence pass".
He was grouped with his grandmother, the rest of the family dispersed to others groups. When they were lead into another house, many knew what was going to happen and started to cry. The Japanese soldier whom he suspect was recruited from Taiwan, made a cutting gesture with knife, as if hinting what will happen next. He took the sign language and ran under the bed of the house with his grandmother Madam Chai when the soldier was not watching. After the massacre, they ran undetected into a bush from there he watched a Japanese soldier stepped and kicked on a wounded old woman to death.
Mr. Soon and his grandmother hide in the bush until the next morning. The sorrowful grandmother try to wash up besides the well but heard noise of Japanese soldiers approaching, they hurried back to the bush and stay there for another night.
On the third day, Japanese army finally left. A sympathetic man Mr Lee invited them for a meal. Soon was starved but grandmother could not eat due to grieve. On the following day, Soon and his grandmother left Parit Tinggi by foot, on the way she paid a Malay to take Soon on bicycle until reaching relatives at Kuala Pilah on the fifth day.
His grandmother was 65 years old. 9 family members killed were his father, aunt, cousins and sisters.
Massacre site visit - Year 2002
On 16 March 2002, which is 60 years anniversary of the Parit Tinggi massacre, I visited the site with Mr Soon who unselfishly shared his knowledge on the massacre. He knew the survivors at his finger tip, almost remember them by how many stabbing they received from the bayonet of Imperial Japanese Army (IJA).
Information below each photograph is provided by Mr Soon Kian Seng (Soon Jian Chen).
Road leading to Sinpa ( Banana plantation ) where 100 over people were killed a day before the Parit Tinggi massacre. Japanese army told the Parit Tinggi resident that people they killed were "bad guys". They will not kill Parit Tinggi people as they are good ones. On the second day, they massacred the whole village and burnt it down
Mr Soon pointing to where his home once were, before the massacre on 16 Mar 1942
A hole under the bush leading to the well where children and dead bodies were thrown into by Japanese soldiers
Mr Soon and the infamous well. Cement wall was built around it to prevent new villagers from using the well. The well is now deserted and almost hidden. This is the only visible man made "remain" of the village.
Trees at right side of the road used to be a row of shop lots which were burnt completely after the massacre. Just at the right side of the tree is open field where villagers were ordered to assemble before the killing.
The open space in center is where the villagers assembled before leading to near by location for murder, as shown in the next photo.
Location where 400 over civilians, young and old, women and children, even babies, were bayoneted until death. After a round of stabbing, an old woman laid moaning in great pain. A soldier walked over to her, kicked and stepped on her until she die.
Two houses in this area also burnt. Basically the whole village was burnt to rubble and the dead bodies were left under the sun for one year. After a year, a four member team from Kuala Pilah help raised fund, and asked for permission from the Japanese army office to bury them.
Just opposite the road from the assembly field, 200 over villagers were massacred. The skeleton remains were excavated from behind of these Malay houses. The village is present Kampong Parit Tinggi, mostly inhabited by Malays and Chinese.
Note : Above photos carries metadata to show time and date taken.