Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Memorial for Japanese Invader: Gen-Y narcissism or Silent Gen coming out?

Could also be indifference or coercion.

The launching of the Japanese Soldier Memorial, which was dubbed as Tugu Wira Jepun, with all the formalities of having the presence of the Japanese Ambassador and group photo with the Malaysian and Japanese flag together was disturbing.

The instant public outcry can only be expected. The generation that experience the Japanese Occupation may be fading out, but the painful memories to both Kedahan Malays and Chinese remain. To the original inhabitant Kedahan Malays, the Japanese was another set of foreigner that came to invade and colonise the state, tormented the local virgins, and confiscated their rice supply.

The Kedahan Chinese, though not citizen of neither Malay nor Malaysia then, they were killed, tortured,  and treated as Sino-Japanese War enemy by the Japanese. Coverage by media owned by Tun Dr Mahathir's crony reflect the Chinese sensitivity.

Realising this monumental blunder, the state ex-officio that was present, the Kedah state assemblymen and Chairman of Kedah Tourism Committee, Mohd Asmirul Anuar  made a quick denial.

Asmirul overlook or indifference?

Asmirul justified his presence with reasons - no state funding but Japanese, invited to only officiate and pleaded ignorance. And, he tried to push it aside as merely a technical error and politicising an issue.

It was a grave fundamental mistake and overlook. If the Japanese invaders are glorified, would it not mean communist terrorist tormenting both Malays and Chinese rural folks be glorified also?

Locals are aware of the existence of the old memorial and no reaction to destroy it after World War II, but to officiate the beautified memorial with signboard clearly glorifying these invaders are acts considered insensitive and treason. The signboard have been duly brought down.

It did not held back criticism against the state. An UMNO activist, accused PH of trying to change history and put the memory of the 11,000 askar Melayu that died in the backburner of history. Ah...its BEBASnewe.my quoting an UMNO leader.   

PH supporter, The Patriot led by Brig General (R) Arshad Raji did not mince their word to accuse the act as treasonous

But to blame it on Dato Najib for allowing the memorial to still exist during his administration is a plain shallow political argument. He neither beautify nor officially acknowledge them as "wira" (war hero) as PH state government official did.

The excuses given by this young Gen Y assemblyman are arguably indefensible. Asmirul may have the trait of Gen Y to be either narcissist or open minded to be indifferent of established understanding of history and cultural norms.

As Gen Y politician, Asmirul is definitely reckless or plainly just couldn't care less.

Asmirul recklessly is now caught trying to create a resume larger than what he is for GE14. anyone heard of an MIA certified Chartered Accountant?

Maybe there is some bad omen with the chairmanship he is holding.

Similar act have been heard of his predecessor, Dato Rawi, who is the former assemblyman for Air Hangat, Langkawi and few months ago, crossed over to PPBM over some unjustified reasons but fear of being investigated for past wrongdoings.

Rawi had blindly without checking and finding out more launched the same tourist event several times.

Pak Wan

However, what can be made out of the presence of renown local historian 87-year old Dato Dr Wan Shamsuddin Wan Yusof?

Pak Wan is the frail looking old man dressed in reddish-orange batik shirt and black songkok. Is he comfortable of according hero status to the invaders of his home state and country? Like Asmirul, is he unaware or indifferent to the significance of a state official to give a formal opening to the memorial?

Pak Wan belongs to the Silent Generation that was born between 1920 to 1940, the period surrounding the two World Wars that shaped the world of today, before the advent of Information Technology.

This generation underwent the hardship of war and the painful process to witness and experience the post-war poverty. The American defined Silent Generation was meant as the generation that focus on their life and career over activism due to fear of speaking out through out the McCarthy era.

There are local historians that attributed the Japanese Occupation for opening the eyes and minds of Malays to the idea of independence. They saw what the Japanese did to the British POW and made them realise the Orang Putih can be defeated too.

Maybe, it is Pak Wan coming out from his decades of silence and at the twilight of his life to acknowledge the Japanese.

The Silent Generation is notably characterised for "upholding their values; they exhibit a strong loyalty to their personal beliefs and possess a strong work ethic." It could be Pak Wan's loyalty to his generation that is leading the country.

It is a possibility that he is not aware of the significance of the event and probably reaching age of senility. And, it is not a remote possibility that he was being coerce to attend.


The Japanese are usually sensitive especially after last year's uproar over the launched of Fukushima's Memorial of Hope that depicted children in radiation suit.

The public perception is that the event was imposed on the Japanese and the Kedahan Prime Minister was willing to stoop low to ensure Malaysia get to borrow more Samurai Bond. A simple ceremony officiated by the Japanese official and merely witnessed by local official with gesture and symbolism of regret and friendship from the Japanese would have been sufficient.

Come to think of it, it was Mahathir who wrote Japanese should stop apologising for their past. The widely travelled old man can sometime be thinking within a coconut shell. He could have demanded for war repatriation from Japan.

Mahathir could only create the perception of being loud and vocal on international issue, but his effort achieved nothing. He did nothing significantly effective and beneficial to Malaysia. The late Tun Abdul Razak and former PM Najib brought more investments into Malaysia from their foreign visits than both Mahathir and Rafidah could.

It could be the reasons for his cruelty towards the family of his mentor.


As for denial from Federal Tourism Minister, Mohammadin Ketapi, it is laughable of the ROTFL kind.

There can only be one and only reason. It is not generational or occupational. He just had enough of  public scrutiny from controversies of past family overseas trip.

1 comment:

Prince Righty 1 said...

Kadang2 terfikir kalau Tun M lebih layak jadi penasihat Hubungan Antarabangsa daripada jadi perdana menteri. Dia dipandang mulia di persada dunia (tapi bukan pemimpin2 dunia agaknya 😬) tapi orang luar tak tahu perangai dia di negara sendiri macam mana.

Mengutip kata Ayahanda Rani Kulup- agaknya orang Jepun nak ke anggap Amerika Syarikat tu hero? 😂

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