Saturday, November 16, 2013

Looking Back With Pa - WW2

Early Penang -from "500 postcards" by Cheah Jin Seng

There was once a canal running alongside Prangin Road, right through the heart of Georgetown, Penang in the early 1900s.

Those days, the major form of transport for goods to and from ships in the harbor was by bullock cart.  And one of the favorite places for parking those carts during off days was along the bank of the canal after they unhitched the bullocks.  The bullocks, the coolies led home and kept in their barns.

Of course nobody wants to steal a heavy two-wheel-cart without a bullock.  Imagine stealing a truck without an engine.

When the Japanese Zeros flew in for their initial bombing raids early Monday morning of 15th December 1941, in the dim light what they saw were rows of anti-aircraft guns all lined up idly by the canal and other places along Weld Quay.  They quickly swooped in and unloaded their bombs on every location they could find.  The pilots probably congratulated themselves after having done another Pearl Harbor, neutralizing any form of resistance so that they can carry out more air raids on Penang.

Small wonder that they overran the whole country within 2 months.

OK, the date that it actually happened, I added in myself just to make it historically accurate, but whether the story is true is another matter.  It was a humorous tale that Pa loved to trade with whoever, or whenever stories about the Japanese occupation of Malaya came up.

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