Was the support of some Indians for the Japanese during WWII 'anti-Singaporean'?

Japanese Gen Kenji Doihara
Inspects Indian National Army in singapore, 1944

I recall, when I was in early primary school (St. Gabriel's), the Chinese teacher begin to speak about Singapore history, and stated, that it was only the Chinese who fought for Singapore whilst the Indians either did nothing or supported the Japanese. I recall how I felt when all the Chinese in class turned to look at me in an accusatory fashion. I just kept quiet.

More than 30 years after, I’m surprised to still come across such views on the internet. Well, I’m not remaining silent any longer even if this offends the sensitivities of the racists and ignorant out there. Here is a byte of a2ed’s response to some insensible remarks on ‘3-in-1 Kopitiam’. It has been expanded slightly for clarity.


Jah Rastafar:

LOL kelings also betray sg but it's never mentioned.

('kelings' is a derogatory term used by the chinese in reference to Indians.  Other such terms are 'mama', 'mappilai'.  The Indians, previously, did not have derogatory terms for the chinese, and if they did criticise the chinese, it would be in terms of what they did or their approach to things.  The Chinese, unlike the Indians, tended to view anything different from their perceived norm - language, customs, etc (unless it was of western/white origins) - as laughable an hence an object of ridicule.)


Actually, since rastafar is too vitamin-deficient to think straight, for the benefit of other readers, the Japanese conflict with the local chinese was not a conflict between the Japs and 'Singapore'.  It was a conflict with the Chinese carried over from the conflict between them in China. If anything, you could say that the actions of some Indians were 'anti-China' in consequence, if not in intent. The Chinese, then, were not standing up for Singapore, they were standing up for themselves.  You'll have to appreciate this period from the colonial context.

 Secondly, it is certainly true that there were quite a few Indians whom supported the Japanese given that they were attempting to evict the British from India with the aid of the Japanese.  Subhas Chandra Bose, a highly prominent Indian nationalist is a case in point.

Singapore was one of the fronts where these colonialism-induced clashes took place.   Chinese and Japanese mutual antagonism was due to their foreign relations, just as was the support of some Indians for the Japanese - though many Indians were in the British Army, and did die fighting the Japanese as well.

There was nothing 'anti-singaporean' about Indian actions when one considers these points. Singapore as a nation as we know it now, did not exist during World War 2. However, it must also be stated that the notion that Indian support for the Japs was 'anti-singaporean' indicates how those who think it view singapore as a Chinese country - including my Chinese teacher in primary school.

One cannot equate support for the Japanese as being anti-singapore, or not supporting the chinese as being anti-singpaore, unless one associated singapore with 'chinese'.  I reiterate that fact, that singapore as a state did not exist at the time.  It was a colonial possession.

That however, is what eventually transpired when Lee Kuan Yew set singapore of a pro-chinese path in 1987.  We can view that action as 'anti-singapore' as that is annexation of a state in favour of one ethnic group, just like the British and Japanese took singapore in favour of their respective states.

Most importantly, what makes Indian support for the Japanese acceptable was the fact that Singapore was then under the British. Thus, the conflict between the Indians and the British in India would quite justify their support for the Japs in Singapore.

Of course, those with the IQ of a dead gnat, such as 'rastafar' et al who post here wouldn't be able to think about these things. And i dare say that they wouldn't have the brass to repeat such statements to my face. These are the true 'keyboard warriors'.

By the way, i wouldn't lodge a police report when it comes to their comments, but i would recommend that they be reported to the SPCA for their rabidity.



  1. Those were good thoughful writings a2ed. However one just wonders why kopitiam with those racist commenters and no one has arrested them or banned it. Could these people be from the ISD, testing the feelings of the population of differing ethnic backgrounds?

  2. Ha ha ha! 'for their rabidity' good shot ed. The SPCA should give them several shots of anti rabbies treatment.


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