"One assignment that i did based on what i read in the books and internet articles, and i summarized it for easy understanding.. Hopefully.. BTW, does anybody read this kind of issue anymore? because i still read it... :)"
Japanese Army invaded Malaya in Kota Bharu on December 8, 1941. Japanese forces had successfully conquering the airspace throughout Malaya and Singapore within less than two and a half months. The Japanese Occupation in Malaya began on February 15, 1942 and during the Japanese occupation for three and a half years, various policies have been implemented to strengthen their position. All policies have a huge impact on social, political and economic life of Malaya. The People were in sufferings and depressed by the Japanese government policy.
Social effects of Japanese occupation in Malaya led to more distant relationship between the races. Japanese military gave a different treatment according to race where the Malays and Indians were treated well by the Japanese, and Chinese treated unfairly. The Malays have been appointed as the Japanese “Kempeitai” assigned to catch the Chinese. This increased the hatred among the Chinese against the Malays resulting thicker inter-ethnic hostility between the Malays and Chinese. Hence, the Chinese sought shelter in the woods to avoid Japanese military threat.
Japan has adopted its culture in the local community, especially the Malays. In this regard, Japan has expanded the use of Japanese language in Malaya hence; the medium of instruction in schools was changed from English to Japanese language. In the area of administration, the use of Japanese language has created vast opportunities for promotion and salary to those who mastered the language. To achieve its objective, the government has organized short courses for Japanese language. In addition, the adoption of Japanese culture has been carried out to the whole community, for example, public holidays during the festive seasons in Japan were declared. Japanese government has also banned the use of Chinese language and the implementation of Chinese schools in Malaya.
Other than that, vast changes were made to the school system in Malaya where Japanese Education Policy has been fully implemented. Pupils were required to sing Japan national anthem, Kamigayo, every morning and respect the Japanese flag so the people of Malaya will honor the emperor of Japan. Among the subjects that were made compulsory were the songs and music from Japan.
In addition, the Japanese occupation has had a serious effect on the health status of people in Malaya. Diseases such as malaria, beriberi and cholera spread widely throughout the peninsular. Limited food resources and lack of nutritious food, such as cassava and sweet potatoes have worsened the health of the population. Furthermore, death rates from malnutrition have increased sharply among the people of Malaya. Japanese forces had seized the food supplies and medicines to be used by the soldiers when the supply of medicines was not supplied to the clinics, while doctors and nurses were sent to the camp prisoners.
The Malayan economy has had a serious impact during the occupation. Destruction of economic resources, especially rubber plantations and tin mines has occurred badly. The British Army has destroyed the rubber plantations and tin mines before leaving Malaya. All mining equipment, such as ship matches have been destroyed under the policy of 'scorched earth'. The workers were leaving the plantations and mines to save themselves. Malaya was entirely dependent on exports have been adversely affected. For example in 1941, tin was 79 000 tons has declined to 3000 tons in 1945. In fact, transport and communication systems were destroyed. Japanese military did not restore the destruction of infrastructure in Malaya and this has worsened Malayan economy.
In addition, inflation has occurred in Malaya where contributed by the lack of essential goods in the market, particularly food. The Japanese issued printed “Banana-trees” money without control and this has led to the falling value of the currency. Prices of essentials have increased several-fold. For example, the price of rice (500 grams) in 1941, has soared to $ 120.00 in August 1945. Rice is also difficult to be imported from Burma and Thailand because Japan has imposed restrictions on international trade. Japan has implemented a local-controlled economy to burden the people and that has become part of the causes of corruption, hoarding and black market goods amongst the people.
In a way, the occupation has created various new emerging industries in Malaya to cater the shortage of goods. For example, the fuel consumption of the latex, the creation of the tire without a tube of solid rubber, thread and paper from pineapple leaves of bamboo, rubber leaves and weeds. In addition, traditional enterprises have expanded rapidly as oil from coconut, palm sugar and tobacco leaves.
The effect on the economy at that time has created political awareness among the people especially the Malays to heighten the patriotism spirit amongst the Malays in achieving independence from the Japanese and British. Malays were aspired to rule the country based on the experience in the administrative work during Japanese rule in Malaya. Furthermore, tendency of anti-colonial was growing among the Malays as well as the conflict between Malay and Chinese at that time. The conflict was propagandized by the Japanese when they instilled Nationalism spirit amongst the Malays and as a result, the Chinese and Indians did the same as well amongst them. Thus, this has widened the gap between Malays, Chinese and Indians and created racial tension which further complicated the process of national unity.
In a nutshell, the Japanese occupation in Malaya has left a profound effect on social, political and economic life of the people of Malaya. Japanese occupation in the country ended when Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945.