Prewar, Malaysia was a British colony known as the "Malayan States" or "Malaya". Today, Malaysia is divided into two regions: Peninsular Malaysia on the Malayan Peninsula and East Malaysia (Malaysian Borneo) on the northwest portion of Borneo with thirteen states and three federal territories. Borders Singapore Island to the south, Thailand to the north and the South China Sea to the east. Borders Thailand to the north and the South China Sea to the east. Located off the southern tip of the Malayan Peninsula is Singapore Island. To the west of the Malayan Peninsula is Penang Island.
Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia)
Federal Territories includes the capital city Kuala Lumpur
Negeri Sembilan located on the western coast of the Malayan Peninsula.
Pahang located on the western coast of Malayan Peninsula.
Penang (Pulau Pinang) includes Penang Island off the western coast of the Malay Peninsula.
Johor (Johore) located at the center of the Malayan Peninsula.
Kelantan located on the eastern coast of the Malayan Peninsula includes Kota Bharu.
Perak located on the western centeral side of the Malayan Peninsula, includes Lenggong.
Kedah located on the western centeral side of the Malayan Peninsula, includes Sungei Patani and Alor Setar.
Selangor located on the western centeral side of the Malayan Peninsula.
Malaysia Borneo (East Malaysia)
Sarawak State located on the northern coast of Borneo includes Kuching, Miri and Bintulu.
Sabah State located on the northeastern coast of Borneo includes Kudat, Jesselton, Labuan Island.
On December 8, 1941 after 12:25am (local time) Japanese forces landed at Kota Bharu. In retaliation, the British battlefiled 'Z Force' commanded by Rear Admiral Sir Tomas Phillips battleship HMS Prince of Whales and battle cruiser HMS Repulse with four Destroyers set out from Singapore to attack the Japanese expected to land on Maaysia. Sited the next day by Japanese submarine I-65. 'Z Force' made an aborted attempt to thward a report of a Japanese landing at Kuantan that proved to be false. Land based Navy bombers from the Genzan Kokutai (24 G3M), Mihoro Kokutai (33 G3M) and Kanoya Kokutai (26 G4M1 with torpedos) all took off from Saigon.
By December 9 1941, with an additional
reinforcement troops, the Japanese moved into Kota Bharu town after
occupying the Pengkalan Chepa airport a day earlier. The British continued
their withdrawal to Kuala Krai and then to Terengganu. By 22 December
1941, the Japanese completely occupied Kelantan. Although Japanese attacked
Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on 7 December 1941, due to the time difference,
the Japanese actually attacked Kota Bharu one and a half hours earlier.
Life was tough during the Japanese occupation.
Besides a scarcity of necessities of life, there emerged the black
markets to supply the necessities in limited quantities at unlimited
prices. The currency notes issued by Japanese became worthless due
to escalating rate of inflation. The notes became popular known as "banana money" because
of the banana tree on the ten cent note.
During July 1943, Japanese
Prime Minister Hikeki Tojo announced that the Northern Malay States
Comprising Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis to be surrendered
to Thailand. This was part of the agreement sighed between the
Japanese and the Thai Government at the end of December 1941. From
18 October 1943, Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis were under
the administration by the Thai.
After the British arrived in Malaya
in 1945, they blasted away memorial stones that have been put by
Japanese to remember the falling comrades in Kampar.
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February 19, 2018