第二次世界大战,日本侵略新加坡时期死难人民纪念碑
MEMORIAL TO THE CIVILIAN VICTIMS OF THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION

日本占领时期死难人民纪念碑於一九六七年二月十五日上午十时三十分,在新加坡总理李光耀先生主持下宣布落成揭幕,从兹散布四野荒郊,含冤二十余载之忠贞义烈 遗骸安葬有地,灵碑矗立,为无数万千在日本军国主义的侵略下惨受牺牲之无辜同胞永誌纪念,使人间浩气长存,炳昭日月,永垂后人瞻仰,凭吊。

揭幕仪式简单隆重,警察铜乐队奏出哀乐,益增肃穆气氛,各国驻新加坡外交使节,包括日本驻新加坡大使均到场观礼。此外,各社团代表,各学校校长,死难者家属,各民族领袖,行动委员,建碑募捐委员,数逾千人 ,亦齐为忠灵默祷安息。

仪式举行时,天气虽晴未雨而阴霾四布,时有远处雷声传来,以为上苍亦对屈死之忠灵唁吊,死难者家属席内有饮泣悲嚎之声随风飘送,尤令人感觉阵阵心酸,而家属们心如铅重的缄默面容更使悲感的心情溢於言表,园圃内遍竖由社团或家属致送的花圈瓣瓣心香,共祈死者安息。

各宗教联合会派出长老,高僧,牧师,神父,分别以回教,佛教,基督教,印度教,犹太教,锡克教,祆教,为英灵诵经祈祷安息,李光耀总理亦代表政府及全新加坡 人民向纪念碑献以素白鲜花绕成的花圈,随领导全场人士为死难英灵默念三分钟致哀,警察铜乐队哀乐再度奏起,这个历史性的日本占领时期死难人民纪念碑揭幕典 礼於焉完成。

仪式过后,李总理,各国外交使节,在工作委员会委员引导下,绕观纪念碑一匝【zā】

李光耀总理致词
李光耀总理在主持纪念碑落成仪式上致词:
今天早上我们集合在这里,纪念二十五年前新加坡在日本军国主义之下沦陷,同时为这座日本占领时期死难人民纪念碑举行落成典礼。我们集合在这里,并不是要撩起旧日的仇恨火焰,也不是为了清算血债。我们是要悼念那些在新加坡的一场历史大灾难中死难的无辜和无助的男女同胞。

对于那些在二十五年前亲眼看见当时的历史惨剧演变的人士,对于那些当时目睹日本军队怎么样从马来亚“势如破竹”地侵略新加坡的人士,这座纪念碑应该不难提醒他们,当人们对未来的严重事物与发展毫无准备时,什么样可怕的祸患都可能降临!

这个纪念碑也将帮助我们对子孙们追述过去的沉痛经验和教训。

今天我们兴建这座纪念碑,可不是为了要提醒大家可能日本军队会再来侵略我们,因为过去二十五年来,世界上列强的势力与动态已经改观了。

正因为目前世界与东南亚的局势改变了,对我们任何可能来临的新问题,新威胁与新危险,就应该有充分的警惕和戒备。这座纪念碑应该时刻督促我们事事以长远的眼 光厘定国家的政策,保证我们获得更多和更强大的朋友。这座纪念碑也应使我们认定,即使我们不能保证自己永远不被席卷东南亚的灾祸所波及,我们至少也将会对 行将到来的重重考验与苦难有所准备。退一万步来说 ,即使将来东南亚的面貌真有着严重的变动,我们现在若做好一切准备,别人也将无法对我们为所欲为。

这一座纪念碑标志着一种沉痛的经验。这种经验虽然是苦痛惨怖的,但它却应在一个拥有来自不同源流的移民,年青而尚未充分发展起来的社会的建设事业中,起着积极的:催化的作用。

无论是过去的创痕或者未来的命运,我们彼此都有着共同之处。正因为有着这些特殊的因素和条件,人们才能慢慢地意识到整体生存的真意义。

只有今天我们痛定思痛,认真吸取历史的教训,明智而勇敢的巩固我们的将来,过去我们许多死难的同胞才不致於白白地牺牲掉!

孙炳炎主席致词
纪念碑工作委员会主席孙炳炎致词全文如下:
李总理,各位嘉宾:
二十五年前今日,日军占领新加坡。跟着,就藉名“检证”,我平民无辜死难的,不知多少,到如今还无从计算。这是战争历史中惨痛的一页。

事后二十年 - 即一九六二年一月,我们才开始发现死难者的遗骨。本总商会随即成立“日本占领时期死难人民遗骸善后委员会”,以便从事探查,发掘,和迁葬遗骨的工作。接着,我们又联合其他民族,共同组织“死难人民纪念碑募捐委员会”准备筹款建碑的工作。

一九六二年七月,我们就得到政府批准发掘遗骨的申请 ,并得到政府拨出这里面积四英亩半的土地,作为建碑的园地。於是,我们的工作遂得按步实施。

到了一九六五年五月,一切工作已经顺利展开,政府派出代表与本总商会组成“纪念碑工作委员会”,负责设计和实行建筑这座高达二百尺的纪念碑;并於去年十一月一日,将四年多来所发掘,散在全岛各地的六百余罐遗骨,全部移葬於这座纪念碑旁的基台之下。

这全部工作,共费五十多万元。其中,发掘遗骨所费六万余元,是由本总商会董事捐献的。建碑所费约五十万元,是由政府和人民所共同捐赠的。至此,人民长久的愿望,遂得达成,我们感到无限的欣慰。

虽然死难的人数尚无从估计,这座纪念碑之完成,一则以象征新加坡人民对死难者致永恒的悼念;一则以宜示侵略战争之不足为训。冤不宜结,仇必须解。我们今天要 严正指出,今后人类如要生存,国与国之间应互相尊重,特别是大国强国必须尊重小国弱国,战争才得永久消除,我们愿意强调,任何大欺小,强凌弱,众暴寡的行 为,一定难逃历史的裁判与惩罚。

今天,碑成,承李总理亲临主持揭幕典礼,各宗教领袖参加祷拜,以及各位嘉宾热烈光临,本人谨代表纪念碑工作委员会同人一饼致谢。

最后,本人敬祷死难同胞在天之灵安息。

(1967年2月15日)
(资料来自新加坡华总商会)

Message given by late Mr Soon Peng Yam,
President of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce
& Chairman of the Memorial Working Committee on 15 Feb 1967

Souls! Do Rest In Peace!
The towering Memorial to the Civilian Victims of the Japanese Occupation stands aloft on the shore of Singapore facing the limitless expanse of water. On its right are lined with Government offices and the busy business centre, and on its left runs the long Merdeka Bridge. It quietly gazes passing travellers in and out by land, sea and air and acknowledges their respect and mournful sighs at sight.

This Memorial marks the horror of war and shelters thousands of sets of remains. Those who were ruthlessly slaughtered during the dark days of the Japanese Occupation have at last found a permanent resting place under the warm sunlight. May their posterity fight for peace and livelihood with vigour and courage.

The thought of building this Memorial dates back to the beginning of 1962 when large numbers of remains were unearthed in many localities such as Siglap, Changi and Bukit Timah. These remains framed a picture in the minds of the people of the beastly acts of the Japanese militarists. Those who were fortunate to survive the Occupation determined to gather the remains all over the island to find a place to bury them as a token of remembrance.

As in duty bound the Chinese Chamber took up the responsibility entrusted by the people, and set up a Remains Disposal Committee in February, 1962 and a Fund Raising Committee in March the following year to expedite the building of the Memorial. The response from all walks of life of all races was good and the Fund Raising Committee was enlarged to an all races committee. Thanks to the support of the Prime Minister and assistance from other Government departments, this valuable plot of land was set aside for the construction of this Memorial and park so that the work could be carried out smoothly.

Owing to a new development following certain objective views, the Memorial construction plan had to be altered slightly. In order to respect the views of people of various religions, the original idea of cremation of the remains had to be changed to re-burial. Notwithstanding this the work was carried out satisfactorily without a hitch. The significance of this Memorial is to mark Singapore people's anger of aggression and the everlasting grief over the unfortunate victims. This Memorial is not simply built of bricks and cement, but it is in fact a mixture of love and hatred.

The Memorial was completed in January, 1967. On 15th February, the unveiling ceremony was performed by the Prime Minister and attended by government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, religious chiefs, representatives of all races, representatives of organisations and members of the various committees connected with the building of the Memorial. Those who were present at the ceremony including the families of the victims were all gazing at the Memorial with a heavy heart.

The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce has fixed the 15th of February every year for its representatives to lay a wreath to console the spirits of the departed ones. Now that the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce has at last been lifted the heavy responsibility of re-burying the remains of those massacred more than twenty years ago. In order to keep a true record of the work done, the time and energy spent by all those concerned and the donations generously given for the project by members of the public, we have decided to publish this special issue which may be of some value.

The position of Singapore today is different form the past. While condoling the dead with much grief, we perceive that Southeast Asia is overcast with war clouds. Our Republic is in the heart of Southeast Asia and is at the cross roads between east and west. Let us hope that this Memorial which represents unity of all races and symbolizes loyalty, bravery, benevolence and righteousness will serve as a warning to posterity that war is cruel and peace is valuable. Thus calling the people of the world to maintain eternal peace and promote happiness and prosperity.

Events Leading Up To The Building
Of The Memorial To The Civilian Victims
Of The Japanese Occupation
Secretariat, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Singapore

Some time in February, 1962, remains of civilian victims of the Japanese Occupation were first discovered in many places in Singapore such as the 7th milestone Siglap, Changi and the hill behind the Nanyang Girls' High School. As it was unbearable to see that the remains were exposed and scattered about the places, a sub-committee known as the Disposal of Remains Committee was appointed at a meeting of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce Management Committee held on 28th February 1962.

On 13th March, 1963 the Prime Minister set aside a piece of land of 4½ acres in Beach Road for the building of a Memorial and a park. The estimated cost of the construction was three quarters of a million dollars of which the Government would contribute one half on a dollar for dollar basis. A Memorial Building Fund Committee was set up at the Chamber's Management Committee Meeting on 19th March, 1963 and was entrusted with the work of raising funds.

SPHERE OF ACTIVITIES
This Committee expanded its sphere of activities by inviting the Hokkien Huay Kuan, the Kwongtung Wui Koon, the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kwan, the Sam Kiang Huay Kwan and the khek Community Guild to participate. On the suggestion of the Prime Minister, representatives of other races were also invited into the organisation. A mass meeting of representatives of registered organisations of all races was convened on 21st April, 1963 attended by representatives of some 609 organisations, and a sum of about $100,000 was raised on the spot. Further donations amounting to more than $30,000 were received after the mass meeting. An open competition of the designs of the Memorial was held.

On 15th June of the same year the sod-breaking ceremony was performed on the Memorial site. While the Prime Minister was digging the earth, the various religious chiefs chanted prayers in the presence of hundreds of guests. The week-long exhibition of designs for the Memorial was held at the Victoria Memorial Hall with the result Messrs Swan and Maclaren won the first prize.

Owing to the objection by the Muslim and the Catholic communities, and in order to maintain harmony of all races the original idea of cremation of the remains was abandoned. Under the circumstances, the work of construction had to be delayed as the plan for the Memorial had to be amended so as to do away with the under-ground vault intended for the ashes of the remains, and to make other arrangements for storing the remains.

COST OF CONSTRUCTION
In view of the above, the cost of construction would have to be reduced considerably. In November, 1964 the Government agreed to the re-estimated cost of $300,000 of which our Chamber would have to contribute $150,000 on a dollar for dollar basis. To expedite the amendment of the plan so as to call for early tender, our Chamber handed to the Government for save keeping whatever money we had.

In May 1965 shortly after the taking of office of the Chamber's 33rd Term Management Committee, a Memorial Working Committee was set up with Government participation to carry out the construction work. Our Chamber was represented by our President, Mr Soon Peng Yam, Vice-Presidents Mr Lim Kee Ming and Mr C H Tong and Chairman of the General Affairs Sub-committee, Mr Chew Teng How. Representatives from the Government side were one official from each of the following departments:- the Public Works Department, the Ministry of Health and the Prime Minister's Office. Chairman of the Working Committee was Mr Soon Peng Yam and the Honorary Secretary was the representative from the Prime Minister's Office. Numerous meetings were held and many important decisions were made. We are grateful to our Prime Minister's consent for allowing the remains to be buried by the side of the Memorial. In September the new plan was submitted by Messrs Swan & Maclaren who were the winner of the competition. One of the characteristics of the Memorial was its height of 200 feet formed by four tapering columns symbolising the merging of four streams of culture into one which fits in the principle of unity of all races. It is understood that the new plan was designed by Mr Leong Swee Lim of Messrs Swan Maclaren the architects.

NEW DESIGN
After approval by the Prime Minister of the new design, the Working Committee invited tenders for piling and for construction in February and March respectively :- Piling – Messrs Sime Darby Singapore Ltd, and building – Messrs Lim Chin Yok Co., Ltd, when piling work commenced on 4th March, 1966, Mr Soon Peng Yam, our President personally drove down the first pile. The work of construction commenced on 23rd April, 1966.

Because of the necessary additions and extra works done on the Memorial, the cost of construction well exceeded the estimate. Consequently, our Chamber called a meeting of the Memorial Fund Raising Committee to launch another appeal for further donation. Under the enthusiastic support of the people, in a short space of two weeks, an approximate sum of $100,000 was obtained. In November the same year, we managed to raise another sum of over $10,000 through the good efforts of our President Mr Soon Peng Yam, Vice President Mr C.H. Tong, Committee members Mr Soh Koon Teen, Mr Ch'ng Tok Ngam, Mr Lim Seow Lim and Mr Chong Moong Seng. Finally the Lee Foundation very generously donated $7,724.19 to make up the deficit. In commemoration of the Memorial, a Special Issue will be published showing the donors' names, the amounts donated and the statement of account for the whole project. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to our donors.

OPENING CEREMONY
Construction work was finally completed in January, 1967 and the opening ceremony was scheduled to be held on 15th February 1967. There was plenty of rain a few days before the opening day, but on that very day the sky was clear and the weather was fine. It seemed as though the spirits of the victims were giving us all the blessings. The ceremony was simple and solemn. The Prime Minister unveiled the plaque and laid a wreath on behalf of the Government and the people. Speeches were given by the Prime Minister and Mr Soon Peng Yam. Religious rites were conducted by officials of the Inter-Religious Organisation. The 3-minute silence marked the end of the programme. The ceremony was attended by members of the diplomatic corps including the Japanese Ambassador Mr Ueda, representatives of various Chambers of Commerce, organisations, schools, families of the victims, members of the Memorial Working Committee, members of the Memorial Fund Raising Committee, architects and contractors of the Memorial, members of the Remains Disposal Committee and committee members of our Chamber totaling about 1,000 persons.

HANDED TO THE GOVERNMENT
After the opening ceremony, the Memorial was handed to the Government for its control and maintenance. Our Chamber has fixed the 15th of February every year to lay a wreath before the Memorial.

MEMORIAL WORKING COMMITTEE
Soon Peng Yam (Chairman)
Lee Wai Kok (Secretary)
Lionel de Rozario
Patrick E. Taye
Lim Kee Ming
C.H. Tong
Chew Teng How

REMAINS DISPOSAL COMMITTEE
(Appointed on 28-2-1962 at the 32nd Term Committee Meeting)
Ng Aik Huan (Chairman)
Peter Y. Kwok
Sim Khong
Ch'ng Tok Ngam
Leong Kwan On
Lim Eng Peow
Foo Voon Kai
Lam Thian
C.H. Tong
Kang Kek Boo
Foo Chee Fong
Toh Keng Tuan
Ang Eng Ann
Leung Yun Chee
Chew Teng How

After our Chamber's 33rd Term Management Committee was set up,some of the above committee members did not remain in the Management Committee. Hence the Remains Disposal Committee was reorganised in March 1965 as under:-
Chew Teng How (Chairman)
Toh Keng Tuan
Foo Chee Fong
Peter Y. Kwok
Leung Yun Chee
Lim Kee Ming
Lim Eng Peow
Lam Thian
Chng Tok Ngam
Tai Yee Mei
C.H. Tong
Sim Khong
Chong Wee Ling
Kang Kek Boo
Tan Choon Sing

FUND RAISING COMMITTEE
(Appointed at the meeting of 32nd Term Management Committee
of 19th March, 1963 and subsequently enlarged)
Ko Teck Kin (Chairman)
Foo Chee Fong
Lam Thian
Chew Teng How   .
Ling Lee Hua
Chen Yoh Shoo(Representing Sam Kiang Huay Kwan)
Choong Keow Chye (Representing Singapore Kwangtung Hui Kuan)
Yap Pheng Gek
Foo Voon Kai
Lau Loke Ying
Toh Keng Tuan
Kang Kek Boo
Phua Chye Long (Representing Teochew Poit lp Huay Kwan)
Teo Liang Chye (as above)
Teo Hang Sam
Shaw Vee Meng
Lim Eng Peow
Kheng Chin Hock
Yap Ee Chian
Chong Pak Chong (Representing Khek Community Guild)
Chong Sin Chor (as above)
Lam Kian Hoi (as above)
Hwang Cheng Pen (Representing Kiung Chow Hwee Kuan)
Wee Tin Teck (as above)
N.N. Leicester
Chan Tee Seng (Representing Hokkien Huay Kuan)
Chuang Kui Chong (as above)
A.H. Alwie
K.M. Abdul Razak
D.T. Assomull
P.T. Nathan

REORGANISED
In March 1965, the Chamber's 33rd Term Management Committee was set up and some of the committee members retired. Consequently the Fund Raising Committee had to be re-organised as under: -
Soon Peng Yam (Chairman)
Yap Pheng Geck
Lam Thain
Chew Teng How
Ling Lee Hua
Lim Kee Ming
Foo Chee Fong
Lau Loke Ying
Toh Keng Tuan
Kang Kek Boo
C.H. Tong
Shaw Vee Meng
Lim Eng Peow
Kheng Chin Hock
Sim Khong
Tsang Tak Chuen
and the representatives of the above-mentioned organisations and the non-Chinese members.

Article  from SCCCI
(Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Certificate)