This is a recount from Mr Tan Hwee Hock about the Japanese Occupation and how has it impacted his life back then. Mr Tan talked about what were the procedures that the locals had to abide by during the Japanese Occupation, and what would happen if one were to defy the Japanese at that time. He also mentioned how his family had to value what they had as food was very scarce at that time. They learnt how to be frugal, such as having the mindset that every grain is precious. The source shows me that the locals learnt to adapt to their harsh living conditions and had to be wise by not wasting food in order for them not to starve to death.
This source is about how the people and teenagers had to start participating in black market activity during the Japanese Occupation by selling food items in order to earn more money for food. Some teenagers had to even start working for the first time due to food scarcity. The source tells me that the Japanese did not provide enough food and jobs for the people, causing the people to unhappy and turn to the black market for food and income.
This is an oral history interview with Mr Joseph Seah, where he talks about what were the living conditions like during the Japanese Occupation, recreation in those days, general restraint during festivities and his first occupation at a Japanese Broadcasting Station. Mr Seah mentioned that he started to take on a job in order to support his mother in the duty of taking care of the family. As he was the eldest of his 8 other siblings, it only made sense for him to start work to provide sufficient income and food for his family. The two older brothers after Mr Seah also helped out by buying and selling items on the black market later on. The source tells me that food was very scarce and precious at that point of time, as just like Mr Seah, many other teenagers had to take on jobs in order to gain more income to buy food. It was what they had to do in order to survive the Japanese Occupation. [ Reel 5 pg 9 - 10 ]
This source is an oral history interview with Mr Aziz bin Rahim Khan Surattee, where he talks about how he was forced into labour by the Japanese when he was a teenager, and what were the living and working conditions like for him during that point of time. Mr Aziz described that when he was at Geylang, some Japanese forced him to enter a truck, where he was sent off to dig up holes and build a pig sty with little rest and food provided. A few days after he was released, Mr Aziz apparently caught malaria. This shows that the working conditions at that time may not be ideal to some as infections and diseases can be easily spread around possibly due to poor sanitation. Mr Aziz also said that he was slapped by a Japanese officer at his first job for giving a British prisoner a cigarette to smoke. At his second job, Mr Aziz also mentioned that he received little pay and food was very scarce at that point of time, so the people had to be efficient by turning everything possible into sources of food, such as going to the extreme lenghts of picking up vegetables found in the dirty drain and cooking them for consumption. This souce tells me that people suffered during the Japanese Operation mainly due to the horrible working and living conditions present. [ Reel 1 pg 8 - 9 ]