Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kunming(昆明), the capital of Yunan

I was in Kunming in November 2010, still not able to write something in my blog; just happen to view one of the video in the youtube. It is time to put something on my blog to be fair to Kunming.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Norway and the world

It was a sad day for Norway. A country perceived by the world as peaceful and prosperous country.

The five happiest countries in the world--Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands--are all clustered in the same region, and all enjoy high levels of prosperity. The Scandinavian countries do really well. One theory why is that they have their basic needs taken care of to a higher degree than other countries. Those basic needs explain the relationship between income and well-being.

Yet a violence incident to kill innocent people, a mass killing of terrorist happened in Norway. It was not done by outside terrorist, but a local breed Norwegian. The worst is , the mass killing incident happen in Norway, and the killer killed own people? The fact is hard to swallow.

Extremism killed, and extremism has no border; it is not limited by religion, by nation, by race, by location……whatever form of extremism, it lead to disaster to mankind, either individually or socially. The IT technology and social media facilitate the spread and development of extremism, due to the speed knowledge can be acquired, the speed ideal s can be communicated to masses. The mind is the ultimate breeding place for extremism.

The mental and emotional awareness of the extremism, to younger generation, is weak; coupled with the self centered and egoistic mentality, it nourished social extremism.

The breakdown of family bond and weakening of family value, which led to society with less sense of belonging to family, the basic unit of society. The internet environment is the only guideline for the potential individual, without the reminding and support of the senior family members to upkeep the positive family value.

The social environment that encourage independence and isolation, that lead to indulgence in violence computer games, war games, and negative value, that lead to extremism.

In short, a person is full of loneliness, hatred, negative value, wrong and negative information, helping to cultivate the one way thinking of oneself, that lead to extremism. In short, the person is having no love for himself, no sense of belonging to family unit, no social status, threatening environment(either actual or perceived); mentally he was under extreme impulses and pressure, until a breaking point where violence ignited.

I still remember once I was in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown, having lunch with a backpacker from Norway. While we are sharing on family life, he was very provoked, and suddenly feels uneasy to talk about. This is not a usual response for Malaysian when talking about family. Malaysian will normally talk fondly about family life. The Norwegian friend later told me, when he was young as child, his parents did not take care of him, and he is not prepare to take care of them. He is not going back home for them. At that time, I was thinking may be the parent had divorced, and he was lack of parental care. Until one day I realized that it is the social norm, of working parents, and let the children to be take care by nursery. The children are growing up without the closeness of their parents. The parents are not together with the children, when they are growing up. The grandparents are not around either, there is no closest family members to walk with them and provide them guidance.

Their only teacher is from the internet; war games,violence movies, extremist propaganda and materials; religion fanatic teaching; ultra political thinking; racism; and popular culture from TV and websites are the teachers ......they have freedom to do anything, under their understanding of democracy and freedom for ownself.

The high divorce rate, the dual working parents, the collapse of family unit, the distance of grandparent to the child……the family social value is breaking down in the current social environment.

If the child has no feeling of belonging, feeling of being love; even he has religion, religion without love is nothing, because religion must have love for the fellow man, the mankind. Once the basic value failed, and he found no love in his heart, another opposing force nourish in his heart, a mental cultivation for hate. Despite having religion, he is not getting the fullness of the religion knowledge of God, a desired part of the religion was adopted to support his agenda and perception in his mind. Religion becomes his tool to gain his ideal condition of extremism. He become a religion fanatic, not true religion follower, as no religion will teach negative social value and killing people, except religion fanatic, which has deviated away from the actual teaching.

The breaking down of family value; biased fanatic religion teaching or occult or false religion teaching; the impact of social media and Internet technology with information that cannot be differentiate its truth; the popular culture that impact different value; the computer games to stimulate fanaticism and extremism; ultra political ideals with no compromise for moderation, selfish and egoistic mentality; become the multiple factors that cultivate fanaticism.

When monetary gains become a norm for society; when society become capitalistic without regard to the social needs of less advantage people; when everyone indulged in economic success and participate in social ills, when corruption are norm to a country, when environment are polluted and when the government become arrogant ; when law lost its fairness, when religion talk about killing mankind …. This created social pressure to the young generations who are bought up in the comfort, imparted with information through IT media, truth or false, without control. Their tolerance level or threshold level for acceptance of differences or diversity are low. Their emotion is fragile, unlike their grandfathers in WW2 era; without comfort of love, fanaticism developed....

We need to change the perception; money and comfort did not bring happiness and peace, even an environment within the most happiest country, can cultivate extremism, and developed mass killers or terrorists. The source of inspiration is from the environment surround, and is he happy personally with the environment. Even with a well protected environment, information can now move with the internet technology, to any lonely extremist potential and develop him to a full blood fanatic. With the information advancement of religion fanatic, ultra politic and the freedom to own gun, without interact with the actual terrorist, a lone terrorist can be created...

Have religion terrorism, ultra politic thinking and false democracy and human right advocates, pushing our younger generation to the corner of extremism?.....

we ourselves nourish the social environment for fanaticism. Some country even endorsed religion, political and military extremism…

…..and now society is sick…..where is the moderate people? why the extremists and ultra politic thinking, religion fanatic, false democracy and human right advocates, are influencing the world and affecting our younger generation.....

It is not Norway, it is not only Afghanistan; it can happen in China, in Japan, in India, in America(USA), or even Malaysia, and any country…….

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nanyang Transport Volunteers( 南洋华侨机工) 1937-1945

The history of Nanyang Volunteers or Nanqiao ji gong(南侨机工)was not a familiar history with most of us; but it is part of WW2 history, part of Chinese history, and now historical part of Malaysian Chinese, as well as South East Asian Chinese. Many have forgotten the history, many of young generation have never heard the story, and it is not in our school history textbooks.

Initially I was confused what is the correct name for the Nanyang Volunteers, should it be Nanyang Drivers(南洋司机) or Nanyang mechanics(南侨技工). The report from Dara Singh was talking about mechanics(修理工); some articles are talking about the heavy vehicle drivers(司机). Actually the volunteers included both vehicle drivers and mechanics. Broadly it was volunteer transport workers. Today, the correct name should be Nanyang Volunteers(南侨志愿者), but historically it was Nanyang Oversea Chinese Transport Volunteers(南侨机工), but to be fair to non-Chinese, it was also called Nanyang Transport Volunteers(南洋机工).

In 1939, 3,200 young men from South-East Asia(called Nanyang(南洋) by Chinese), most were from Malaya, left their families and homes voluntarily to travel to China to work as drivers and mechanics during the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945. They left in 15 batches with 9 of 15 batches leaving from Singapore. The volunteers are called Nangiao ji gong(南侨机工)or “overseas Chinese mechanics”.

These 3200 volunteers included Indian, Malay men and four Chinese women. They were responding to China Relief Fund’s call to sustain China’s war materials supply chain during the Sino Japanese War. The China Relief Fund or Nanyang Federation of China Relief Fund(南洋华侨筹赈祖国难民总会), was founded by founded in 1938 by 170 overseas Chinese representatives from the Nanyang region. Their objective was to coordinate regional relief work to support China against Japanese advancement. Mr.Tan Kah Kee was elected as the chairman. The regional headquarter of China Relief Fund was located in Ee Hoe Hean Club, Singapore.

They were known as Nanqiao ji gong or “overseas Chinese mechanics”. But historical records revealed that there were actually Indians and Malays among these volunteers.

These volunteers’ task took them along the Burma Road, a more than 1,453km-long route that began at the rail head town of Lashio in north-east Burma (or Myanmar) and wound its way across mountainous terrain through the province of Yunnan in the south-west corner of China to end at the provincial capital, Kunming.

The Burma Road(滇缅公路)

By the middle of 1938, the Yunnan-Burma Road, laid along segments of that ancient trail, was completed and ready for heavy use. (The Yunnan-Burma Highway and Yunnan Economy During the Periods of Anti-Japanese War by Li Cheng, Journal of Asian Culture and History, Canadian Center of Science and Education, Burma Road(滇缅公路) is a road linking Burma (also called Myanmar) with the southwest of China. Its terminals are Kunming, Yunnan(中国云南省昆明市), and Lashio, Burma(缅甸腊戌). When it was built, Burma was still a British colony.

View Larger Map

When the Japanese began blockading China’s seaboard in 1937 to cut off access to overseas war materials, the Chinese Government turned to this inland route that crossed its border to maintain a tenuous link with the outside world.

The Chinese government officials began the process of shipping military supplies from Irrawaddy River ports to Lashio for transportation into China via the road, they realised there were not enough skilled drivers and mechanics in China to service this overland route.

Malaya and Singapore had an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 skilled workers, according to research done for a documentary film made by a Chinese TV station and museum about the Nanqiao ji gong.

So in February 1939, a recruitment drive began in Singapore that called for drivers and mechanics aged between 20 to 40 years old to come to China’s aid. The drive was held under the aegis of the China Relief Fund that had initially been formed to raise funds from overseas Chinese to aid China during the Sino-Japanese War.

The response to the call was astonishing: within a matter of months more than 3,000 men – and not all of them Chinese either – from this part of the world volunteered, eventually joining tens of thousands of mainland Chinese in plying the 1,453km Yunnan-Burma Road(滇缅公路), China’s only link with the outside world after 1941.

According to the researchers, upon arriving in Kunming, the Nanqiao ji gong were sorted into Overseas Transportation Teams and given additional training.

It was these men’s job to ferry fuel, weapons, ammunition and soldiers to various parts of China. In return, the Chinese Government provided food, accommodation and medical support and a monthly salary of between 69 and 74 yuan, which was quite low compared to wages for such jobs in Malaya and Singapore at that time.

The route traveled over two mountain ranges, crossing three rivers and countless gorges over more than 400 bridges; it ran along the edges of cliffs and slopes and there were long stretches with sharp and precarious bends, as the road rose from about 600m to over 2,000m above sea level along its length. And then there were mosquito-infested jungles where deadly malaria was rampant.

Burma Road drivers ferried SOE and Force 136 operatives on their missions. Tan said: “We had a saying that if a truck flipped over on the highway on the first day of the month, it would reach the bottom only on the 15th. It was a very dangerous road. It was not paved and not wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other. The drivers needed to have very good skills.

The reality was that by the time the war ended in 1945, about one-third of these volunteers had given their lives in the line of duty; some remained in China to find a living and got married and settled there. Only about 1,200 eventually returned to South-East Asia

According to Yunnan Province archives, records of the second brigade of Overseas Transportation Teams dated June 30, 1941, showed there were 97 non-Chinese mechanics – among them 55 Indians, 18 Malays, 11 Burmese and two Indonesians.

Half of them died during service and the remaining ones either settled in China or return to Nanyang after the war.

走遍中国-再会吧,南洋--南洋华侨机工 Part 1 of 3

走遍中国-再会吧,南洋--南洋华侨机工 Part 2 of 3

走遍中国-再会吧,南洋--南洋华侨机工 Part 3 of 3

One of the non-Chinese volunteer, Dara Singh wrote on his experience as Malayan Mechanic Volunteer in the Strait Times, dated 26-7-1939.

MALAYAN VOLUNTEERS IN CHINA Taiping Man On Dangers And Thrills Of Supply Routes (Taiping, July 24, 1939). THRILLS and danger that go hand-in-hand in the daily life of Malayan mechanics who are now doing service in war torn China are described in a letter from Dara Singh(The Straits Times, 26 July 1939, Page 16)

In 1946, after the end of the world war 2, the local Chinese in Penang built a monument in memory of civilians and Nanyang Transport Volunteers who lost their lives during WW2, it is commonly known as Penang Chinese Anti-War Memorial. The actual full name of the memorial is Penang Chinese War Memorial for the Nanyang Transport Volunteers and the victims of the world war(槟榔屿华侨抗战殉职机工罹难同胞纪念碑). The monument is located at the foot of Penang Hill, Penang, Malaysia(槟城升旗山). It was reported that there is another at Kuala Lumpur Kwang Tung Cemetery(吉隆坡的广东义山亭).

On 7 July 1989, the Yunan government constructed a monument,"赤子功勋", in memory of Nanyang Transport Volunteers at Kunming, the capital of Yunan Province.(昆明市的西山森林公园建有“南洋华侨机工抗日纪念碑).

There is another memorial monument at Wanding(畹町), Ruili(瑞丽市),opened on 12-12-2005.(云南瑞丽市畹町经济开发区南洋华侨机工抗战纪念碑).Ruili is a border town with Burma, Wanding Border Economic Cooperation Zone (WTBECZ) is a Chinese State Council-approved Industrial Park based in Wanding Town, Ruili City, Dehong Prefecture, Yunnan, China, founded in 1992. Wanding Bridge(畹町桥)is the bridge at the border between Burma and China, where the Nanyang Transport Volunteers crew had pass through.

The Journey to Burma Road in remembrance of the Nanyang Volunteers

Initiated by the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and organized by Malayan Second World War History Society(滇缅公路马来亚二战历史研究会), and Persatuan Hope Negeri Johor, (柔佛河婆同乡会青年团), a group of history enthusiasts commemorated Nanyang Volunteers with a journey from Singapore to Kunming.

Their starting point was the Ee Hoe Hean Club,(怡和轩)in Singapore Chinatown,since Ee Hoe Hean was the headquarters of China Relief Fund and the send-off location for many batches of Nanyang Volunteers.

Nanyang Federation of China Relief Fund(南洋华侨筹赈祖国难民总会) was formed in 1938, when 170 overseas Chinese representatives from the region met to establish a regional body to co ordinate regional relief work to support China against Japanese advancement. These delegates founded the Nanyang Federation of China Relief Fund(南洋华侨筹赈祖国难民总会)and elected Mr. Tan Kah Kee(陈嘉庚)as the chairman. The regional headquarter of China Relief Fund was located in Ee Hoe Hean Club, Singapore.

Suggested readings/websites:

1. MALAYAN VOLUNTEERS IN CHINA , The Straits Times, 26 July 1939, Page 16( This was the report of one of the non Chinese volunteer, Dara Singh from Taiping)
2. Flying Tigers,
3. Heroic contributions of the Nanqiao ji gong; The Star, dated August 8, 2010;

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Seediq People(賽德克族), Taiwan

Taiwan People

Taiwan's population was estimated in 2011 at 23.2 million, most of whom are on the island of Taiwan. About 98% of the population is of Han Chinese ethnicity. Of these, 86% are descendants of early Han Chinese immigrants known as the "benshengren" (本省人;literally "home-province person") in Chinese. This group is often referred to "native Taiwanese" in English while the Taiwanese aborigines are also considered as "native Taiwanese" frequently. The benshengren group contains two subgroups: the Hoklo people (70% of the total population), whose ancestors migrated from the coastal Southern Fujian (Min-nan) region in the southeast of mainland China starting in the 17th century; and the Hakka (15% of the total population), whose ancestors originally migrated south to Guangdong, its surrounding areas and Taiwan. Some of the benshengren do not often speak Mandarin, but instead use their mother tongues such as Taiwanese or Hakka.

12% of population are known as waishengren (外省人; literally "out-of-province person"), composed of people who (or whose ancestors) emigrated from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War with the KMT government. Most Waishengren speak primarily Mandarin.

The other 2% of Taiwan's population, numbering about 458,000, are listed as the Taiwanese aborigines, divided into 13 major groups: Ami, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Rukai, Puyuma, Tsou, Saisiyat, Tao (Yami), Thao, Kavalan, Truku and Sakizaya.

The ROC government officially recognizes fourteen aborigine tribes (原住民; literally "original inhabitants"). These are: Ami, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Puyuma, Rukai, Tsou, Saisiyat, Tao (Yami), Thao, Kavalan, Truku, Seediq, and Sakizaya. The Thao, Kavalan, Truku, Sakiazya, and Seediq tribes were recognized much later in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, and 2008 respectively by the ROC government. There are at least another dozen tribes that are not recognized by the government.

Seediq People(賽德克族)

The Seediq (sometimes Sediq, Seejiq, or Seediq, 賽德克族) are a Taiwanese aboriginal people who live primarily in Nantou County and Hualien County. Their language is also known as Seediq. They were officially recognised as Taiwan's 14th indigenous group on 23 April 2008. Previously, Seediq, along with the closely-related Truku people, were classified as Atayal(泰雅族).

During the 50 years of Japanese colonial rule (1895–1945), The Seedig were called takasago-zoku(高砂族), originally living at Nantou area. The Japanese classification region included three dialects groups;

1. Seejiq Truku(德路固)
2. Seediq Tkedaya or Tgdaya(德固達雅)
3. Sediq Teuda or Toda(都達)

Some of the Seediq people later moved to Hualian area, and slowly developed their own distinctive culture and language. They are now recognized as an independent separate tribal group called Taroko or Truku(太魯閣族, 德魯固).

Today, it was reported that 6,606 Seedig people still around in Taiwan. Truku people however has 25,857 people, higher than the Seediq people.

"Wùshè Incident"(霧社事件)

The "Wùshè Incident" (霧社事件) was the biggest and the last rebellion against Japanese colonial forces in Taiwan, resulting in a massacre of both Japanese people and Seediq tribespeople in 1930.

The cause of the rebellion is attributed to Japanese policy toward Taiwanese natives. In Japanese policy, Taiwanese tribal natives were classified as "aboriginal", and a separate lower class in comparison to the Komin (imperial citizens). Forced resettlement, oppression of tribal practices as well as forced labour and exploitation by Japanese police forces caused a large amount of hostility towards the Japanese, particularly their police forces, from the native tribes.

A prelude to the incident began on October 7, 1930. A police officer named Katsuhiko Yoshimura was on patrol, and came to oversee the tribal wedding ceremony of the Seediq Chief Rudao Bai's grandson. The groom of the ceremony offered a traditional glass of wine to the officer, who refused, citing that he would not take it from "hands soiled with the blood of animals". The groom pulled him aside, and insisted that he take part, lest insulting him. According to the testimony of the officer, "in an attempt to free myself from those unhygienic hands", he "accidentally" hit the groom twice with a stick. A fight quickly broke out, resulting in the wounding of the officer.

The groom attempted to make amends the next morning, but the officer refused a gift of wine. Very quickly, relations between the Seediq and the Japanese broke down.

Before the dawn of October 27, 1930, the Seediq Chief Rudao Bai had assembled a group of 1200 tribal members, and assaulted an athletic festival held in Wushe (Musyaji) Primary School near Puli, Nantou and attended by many Japanese. 134 Japanese men, women, and children, and two Taiwanese were killed. 215 Japanese nationals were injured. Further raids were conducted on police outposts, postal stations and other colonial offices to acquire firearms and ammunition for a revolution.

Japanese retaliation was swift. Police, as well as military forces, deployed a modern military arsenal and used rival Seediq tribes to root out rebel Seediq. Tear gas was extensively used and in mid November the Japanese started using poison gas canisters dropped from aircraft on the lightly armed Seediq. On December 1, 1930, Chief Rudao Bai committed suicide. The uprising continued for another three weeks, lasting a total of 50 days.

According to Japanese record, 700 Seediq were killed or committed suicide, and 500 surrendered. A further massacre occurred, as surrendered Seediq were killed by rival tribes who fought on the Japanese side, despite the surrendered forces widely considered to be under the protection of the Japanese police force. About 200 were said to be killed. The remaining rebel survivors were relocated to small reservations and forced to live under strict supervision by the police.

(source: wikipedia)

Mona Rudao(莫那魯道)(b 1882 -d 1930)

Mona Rudao, or Rudao Bai (1882 – 1930) was the son of a chief of the Seediq tribe of Taiwanese aborigines. In 1911, he made a visit to Japan. He succeeded his father as a chief of the village of Mahebo and became one of the most influential chiefs of the area of Wushe(霧社).

He became famous for having carried out the revolt of Wushe in what is now Nantou County(南投縣) in 1930 against the Japanese colonial authorities. He ended up committing suicide by shooting himself with a pistol during the revolt to prevent the Japanese from capturing him alive. His remains were found at forest in 1933, and were taken to the Department of Archaeology of the Taihoku Imperial University or Taihoku Teikoku Daigaku (台北帝國大學) where they were exhibited as a warning to future rebels. (Note: Taihoku Imperial University is today known as National Taiwan University or NTU (國立臺灣大學). The bones were "identified" by his daughter and not positively confirmed by DNA. After the arrival of the Kuomintang the bones were placed in a warehouse until 1974 when they were reburied near Kawanakajima (川中島, current Qingquan (清泉) tribe). However, the Taiwanese viewed him as a hero for carrying out a revolt and he is now one of the figures on the NT coins.

霧社事件主角花崗二郎的妻子高彩雲,於二十幾年前接受攝影家林藝斌專訪,用母語及國語詳細敘述霧社事件發生當時她在場的情況,說到驚恐、緊張、傷心落淚,這是一位非常有歷­史記錄價值的見證人,他接受訪問第二年去逝,假如還在的話已經一百多歲了。此畫面可能是唯一僅有的錄影帶,而且從未曝光,它對霧社事件有絕對性的直接證據. 更多資訊

Suggested websites/books/articles:

1. David on Formosa, In the land of the Seediq;
2. Taiwanese aborigines,

Right to Free Elections

Right to free election, a fair election; not a manipulated election...

Freedom of Assembly

Right for freedom of assembly; yellow, red, blue, even orange or black....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Malaysian Yellow around the world

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) was pushing for a free and fair elections in Malaysia. It demanded the reforms of postal voting, usage of indelible ink, a minimum of 21-day campaign period, allow all parties free access to the media, and put an end to electoral fraud.

The first Bersih rally took place in 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The second rally (known as Bersih 2.0 or the Walk for Democracy) happened on 9 July 2011 worldwide.

The Bersih Rally took place not only in Kuala Lumpur, it spread to all over the world.....

What is Bersih 2 in Malaysia?

Bersih in Malay language means clean.

The Bersih 2.0 rally (also called the Walk for Democracy) was a demonstration in Kuala Lumpur held on 9 July 2011 as a follow-up to the 2007 Bersih rally. The rally, organised by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih), was supported by Pakatan Rakyat, the coalition of the three largest opposition parties in Malaysia, but was deemed illegal by the government. Bersih, chaired by former president of the Bar Council Ambiga Sreenevasan, were pushing the Election Commission of Malaysia (EC) to ensure free and fair elections in Malaysia. It demanded that the EC clean up the electoral roll, reform postal voting, use indelible ink, introduce a minimum 21-day campaign period, allow all parties free access to the media, and put an end to electoral fraud.

The police vowed to stop any rallies from taking place on the planned date on the grounds that all public gatherings without police permits are illegal. Having originally planned to march through the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Bersih decided to hold its rally at Merdeka Stadium after consultations with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Malaysia's head of state.

Supporters of Bersih claim that demands for electoral reform made during the 2007 demonstration fell on deaf ears. UMNO Youth and Perkasa organised counter-rallies, dismissing Bersih's demands for electoral reform, but Perkasa called off its counter-rally due to its inability to secure a venue and permit.

The government officially estimates that 6000 people attended the rally. However, according to Asia Times, "online observations estimated the protester numbers were higher than the implausibly-low official figure." Independent assessments put the rally numbers at between 10,000 (sources sympathetic to the police) to over 20,000 (sources sympathetic to the protesters), while Bersih 2.0 claims a turnout of 50,000 (click to see caltulation). The protestors were unable to congregate at Merdeka Stadium as many were forced to disperse by police who were heavily deployed throughout the city. Police arrested more than 1660 protestors, including Ambiga and several opposition figures. "500 youth members of the ruling party" turned out for the counter-rallies.

(source: wikipedia)

For further info on Bersih 2, kindly visit their website,