Old Penang

This is a petition by the Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) to save Soonstead:

The heritage of Soonstead is threatened by a proposed 13-storey tower block which would necessitate the demolition of the house’s dining room wing and annexe buildings.

More than 5000 people were massacred in Penang under “a purge through cleansing” by Japanese forces during World War II and their bodies buried in mass graves including the site of the Rifle Range flats, Bukit Dumbar, Batu Ferringhi and Coombe Hill (the site of the former Teachers’ Training College/the present Recsam premises). A National Geographic team interviews World War II survivors and local historians.



Was the chief of the Japanese garrison police in Butterworth, Suzuki, the “hippy” executioner, ever based at the occupied British garrison in Batu Maung, now the site of the Penang War Museum?

Not likely, according to a 50-minute National Geographic documentary “Malaysia: Haunted Museum” on Suzuki and the executions in Penang in its “I Wouldn’t Go In There” series. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the knowledgeable researchers for the programme, Andrew Hwang, when he came up to Penang a few months ago. The host Robert Joe also visited one of the witnesses mentioned in my earlier blog post, Robert David, who witnessed an execution by Suzuki in Butterworth.


According to the Astro website:

Description: A tour guide at a World War II museum on the island of Penang, Malaysia claims to have seen the legendary ghost of a Japanese Colonel named Suzuki who was alleged to have drunk the blood of his victims with whiskey. Blogger and Urban Explorer Robert Joe (R.J.) pursues the truth behind the ghastly claim. Was there such a colonel at the museum when it was a fort during the Second World War? And if so, did he actually commit such atrocious acts of violence? As RJ pursues the truth about Suzuki, his investigation leads him into a shocking world of massacres and mass burials.

My original post (11 November 2012):

During the Japanese Occupation of Penang, the mere mention of one name was enough to strike fear among the local populace.