Sybil Kathigasu: Malaysia’s forgotten heroine


When, oh when will people like Sybil Kathigasu be given due recognition and held up as models of courage and service to the people?

Sybil was brutally tortured by Japanese interrogators when she refused to disclose details of resistance movement members for whom she and her husband had provided medical treatment.

She died at the age of 48, after the Occupation had ended, from an undetected infection that had spread from her fractured jaw.

Their dispensary at 74 Main Street, Papan, still stands to this day:

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  1. Dear Tahaneverest..the particular Chinese Police Officer did a lot of things to make Perak a safer place..I visited him a few years ago at his home. I see him for all the memorial services here in Perak during the month of June. Like you have written it is a damn shame that the Ministry of Education is so damned biased..since it is only populated by a certain group of misfits..and as the story goes students learning History will never ever know the exploits of CC Too and JJ Raj…

  2. continue……….No.1 & 2, Federal (SP) & (PGB). But both these 2 Chinese Officers were never high-lighted in the media or anywhere else. If one were to conduct an in-depth interview of both these war heroes their exploits would surely expose the extraordinary risks taken by them in their fight against the Communist Insurgents. Their high risk does not involve one or two episodes but NUMEROUS COVERT operations and for long period of time. It was NOT a “one-go” encounter where you get your SP or PGB or any other gallantry awards. The question here is why are both of them not given the publicity and awareness of their historic contributions? Where is the fairness as compared to the late Kanang? Where is the slip-up? Who is to be blame? Perhaps, maybe the PDRM has never taken the initiative and had not pro- acted as compared to ATM. The Home Ministry should also be taken to task for having failed the aspirations of the many forgotten heroes dead and alive. Perhaps it is not too late to rectify an ‘over-sight’ if the authorities are sincere and should quickly made amends to the effect soonest possible.

  3. When an Iban war hero from Sarawak passed away there were so much of hype and publicity in all the MSM esp the Malay media. Why? Simply because he was from the Angkatan Tentera Malaysia ATM (Armed Forces). Yes, we appreciate his contributions to country and nation. All hooo…ha..about him achieving 2 gallantry awards and the only one so far. Perhaps the ATM or the Press(Bernama) did’nt know that there were 2 other Chinese Officers in the history of the PDRM who also achieved a double(2) gallantry awards. One of them was awarded the Jasa Perkasa Persekutuan (JPP)Bar (double),3rd Class Federal gallantry awards. But unfortunate he passed away a few years ago a forgotten ‘valueless’ man. If not, he would have received RM2,000/= a month for the Bar(double) JPP. Tears were flowing down his eyes before he breath his last with deep sad feelings of being a ‘dejected useless man’ by his country he served unreservedly. The other Chinese Officer from PDRM (retired) whom I know is still alive and residing in Selangor. An unassuming and low-profile character. Unknown to the general public and the media his achievement was far greater than the late Kanang a/l Langkau. He was awarded the Federal highest gallantry award The Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa(SP) and the Perak State highest gallantry award The Pingat Keberanian Handal(PKH). So, this means his is a winner of double , No. 1 & 1, i.e Federal and State highest. In Kanang’s case his was a

  4. Courtesy of Mr. Law Siak Hong from Perah Heritage Society,I visited the
    dispensary at Papan three years ago. The true history must be told, must be taught and must be imparted to our youngsters. Let us parents start the ball rolling by bringing children to heritage site untold by our history books.

  5. Send this article to the Japanese embassy for verification. Malaysia was practicing the Japanese government’s way of changing history, so that the present generation will not know the past, and forever be forgotten. Compensation given. Yes? No?
    Will some good Samaritan give the building a new coat of paint,turn it into a community center or something, before BN demolish it, and there is nothing left to remember.

  6. Anil, thank you for posting this. Please post more, this is very important for Malaysians. A large chunk of historical facts have been distorted or left out.

    • Thanks for the feedback, BF. Please let me know if you see anything/anyone that deserves to be highlighted.

  7. Don’t talk about Yap Ah Loy whose name does not even appear in any public monument except a small street, even those Sarawakian heros who fought the communists in Sarawak Divsion I, II & III do not exist in any malaysian history or locked up in any public records….

  8. Dont Bn forget real independance fighters like mam. rasamah, and thousands of indian INA members who gave a big boost for achieving independance.
    Where were the relatives or forefathers of katak ali bin malu, hassan ali baba,and the likes of ketuanan syndrome.

  9. Our history book now tend to emphasize to one particular race even though the other races has made much contributions. During our time, Sybil Kathigesu and the contributions of Indian and other races towards the country development were mentioned and praised without racism or chauvinism but current history book seem to have deleted most of it. With the Mud now overseeing the education ministry it is even worse with English being sidelined.

    Lets us vote in a fair and transparent govt that emphasize, protect and remember the rakyat contributions without racism, and chauvinism. We have seen the excess of BN UMNO and their sycophants the past 54 years. Let us vote for a change, a change for the better.

    Vote PR for a Change F it is is not better it will not be that worse than the past 54 years of UMNO BN and their sycophants corruptions and scandal that have surface in recent years.. You have seen it in Penang, Selangor, Kedah, Kelantan and Perak. It has done much much better than expected.


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