Old Penang: The Sook Ching massacres of World War Two


More than 5,000 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.

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Talking about sufferings of human beings as the results of greed, temptations, hatred etc, i recommend you all to watch this 2011 movie called Samsara. It highlights the root cause for all those evil things on earth and how we can live in peace and more fulfilled just being SIMPLE. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMYtepoulrg wiki : Samsara is a 2011 documentary film, directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Magidson, who also collaborated on Baraka (1992), a film of a similar vein. Samsara was filmed over four years in 25 countries around the world. It was shot in 70 mm format and… Read more »


Thank you for the link and good video.
Yes, be contented with what you have is the way to curb sufferings.
Stay away from materialism, you cannot bring your possessions to afterlife.


And the worst is the govt in trying to please some extremist, it is trying to rewrite history by making some to disappear.


I reckon that we should communicate with sr citizens to know of the Malaya REAL HISTORY.
I heard vivid recounts from different senior citizens – retired educationists, professions, etc.
Source: breakfast-time gerai.

These “genuine narrators” will not be with us for a looong time.. so make hay while the sun shines.


We all are living in the present. Bombarded by many modern day distractions that seek to satisfy, coax, influence & change our present senses of permeable perceptions, reasons or even reality (e.g. what’s there may not be real, what’s imagined may be true). Too busied by these distractions, our minds tend to dilute the essence of what, when, why & how of past events that collectively shaped the world to this day. History is one purpose of capturing what’s actually happened (in truth) that we can learn from. But history could also be changed at the stroke of a pen… Read more »

Andrew Hwang

Anil, good intentions, but relying entirely on the memories of senior citizens who were supposed to be eyewitnesses is still dangerous in the Malaysian context. From interviewing dozens of senior citizens, once I ask them in-depth questions, they start contradicting themselves and sometimes even retracting their original premise (!) and sheepishly admitting they actually heard the story from other people and only merged the accounts together! Getting someone like Robert David is rare. He was already an adult when he witnessed the Japanese atrocities and he understood what he was witnessing. You would find that many of the living witnesses… Read more »


Its not about past is past. It about learning from history to make sure that it does not happen again. Let us not make history repeat itself again and again. We have seen how corruption, lies and deceits of its leaders can destroy a nation. Let us get rid of these people before its too late. We cannot just live on with Brim 3. Let us make sure athat the people do not keep relying on crutches and after that complain that the people such as the Malays are so poor that they cannot catch up just like that idiot… Read more »

syamsul a

WWII Japanese brutally tortured and killed thousands of Malaysians (Malays etc) and KITA MUDAH LUPA ?
These 40’s & 50’s Japanese very cruel and some say worst than Komunis Malaya; and hence the latter fought against them to protect the villages from massacre.
However, our Perkoso demonise Chin Peng yet ironically love LOOK EAST to support Japanese products ???
Don’t know what is the true justice ?

Gerakan K

The past is past. No point harping on past thingies unless you have some hidden agenda. People now not only accepted the peace agreement but also already moving into new chapters long long ago. When talking about war, the ancient China had more war than any others. The point is valuing peace and moving on from terrible mistake of war and aggression. I see lots of people embracing the Japanese culture eg using and learning Japanese language, idolising Japanese animation (Totoro, anyone ???), adult drama and movie, even interracial marriage with the Japanese. Japanese girls are patently beautiful. Also given… Read more »


You should tell Umno not to harp on May 13 to scare the malays.

Boo Soon Yew

My late dad who was an ex-Chung Ling High School student spoke of how the Japanese took out the school year book and started rounding up the students .. for interrogation and eventual execution if found “guilty”..

He had just completed his Senior Middle Three Exam then.. terrible times indeed.. with real terror in the air.. 🙁

Marilyn Lee

Do you know where in Penang the remains of the young men were buried when they were captured and tortured around April 1944? It seems that the Sook Ching massacres were going on earlier, until 1942, but there were round ups of young Chinese men later too.


That’s where you are wrong! If you don’t learn from history you are doom to repeat the same mistake again. What the Japs did were abhorrent beyond human comprehension. Maybe its God way of punishing them with the Fukushima nuclear disaster.