Thursday, 27 November 2008

Gurchan Singh - The Real Lion of Malaya

Sometimes memories of our childhood form the foundation of who we are. I suddenly received a flashback today & the name "Gurchan Singh" came to my head.

I googled him & found Gurchan Singh had already died in 1965.

But I remembered him & a book I never read because it's an "adult" book & I was too young when I first saw this book. It wasn't even a thick book. Quite small & slim. I remembered the cover. That's all.

The book is "Singa - The Lion of Malaya".

My father had that book & I am afraid that after we moved to a new house, we must have somehow thrown that book out. And it's not as if my father had a lot of books. Maybe 3?

But I remembered this book & Gurchan Singh because somehow I must have remembered my father telling me about this man, & about what happened during World War II.

To be honest. I only remembered this bit.

During WW2, Gurchan Singh went underground to publish anti Japanese newspapers, but he was found out & he escaped into the jungle without his family. He left his family because his wife made him do it. Even if he was the only one to survive, they will take the chances.

The Jap invaders came to his house & tied his wife & son to a tree for many days & nights, to force Gurchan Singh to surrender.

Gurchan didn't surrender because his wife & son kept shouting from the trees "Do not come out". My father said that nobody was allowed to go near the trees to give them water or food, or they would be shot. I think the son was barely 10 then.

Maybe, after a week of ants & starvation, water from the rains, his family was released because the soldiers knew that Gurchan will not give up the fight. And that his family will not let him give up the fight.

Like I say. My father must have told me this story many times or I would never have remembered. Who really pays attention to their parents anyway?

Pa was a friend of Gurchan. They were good friends. Both of them resisted; one overtly & my father covertly - by supplying Gurchan & other resistance fighters with food & supplies.

What an unlikely friendship. What lost heroes. Gurchan. Mrs Singh. Young Master Singh. My Pa

How did this friendship happened?
1 Sikh, well educated.
1 China man, somewhat literate, mainly self taught.

So how did both of them become fast friends?

Were either of them "dogs" of the British, who were before the war, colonial masters of Malaya?

Not that I know. Neither worked for, or with the British. Their rice-bowls were not dependant on the British.

But
Both knew Right from Wrong
Both were Brothers
Both knew their Country was Their Country

And today, both forgotten in this day of Google & Yahoo & Search Engines.

So in my little way, I hope that if anyone were to google "The Singa of Malaya", they would know that this was the title of Gurchan Singh's book.

I honor both these Lions & the Lioness & her Cub by letting the world of Netizens know - that Acts of Courage for One's Home can never be Forgotten.

Like I say. Maybe the foundation of Justice & Fighting for My Country grew from my childhood.

So continue telling stories to your kids even if they do not seem to be paying attention.

Maybe their subconscience will remember your stories & they may grow to be what you hope they will be one day. Who knows?

6 comments:

juanito said...

auntie,

after i read it, i felt so touched.. nearly went into full emo throttle.

just hope that the baboons of today like those umno donkeys can comprehende what you have written..

sigh...

GobloKing said...

Yes. What Gurchan Singh & his wife did is inspirational isn't it?

I hope his descendants will read this & know someone down the line has been inspired by their great grand dad.

When it comes down to asking why heroes do what they do, I think the simple answer is
Conviction
& Belief

Myself no "helo lai liao" person.

I can't be a Mrs Singh. I will sing long be4 the sun is down on that tree.

And u know hoh? In those days, there were 1 million malaria carrying mossies & more died from Malaria than from cancer then

I hope Gurchan Singh's family will continue the Spirit of their fore father & in what he believed in, sarificed for, nearly died for, & fought hard for.

Mohamad Sofandi said...

Hi,
I would like information about the book "The Real Gurchan Singh, Lion of Malaya". I Md. Sofandi, is Assistant Director of Government Security is collecting data on to complement the archive department. He was the first Government Security Officers of this department. And the bodyguard of our first prime minister. So I hope that you can convey his information to me. Contact me: 0126481405

GobloKing said...

Tn Sofandi
The publisher (supposedly) still lives. I googled & found some libraries state they are:

Eastview Publications
No. 7, Jalan BS 7/15, Kawasan Perindustrian Bukit Serdang, Seri Kembangan
Malaysia 43300
Contact : 0389438866
Fax : 0389435675

Good luck !!
I too will try & thanks for motivating me to find out where I can get that book too

Justin said...

It must had wrenched his heart to an unworldly extend when he heard his wife and young son told him not to come out. He must had been a strong willed person not to rush out and surrender, I know I would. And what devoted wife and loving and brave young son he had.

I am retweeting this blog post.

Worry not, Dr Ranjit Singh Malhi is voicing out. That is how I came across your blog bcos of what Dr Ranjit said, I googled Lion of Malaya.

Salute to our forgotten freedom fighters.

Sanjit Sidhu said...

Hi there! I came across this blog by accident and would like to say i'm very touched after reading the posting and the comments received on it.

I am the grandson (one of them anyway) of Singa and although i never had the chance to meet my grandfather, part of him lives on in each of us. He passed away in a car accident around Yong Peng/Pagoh while on his way to arrange the security for a meeting between the late Tunku Abdul Rahman and Lee Kuan Yew.

If there is anyone who is still interested in a complimentary copy of the book, please let me know. I can be contacted on sssidhu@rocketmail.com