[VIDEO] How This Grandma From Johor Saved Young Girls From Being Raped By Japanese Soldiers During WW2
- Published on Tuesday, 11 April 2017 15:20
She was only 15 years old when the Japanese occupied Malaya but Yap Chwee Lan was already saving lives, rescuing the people of her town from being taken captive by Japanese soldiers during the second world war (WWII).
Thanks to her ability to speak Japanese she was seen as useful to the Japanese colonialists who didn’t have any way to communicate with the local population.
After gaining the respect and trust of the Japanese who even made sure that she well looked after due to her usefulness for them in identifying who is conspiring against them and who isn’t, she was able to save countless lives by telling the Japanese soldiers when they caught the wrong person.
Without her help, the Japanese would have indiscriminately killed everyone they assumed to be assisting in the resistance.
She was perceived as a great help to the Japanese, so she enjoyed special treatment and made the people around her feel much safer.
"Every night, about seven or eight young girls from the neighborhood would come to my house to sleep because they felt safer there,” the now 90-year-old Yap recalled in an interview with R.AGE, which ran a series titled 'The Last Survivor' last year, recounting stories of Malaysians in the forefront of WWII.
Sho told reporters that she had learned Japanese from her former employer who worked as a hairdresser in Johor when she was 13 years old.
Picking up the language turned out to be a lifesaving skill later on in her life.
During a time when the Japanese were bombing Singapore and occupying Johor, she managed to keep her town, Kampung Baru, relatively safe.
The paranoid Japanese soldiers who tortured and killed everyone they suspected to be conspiring against them started to trust her and let those she vouched as innocent go free.
She has become somewhat of a hero after being recognised by descendants of villagers she saved and is quite a celebrity in her town.
"I was walking around town and suddenly someone called out, 'Ah Ma!'. They told their kids that I saved their grandfather or grandmother," she remembers, rage.com.my reports.