During one of my history lessons many years ago, I have learnt that the British surrendered unconditionally to the Japanese at the Old Ford Factory located along Upper Bukit Timah.
I had always thought that the Old Ford Factory have been left vacanted ever since the war ended.
An abandoned building with such a historical story behind it would surely be home to many grievous spirits? (I really outta hand it to my vivid imagination sometimes!)
Coincidentally, that is where I had to pass by on my way to school every day.
Maybe that is why I would often get the creeps each time my bus pass by it during my journey to school in the pre-dawn hours.
After graduation, I was still fascinated by the rich history associated with the building (albeit still fearful of whatever thing that could be lurking inside).
What I did not know was that The Ford Motor Factory has actually resumed operations after the war in 1947 and was shut down in 1980.
It was only a week ago that I learnt the building was gazzetted as a national monument and already turned into a exhibition gallery from 2006.
Silly me! And I thought the building is still in ruins!
The famous windows I had seen so many times in history books
This year being the 70th Anniversary of the Japanese invasion of Singapore, I decided to pay a long overdue visit to the Old Ford Factory.
While walking the path leading up to the building, a surreal feeling overcome me. Is this the very same path which Lt. General Arthur Percival and his staff officers took while meeting Yamashita to discuss the terms of surrender?
As I approached the building, a nice lady at the entrance gave me a commemorative collar pin [click to see] and asked whether I was interested to attend a talk by World World II survivors at the auditorium which began thirty minutes ago.
I wished I had arrived earlier to attend the talk! I had missed the first thirty minutes and I did not want to interupt the talk so I declined but I do hope to join the next session next week.
The entrance of the exhibition area
Bronze statue of Lt. Gen Arthur Percival & Lt. Gen Yamashita
I got the shivers while looking at Yamashita close-up in the eye.
Prisoners awaiting execution by firing squad
Bayonetting the dead prisoners to make sure that they are really dead
The Japanese moved across Malaya on bicycles
This mode of transportation allows the Japanese troops to advance swiftly.
This was the currency issued by the Japanese after the fall of Malaya and Singapore. As the authorities printed more money as and when they needed it, it causes a depreciation in the value of the money and high-inflation in the prices of goods.
After the war has ended, the Banana money were rendered worthless. However, you would be rich if you had a stash of them today!
Aren't you glad you were not born in such turbulent times?
An eyewitness' account
[Lim Bo Seng]'s funeral in Singapore after the war ended
Men on trial for the "Double Tenth" incident (after the war ended)
I shuddered at the fact that accused number 18 and 19 were local chinese men who were interpreters for the Japanese. Were they traitors who helped the Japanese porsecute their fellow countrymen?
Elizabeth Choy, an exemplary woman of her time, was one of the victims.
Guess what is this?
The entrance/exit to the building
Stepping out from the museum, the lady I met at the door earlier directed me to the buffet.
"Have some refreshments. It's free for all," she says.
I did not enquire why would there be a buffet at a museum but I later overheard her telling someone that the food was sponsored by the NHB.
I guess it was an appreciation for all visitors who visited the museum during the 70th Anniversary of the Second World War.
This boulder was found near the driveway
The skies were overcast as I was leaving the Old Ford Factory.
I hastened my footsteps and the drizzle soon escalated into a heavy thunderstorm. The weather seemed like a perfect portrayal of my mood at that moment.
Although the war sounded like it happened a long time ago but put it in another perspective, seventy years does not seem that far away either for a relatively young nation like ours.
Just imagine how much misery and pain Singapore has gone through just seventy years ago?
It seemed unbelievable that the peaceful and tranquil country I have grown up in has actually such a dark history.