Remembering the Japanese Occupation

Singaporeans will be familiar with the 15th of February. It is remembered as the day the British surrendered Singapore over to the Japanese, beginning a period of Japanese Occupation in the colony.

While the fall of Singapore is often also commemorated with the sacrifice of Lieutenant Adnan bin Saidi and the Malay Regiment who defended Singapore to their death, I recently came across a rather unexpected anecdote relating to a lesser known person from Singapore’s history.

The said person is the former head of Singapore’s Special Branch – a Pakistani by the name of Ahmad Khan. His story which I reproduce below, was taken from the National Archive’s Oral History Interviews.

What truly is amazing about his story is the role of ‘providence’ – how often does the course of a person’s life change drastically because of a small deed done for another person? In the case of Ahmad Khan, he was at the wrong place at the wrong time, but saved because someone else was at the right place at the right time…

Happy Total Defence Day to all…



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