Singapore as Home

Before the Japanese Occupation, the immigrants did not regarded Singapore as their home. They only came to Singapore for a short period to work and earn enough money for their families. When they worked enough, they would eventually return to their homelands. Palanivelu Natesan who was an Indian immigrant, worked in Singapore as a ticketing clerk. He said that he came to Singapore just to earn money and go back to India. He did not stay in Singapore permanently.

Before the Japanese occupation, the locals regarded Singapore as home. This is because there were their families and friends in Singapore for a long period of time. An account from S.R Nathan said, “My family has been in Singapore for two generations…we were localised”. Therefore, locals regarded Singapore as home.

The immigrants might have felt a sense of belonging to Singapore during the Japanese Occupation. This could be seen in how the immigrants became friends with the other ethnic groups. Lim Choo Sye said that because they were under enemy occupation, they were all friends and that during the Japanese occupation was when they interacted with the Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. Therefore, they might have felt that Singapore was their home. Furthermore, they joined the anti-Japanese resistance movements which are Force 136 and the MPAJA which collected informants of the Japanese and organised stacks whenever possible, showing how they wanted to protect Singapore.

The immigrants regarded Singapore as a home because during the Japanese occupation, they were incarcerated in the same cell as the locals and bonded with them. Lim Choo Sye, a teacher during the Japanese Occupation worked in an English-medium school, said that all the races bonded and grew closer. As a result of the Japanese Occupation, they had an opportunity to make friends with teachers from other medium schools. It was his first time that he learnt about others difficulties and problems.

The locals viewed Singapore as home. After Japanese occupation, political  groups emerged, suggesting that there was increased political consciousness among the people in Singapore. As there was very little local involvement during the British rule, there was a demand for local political involvement. Thus, locals wanted to control their home, Singapore.

The immigrants viewed Singapore as home.  There were growing demands on the British such as demand for citizenship. The Chines Chamber of Commerce started to petition the British colonial government to consider granting citizenship tho China-born Chinese immigrants  over the age of 21. Therefore, immigrants wanted to consider Singapore as home.

Group members: Nur Lisha, Xuan Ling, Nurlissa, Fadhlin Atiqah, Maisarah

Class: 2/6 E



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