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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tun Abdul Razak - The Hidden Story

First, you tried to damage his reputation, then his wife, then his father, then his children, and when that all failed, you're targeting his father again. When you tried to damage the rest, I don't care. That's not my problem but his. But when you tried to damage his father's, I care.

Yes, I'm talking about our PM, DS Najib Tun Razak. I don't care if you all spread lies about him or his family, because they have yet to prove themselves in my eyes. But when you try to spread half-truths about Tun Abdul Razak, that I can't accept.

So you tried to defame a dead man so you can make people hate his son?

What Half-truths? 
Look at this photo. This is a photo of young Tun Abdul Razak when he joined Malayan Civil Service, then subjugated under Japanese Imperial Army. With this photo, you are trying to imply that the young Tun Abdul Razak as ass-kissers whose scared of death and willingly accepted foreign subjugation.

Tun Abdul Razak in Japanese Military uniform. If it was true he was a traitor, he would have ensured this part of history be hidden forever when he was the PM.

Yes, the photo is not manipulated. You can find this photo in many period books, discussing of the era. If this photo is so damaging, why did not Tun Abdul Razak have it destroyed when he was the PM? For the truth of his involvement is far more patriotic than even you or me can be.

Enter Young Abdul 'Cloak-and-Dagger' Razak
Second World War came when young Abdul Razak was studying in Singapore at Stamford Raffles College. With his study disrupted, he was called to return to Kuantan.

The war was not kind. He saw many atrocities made in the name of patriotism. He had probably too came across victims or next-of-kins of Sook Ching massacre.

By the time he reached Kuantan, news of young men being grabbed to be forced labour to Siam has probably reached Kuantan.

In the Malayan Civil Service, Abdul Razak met up with Yeop Mahidin Bin Mohamad Shariff. Yeop Mahidin was a civil servant, a magistrate to be exact. He had wanted to serve his country, but his headmaster denied him his dream to join Malay Regiment. 

When the war broke out, Yeop Mahidin was quick to form a resistance force he named as Askar Wataniah Pahang. The unit was formed with His Majesty Sultan Abu Bakar's consent.  
In Force 136 colours

Seeing Abdul Razak's enthusiasm to serve his country, Yeop Mahidin took him under his tutelage, and instructed him to join the Malayan Civil Service to be eyes and ears for the Wataniah. 

Yeop Mahidin in his later years. He is credited to be founder of Territorial Army.

In Malayan Civil Service
Young Abdul Razak was posted back to Pahang by the Japanese administration. His impeccable character made them looking up to him and appointed him as an assistant at the  District Officer.
While in the jungles of Pahang, Yeop Mahidin had secretly managed to recruit more than 200 Malay for resistance force (his identity as founder of Wataniah was not known by his men as he operated via proxy).

They were not able to get much help as Force 136 had initially distrusted them; the action of Ibrahim Yaacob and several members of Kesatuan Melayu Muda in helping Japanese forces in Malaya had caused the British to distrust Malays. So serious was the distrust that after Sook Ching Incident, Japanese Administration had actually leaned towards favouring Chinese. One of the first act by the Japanese was to split out Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, and Perlis from Malaya and transferred the ownership to Siam as a reward to Siam for allowing Japanese forces to land in Singgora.

As an Assistant District Officer, Abdul Razak had to coordinate a lot of activities with the Japanese Imperial forces. He made friends with several of them.

In the mean time, the Wataniah forces viewed Abdul Razak as a traitor as he was working with the Japanese.

Wataniah as Part of Force 136
Wataniah was finally part of the fold of Force 136 when the British began sufficiently trust Malays to fight the Japanese. This was probably due to the fact British realised that whether they like it or not, more than half of Malaya's population were Malay. 

Holes in the Cover
When Wataniah's resistance activities began to bite the Japanese Occupation force, they began to suspect the ranks of Malayan Civil Service who had handled details of Japanese Forces movement. In one of the attacks done by Wataniah, a 20-men squad was able to ambush and killed 30 Japanese soldiers.

One of the Japanese soldiers was a friend to Yeop Mahidin, who was then at his post as a Magistrate. Not wanting Yeop Mahidin to be arrested (he did not know that Yeop Mahidin was the head of Wataniah), he told Yeop Mahidin to be careful of Abdul Razak. 

Yeop Mahidin quickly set out a plan (probably via Ghazali Shafie, future Malaysian Foreign Minister) that involved having Abdul Razak to be 'kidnapped' by Wataniah, ostensibly to have him executed. 

The 'kidnapping' rouse was a success, as the Wataniah men did not know Abdul Razak was their agent and their mission was a rescue mission. It was only when Abdul Razak exited the Commandant's camp they realised he was one of theirs. 

Rescue of Sultan Abu Bakar
Rumours of Japanese surrender began to spread. MPAJA's activities began to be active and Wataniah had received rumours that MPAJA was planning to kidnap the Sultan. 

When Abdul Razak and his team arrived to collect the Sultan, his men found leaflets left by the Japanese proclaiming that Chinese murderers had killed the Sultan. Though seething with anger, he instructed his men to collect and destroy all the leaflets. His action had probably saved the Chinese of Kuantan from being summarily executed by Malays who were angered to the loss of their Sultan. 

The Sultan was later found to be safe and sound. Abdul Razak had not only saved the Sultan, but also stopped Malays from falling into Japanese forces' divide and conquer tricks.

Tun Razak's Exploit - Far Braver than you or me
Being a soldier fighting for your homeland is one thing. But being a spy in your own country that had been occupied by the enemy and working with the enemy so you can get critical information back for your people, that's bravery.

If you, the keyboard warriors who had never faced any danger other than having a paper cut on the finger, try to defame him so people will hate his son, you are one sick person.

PS: I've seen many people claiming the Govt hide the true history so they can portray themselves favourably. The truth is, there's too many things in history to be fit into our syllabus. This for example is one.

Cheah Boon Kheng, Red Star Over Malaya - Resistance and Social Conflict During and After Japanese Occupation.
Keat Gin, Ooi, Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, From Angkor Watt to East Asia.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Was he reaaly fighting for malays and malaya or was it for d british? Whatever he was far better than his son...

    1. They sought Sultan of Pahang's consent. Pahang is an non-federated state. Therefore we can infer the motive was to fight for the Sultan.

      Whether he is better than his son or not, time will tell us his son's character. Too much character assassination against his son and one day we may find that most, if not all are lies to force him to step down.

    2. Pahang a non-federated state? Get your facts right on the composition of FMS which was established in 1896.

    3. Thanks Kian Tong. Rechecked and you're right.

    4. The comment is more of a Dig at the current PM and then somehow dragging the father along. I do not sit on the fence of the current ruling regime and the head who has done a shambolic job of not handling the corruption claim, whether by covering up (doing it correctly and not half heartedly and have this shit of an issue linger for 6 years) or prove innocence. I'd like for everyone who wants to criticize the ruling regime, to also read about the atrocities of the US NDF (national democracy fund) which is an intrusion/meddling of the US govt into another country's affairs cloaked in the name of Democracy.

    5. It is a fair comment.

      No issue if anyone wants to have a dig at him and the govt. But no need to bring the dead into the picture. A father answers not for the sin of the son, and vice versa.

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  5. Good read, where can we find official records of this claim? Many thanks

    1. We should be able to find the records in Arkib Negara. The son of Yeop Mahidin shared that before his death, he had frequented to Arkib Negara to share whatever records on the unit.

      For that, I would recommend to apply as a researcher to Arkib Negara.

      As for the rescue on Sultan, you may read this here.

      You may also find anecdotal of the unit's contribution during the war in a book written by Maj (Retired) Ismail Baboo, titled Kisah Seorang Perajurit. He fought in the early part of the war under 2 Malay Regiment. He too took the path of joining Malayan Police under Japanese control before resigning and joining Force 136.

    2. There is also another book in Malay which detailed the actions of Wataniah during the war quite well. But I have unfortunately forgotten the name of the book as I last read that book some 18 years ago. The book documented the exploits of Yeop Mahidin and did touched on the rescue mission on Tun Razak, but somehow managed to miss out the rescue of the Sultan, which I had belated discovered only 2 years back.

  6. Pahang Wataniah was formed in 1942. But I don't see any records of battles involving them during 1942-45.

    Then on 17 August 1945, with the assistance from the British Force 136, they take the Pahang Sultan under their protection after an alleged threat by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP).

    8 September 1945, led by Colonel Headley of Force 136, a detachment of Wataniah escorted the Sultan back to Pekang. Pending the arrival of Gurkha paratroopers from Force 136, they took over large areas in Pahang to avert the take over by the Malayan People's Anti Japanese Army (MPAJA).

    Pahang Wataniah was then disbanded in November 1945. Then in 1947, many of their members joined Persatuan Melayu Pahang.


    1. What was Pahang Wataniah doing from 1942-45 up to the Japanese surrender?
    2. Did the Pahang Wataniah fight any battles with the Japanese?
    3. Why did the Pahang Wataniah support the British and went against MPAJA in 1945 when MPAJA were the ones who fought the Japanese during 1942-45?

    1. Thank you for your comments, Sharmalan.

      From 1942 to 1943 or 1944, Askar Wataniah Pahang could not effectively fight against the Japanese as they did not have weapons. The British had trust issue with Malays as they blamed Ibrahim Yaacob, the Kesatuan Melayu Muda president as a key traitor that had made the Japanese invasion possible.

      The main proponent of using Chinese guerrilla for Force 136 activities was John Davis. After he was inserted into Malaya to meet up with MPAJA forces, that there was rapprochement attempts with Malays.

      Note, this does not mean that John Davis had condoned that only Chinese can be trusted. But rather his unique experience of handling Lai Teck or agent Wright, who was MCP Secretary General, when he was with Singapore's Special Branch.

      By so far, after the Force 136 did get in touch with Askar Wataniah Pahang and included them into their fold, Askar Wataniah Pahang was involved in a few combat operations. I shared one in the article. Led by a Lt Yakin, they were able to destroy a Japanese convoy to Pahang.

      As for other combat actions, I was unable to find any records, owing to the fact that:
      1. Our local leaders did not have the habit of writing down their own story as not to be seen as angkat bakul.
      2. Soon after Japanese surrender, Force 136 HQ in India had destroyed all their records. Together with it, all the combat records of all anti-Japanese movements. This single act by an unknown bureaucrat in Force 136 not only destroyed all available records with Force 136 in Pahang, but also condemned many good non-communist Chinese who had helped MPAJA being labeled as communist.

      For your question on why Askar Wataniah Pahang had went against the MPAJA. While it was true that MPAJA was the main anti-Japanese under Force 136, their loyalty was actually being questioned by both SOE and ISLD, both being the intelligence agencies handling the war effort in Malaya. They believed that MCP will revolt against the British the moment Japan surrender. Which was quite right. Ibrahim Yaacob had approached MPAJA leadership to join forces with Japanese forces to prevent British military landing. But MCP did not commit themselves to the plan when Lai Tek convinced them not to. Had MCP decided to go on this path, John Davis and many of the Force 136 British operators would have been executed, similar to around 400 Japanese soldiers who had defected into MCP forces at the end of World War 2.

      Aside from MPAJA and Askar Wataniah Pahang, there were 2 other Force 136 outfits; OCAJA and Askar Melayu Setia of Perak. It is most interesting to note that MPAJA and OCAJA were supposed to be allies. But MPAJA had attacked and destroyed most of OCAJA's strength. Ironically, MPAJA reported the attacks either as attacks on Japanese military or on outlaws to the Force 136 command. In fact, attacks on Malayan Police Force which were under Japanese control were reported as attacks on Japanese army column. Amongst the survivors of these attack was Datuk JJ Raj, who would later escaped MCP attack on Bukit Kepung.

      And key OCAJA personnel were betrayed to the Kempetai by Lai Tek who was then under Kempetai's control.

      Force 136 HQ in Ceylon had huge distrust on MCP that they had sent other Force 136 operators to Perak to join up with other guerrilla forces that even John Davis had expressed surprise later that there were 2 other Force 136 operators nearby without his knowledge.

      Hope these answered your query.

  7. MPAJA were the ones fought Japanese? hahahaha. yeah they attack and battling with some malays or banjars at batu pahat and sungai manik.

    1. Sungai Manik and Batu Pahat are one thing. But MPAJA did battled the Japanese, but not as effective as they claimed to be as their then Secretary-General was Lai Teck, who had spied for the Japanese. His betrayal of MPAJA/MCP top brass in a meeting in Batu Caves, leading to the deaths of many of MCP top leaders is the more probable cause to the tragedy in Batu Pahat and Sungai Manik as MCP were then led by second-rated leaders who were probably ineffective in reining in their men.

  8. some even think chin peng was a national hero.. rather than a communist force that intent on taking over malaya...

    1. Chin Peng had always wanted to form a communist nation, rather than going through democratic process. And his fight was actually more in line with that of Commintern rather than that for Malaya.

  9. Using Wikipedia as a source is a bad idea. Any person could add in any information.

    1. True, but this was due to lack of other information which I can point to.

      Most info on Yeop Mahidin were actually from a book I read circa 1998 which I had since forgotten the title.

      And to ensure accuracy, I've checked with Yeop Mahidin's son.

  10. Thank you so much for this information. Until now I had only heard and read negative comments about Tun Razak.