Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese Army (M.P.A.JA.)
These people lived in the jungle and were controlled
by the Malaya Communist Party (M.C.P.). They were an irritation
and annoyance to the Japanese. They derailed trains and damaged
bridges. Being locals they could easily blend in with the crowds
in the town. It was difficult for the enemy to get at them because
in the jungle they could move deeper into the forests.
They had the support of the Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese
Union (M.P.A.J.U.) who lived among the people in the towns and cities,
procured donations from the Chinese public who were quite willing
to help, for the Japanese were their mutual enemy. Unfortunately,
there were also some who were informers for the Japanese.
These M.C.P.s led a disciplined life in the jungle.
They had a daily programme of drilling, listening to talks on communist
doctrines and singing songs and on certain occasions would produce
concerts and sketches to add some spice to life in the jungle. At
times when the Japanese kept too strict a surveillance in town,
and no food could be sneaked into the jungle, they had to fall back
onto the produce of the small farms they created which could not
be too large otherwise they would reveal their whereabouts to the
enemy planes flying above. Although their efforts to harass the
enemy were punitive, they were still a thorn on the side of the
Japanese. So decrees were issued to order the people to report their
activities to the authorities. Such people would be protected and
also be rewarded by the Japanese authorities.
Life for the jungle people improved when Force
136 started dropping supplies to them. These supplies included clothes,
food, medicine, arms and some luxury items to make life happier
for them. Now they could cause more harassment, blow up more bridges
with more sophisticated weapons, they could also fight against the
enemy more effectively. But this did not happen until almost the
end of the war.