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Japanese Invasion 1941-1945

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.


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