NHB: How Sook Ching massacre is marked here

We thank Professor Lakshmi Penna for suggesting that the Singapore Armed Forces Veterans' League and the relevant authorities consider commemorating the Sook Ching massacre during World War II ("Commemorate Sook Ching too"; Monday).

The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) constructed the Civilian War Memorial at Beach Road in 1967 to remember the victims of the Sook Ching massacre as well as victims from all communities who died during the Japanese Occupation. More than 600 urns containing the remains of Sook Ching massacre victims were buried at the foot of the memorial.

In addition, the SCCCI conducts a memorial service on Feb 15 every year on the anniversary of the Fall of Singapore. During the service, the Singapore Civil Defence Force air raid sirens are sounded islandwide as a mark of respect to the victims.

The Civilian War Memorial was gazetted by the National Heritage Board as a national monument last year, and it is included as one of the trail stops for our Civic District Heritage Trail as well as our World War II Heritage Trail.

A marker has also been installed at the memorial and serves to provide information on the Sook Ching massacre and to commemorate all local civilians who lost their lives during the Japanese Occupation.

We encourage the public to visit the Civilian War Memorial and/or participate in the annual memorial service to learn more about this dark chapter in Singapore's history.

Alvin Tan

Group Director/Policy
National Heritage Board


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