World War II ended with the defeat of Japan. The
sudden surrender of Japan surprised many people in
Singapore. Although there was peace after the war, the
people in Singapore were not spared from hardship.
Post-war problems prevailed and the people suffered.
|The British returned
to Singapore on 5 September 1945. A week after
their return, a grand victory parade was held at
the Padang to celebrate the Japanese surrender.
All those who were involved in the war
participated in the parade. They include
soldiers, sailors, airmen and also the
anti-Japanese from the M.P.A.J.A.
Mountbatten, the Supreme Allied Commander for
Southeast Asia, inspected the parade. After that,
he entered City Hall where he accepted the
Japanese surrender by signing the surrender
document. A British flag was then raised at the
parade at the Padang. This signified that
Singapore was once again under British rule.
THE CIVILIAN MEMORIAL
The Civil Memorial was erected in memory of the
civilians who were victims of the Japanese Occupation.
The memorial was unveiled on 15 February 1967. It reminds
us of what can happen when our country is conquered.
WHAT ARE SOME
OF THE POST-WAR PROBLEMS
SHORTAGE OF FOOD
Children lining up
for free food
The shortage of food was a serious problem. The
rice-producing countries did not have extra food to sell.
The war had resulted in the destruction of ships. Sunken
ships blocked the harbour. As a result, the shipping of
food to Singapore was difficult.
|To solve the
problem, the British had the sunken ships and
explosives laid by the Japanese cleared from the
sea. This made way for ships to transport food to
||Food was rationed
and the Peoples Restaurant was set up to
provide the people with low-priced food. The food
shortage problem was gradually solved as trade
between Singapore and other countries picked up.
SHORTAGE OF HOUSES
Many families were living in a
Houses were scarce and rents soared high. Many poor
people who could not afford the rents shared the houses
with many others. As a result, the living condition
was both overcrowded and unhygienic.
Besides food, there
were water and electricity shortages too. The
streets were dirty and dark. The British made the
Japanese prisoners-of-war repair the water mains
and machinery in power stations.
Many children did not
attend school during the Japanese Occupation. As
a result, there were many overage students after
the war who wanted to go to school. Hence, the
British had to build schools fast enough to meet
the great demand for education.