Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long stressed that Singaporeans should never forget the darkest time of the country’s history.
He noted that 75 years ago today, on 15 February 1942, the British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese invaders at the Former Ford Factory in Bukit Timah.
“There followed 3.5 years of terror, hardship and misery under Japanese Occupation, when Singapore was renamed Syonan-to, the ‘Light of the South’,” the Prime Minister stated.
PM Lee said that Singaporeans observe Total Defence Day on 15 February, so that the country will never forget that darkest time of Singapore’s history.
The exhibition “Syonan Gallery: War and its Legacies” was launched on Wednesday morning at the Former Ford Factory,”, PM Lee said that the museum documents the horror and viciousness of the Japanese Occupation, adding that it also exhibits the suffering and bravery of our pioneers.
He also said that the pioneers know what it means for Singapore to lose its freedom and even its name, “They emerged from that period determined never to let this happen again,” said PM Lee.
PM Lee stressed that even though Singapore has the Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team, it will always be small and vulnerable.
“No one owes us our sovereignty or security. These are truths we must never forget,” he said.