Operation Sook Ching meaning "to purge" or "eliminate" was a massive Japanese exercise to ferret the local Chinese community for anti-Japanese elements, conducted by the 25th Army beginning on 18 February 1942 and resulting in the massacre of thousands of local Chinese.
The Screening and Execution
Under Oishi's command were 200 regular Kempeitai officers and another 1000 auxiliaries who were mostly young and rough peasant soldiers. Singapore was divided into sectors with each sector under the control of an officer. The Japanese set up designated "screening centers" all over Singapore to gather and "screen" all Chinese males between the ages of 18 and 50.Those who were thought to be "anti-Japanese" would be eliminated. Sometimes, women and children were also sent for inspection as well.
The ones who passed the "screening" would receive a piece of paper bearing the word "examined" or have a square ink mark stamped on their arms or shirts. Those who failed would be stamped with triangular marks instead. They would be separated from the others and packed into trucks near the centers and sent to the killing sites.
|Killing of the people on the beach.|
There were several sites for the killings, the most notable ones being Changi Beach, Punggol Beach and Sentosa (or Pulau Blakang Mati). The Punggol Beach Massacre saw about 300 to 400 Chinese shot at Punggol Beach on 28 February 1942 by the Hojo Kempei firing squad. The victims were some of the 1,000 Chinese males detained by the Japanese after a door-to-door search along Upper Serangoon Road. Several of these men had tattoos, a sign that they could be triad members.
The current Changi Beach Park was the site of one of the most brutal killings in Singaporean history. On 20 February 1942, 66 Chinese males were lined up along the edge of the sea and shot by the military police. The beach was the first of the killing sites of the Sook Ching massacre, with another one at Tanah Merah. Another site was Berhala Reping at Sentosa Beach (now Serapong Golf Course after land reclamation). Surrendered British gunners awaiting Japanese internment buried some 300 bullet-ridden corpses washed up on the shore of Sentosa. They were civilians who were transported from the docks at Tanjong Pagar to be killed at sea nearby.
http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_40_2005-01-24.html (Date accessed: 17 Feb 13)