Friday, March 8, 2013

24 hour curfew

            In 1970, we moved to our own house in Embang Road, Off Queensway. We became neighbours of Dr Wong Soon Kai. Our Road borders his house. This house was also on stilts with a void deck downstairs.

In August 1971, we were rudely woken from our sleep. I was in Form five, and Mother thought she heard the voice of Mr. Lau Tieng Sing, my principal over a loud megaphone. The message was in English and Mandarin. It was something like all households were to stay inside the house. The Government had imposed a 24-hour curfew. The young ones cheered the next morning when we did not have to go to school. But the reality sunk in when it meant we were not allowed to go even downstairs.

Our house was not fenced in and two sides of our house were abandoned rubber gardens. The Communists could hide inside, and so could the soldiers. In our garden, only the ducks’ area had a low filmsy chicken wire fence to keep the ducks from coming to the house but they were free to roam in the rubber garden. The other part of the big garden was unfenced. Mother was worried about the chicken with no food and water. She asked me to discretely go to the chicken coop to feed the chicken and the ducks, but Father said no, the soldiers might shoot me. 

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