We thank Ong Kor Leong for sharing this photograph with us. Yes, this is indeed the Home Guard – set up by the (then) Government of British Malaya in countering the threat of Communist Terrorists. Once the threat of the CTs lessened, the Home Guard was eventually disbanded and the Malayan Territorial Army took its place. The Malayan Territorial Army was later renamed Askar Wataniah.
There is no doubt that some of the 3,631 individuals that visited ipoWorld during the month of June would remember gates such as these with mixed feelings for this was the gateway to a New Village in 1952. Closest to Ipoh there were three of these villages, or concentration camps as some of the old timers used to call them (and maybe still do!). These were at Kampung Simee, Bercham and Simpang Pulai. You may know of more.
As you can see, the village was ringed by two circles of barbed wire to prevent anything being thrown to the communists outside and the gates were manned by regular police (this was before the Home Guard took over these duties). Communal eating was the order of the day and curfews were in force.
Now the point of posting this particular image is to try andd get some first-hand information about growing up in a New Village for our book, “Ipoh My Home Town”.
Can anyone out there help us please? If your memories get published you will get a free copy of the book.