7. Mamoru Shinozaki
Mamoru Shinozaki is credited as the Japanese Schindler, when he saved thousands of Chinese and Eurasians in Singapore.
During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, Shinozaki was a first adviser to the Japanese military administrator in Singapore.
He pulled his weight as first advisor, and freely distributed a huge number of good citizen passes especially to the Chinese and Eurasians. His actions was motivated after witnessing brutal tortures and killings by the Kempeitai.
Shinozaki was credited for saving thousands of Chinese from the Sook Ching Massacre. Scores of them were prominent Chinese including Dr Lim Boon Keng, Tan Hoon Siang, Wee Keng Chiang, and among others.
Shinozaki was also vital in setting up the Endau and Bahau resettlement villages in Malaya for the Chinese and Eurasians. The resettlement villages were a fall back plan in the case of emergency of food shortages in Singapore.
After the war, Shinozaki was captured in Singapore, but did not remain long in the POW camp since many survivors vouched for his courageous acts.
Shinozaki’s story should perhaps remind us that not all Japanese during the Second World War were hell bent on killing.
Singapore has no lack of war heroes
This list was not written to take away any sort of credit from the more commonly known heroes of Singapore, but rather to reinforce our understanding on lesser-known heroes of Singapore.
Our history textbooks have sadly missed out on the contributions of these lesser-known heroes who deserves just as much credit as the more popular ones.
But it should not be an excuse for Singaporeans to remain ignorant about the contributions from these heroes, perhaps it times we start to learn more about the lesser-known heroes of Singapore that may not even be found on this list.