Jesselton Revolt

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Jesselton Revolt
Date 9 October 1943–21 January 1944
Location Jesselton, British Borneo
Result Failure of uprising
Belligerents
Kinabalu guerillas  Empire of Japan
Commanders and leaders
Albert Kwok 
Panglima Ali (KIA)
Orang Tuah Arshad
Jemalul
Saruddin
Tun Datu Mustapha bin Datu Harun

Supported by:
Imam Marajukim

Empire of Japan Lieutenant Shimizu
Strength
100 Chinese
200 Suluk Muslims and Bajau Muslims
Dusun-Muruts
Sikh Indians
Empire of Japan Kempeitai
Casualties and losses
3,000–4,000 civilians massacred 60–90

The Jesselton Revolt or Double Tenth Incident was a multi-ethnic uprising mainly led by Chinese and Suluk guerrilla forces known as the Kinabalu Guerrillas against the Japanese occupation of British Borneo.

Uprising[edit]

Guerrilla groups resisted the occupation. The Kinabalu Guerrillas were led by Albert Kwok in the west and another group led by Tun Datu Mustapha bin Datu Harun in the north. The Kinabalu Guerillas consisting of 300 Chinese, island peoples like Suluk Muslims[1][2] and Bajau,[3] Dusuns and Sikhs started an uprising against the Japanese on 9 October 1943 since it was the eve of 10 October, the National Day of the Republic of China and Albert Kwok was a supporter of the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China. Kwok was forced to launch the revolt ahead of schedule because the Chinese were going to be subjected to conscription by the Japanese. The uprising was known as the "Jesselton Revolt" or "Double Tenth" incident. A Muslim cleric from the Sulu in the Philippines, Imam Marajukim, who was involved in the resistance against Japan in the Philippines, helped supply Kwok and the Kinabalu guerillas.[4][5][6][7][8] Suluks were described as "strong disposed to be anti-Japanese".[9][10] Imam Marajukim helped the Chinese secure the indigenous participation in the uprising by Panglima Ali's Suluks, Mantanni and Danawan (Dinawan) islands Binadan inhabitants and Oudar Islanders under Orang Tuah Arshad.[11]

The Chinese and Suluks started the insurrection by attacking the Japanese in Jesselton, with the Suluks from the coastal islands assaulting a warehouse from the sea and burning it down. Mantanani and other islands contributed ships to the Suluk flotilla of Suluk (Sulug) Island leader Orang Tuah Panglima Ali and Oudar (Udar) Island leader Orang Tuah Arshad.[12] Panglima Ali was the primary leader of the naval part of the uprising.[13][14][15][16] The 100 strong Chinese guerrilla force was led by Alberk Kwok (also known as I. N. Kwok, Guo Yi Nan, and Guo Hengnan) and first took control of the Menggatal and Tuaran police stations,[17] and then used parangs to attack the Japanese on land in Jesselton,[18] while the 200 strong guerrilla force of Suluks and Bajau from the coastal islands led by Sulug Island leader Orang Tuah Panglima Ali, Udar Island leader Orang Tuah Arshad, Mantanani Island leader Jemalul and Dinawan Island leader Saruddin led the naval part of the uprising from the sea, assaulting the city and burning down warehouses. Dusun-Murut and Sikh Indians joined the guerillas in the attack on the Japanese. The Japanese suffered 60-90 deaths at the hands of the guerrilla forces armed with parangs and spears, but as they did not have sufficient weapons, the guerillas were forced to withdraw.[19] This led to the defeat of the uprising.[20] Another figure for the Japanese death toll is 40,[21][22] or 50.[23][24]

Aftermath[edit]

After the revolt, Japan punished civilian populations, especially the Suluks of the coastal islands for siding with the rebels. The Suluks were selected for eradication by the Japanese.[25] Hundreds of civilians were tortured after being arrested by the Japanese. Most Suluk men were slaughtered by the Japanese since the Suluks were deliberately targeted by the Japanese for annihilation.[26] It was described as a "systematic massacre" against the Suluks.[27] "The Tokyo war crimes trial" index described Japanese atrocities as "an apparently systematic attempt to exterminate the Suluk race between February and June 1944".[28]

The Japanese suspected the Suluks' and Binadins' participation in the uprising since the Suluks and Binadins were the only ones with seafearing capability and the Japanese correctly deduced that it was a naval attack which led to the buildings the guerillas had burned down.[29] The Suluks on the Mantanani Islands were subjected to multiple massacres and atrocities by the Japanese Kempeitai. After the Japanese searched the islands in February 1944, looking for a Chinese resistance members, they obtained information regarding Suluks who participated in the uprising through torture from Dr. Lou Lai. The Japanese in Jesselton then tortured to death 58 Suluk men from Mantani whom they arrested; two days after that, the Japanese then massacred two groups of Suluks, one consisting of women and men who were shot by machine gun, and another group of 4 children and 25 women who were ordered to be machine gunned by Lieutenant Shimizu, the Suluk children and women were rounded up and lashed together with rope to a mosque, and then shot to death with machine guns. Only 125 out of the 430 strong Suluk population of Mantani survived. Only 54 out of the 120 strong Suluk population of Dinawan survived with all the men dead after being massacred by the Japanese. Mangolun (Mengalum), Sulug and Udar islands were also targeted by the Japanese for massacres.[30][31] The Japanese slaughtered 54 people out of the 114 strong Suluk population on Sulug Island as punishment for aiding the resistance.[32] The Suluk houses were also burned down after they were machine gunned.[33][34]

The Suluks were described as "virtually wiped out".[35] Around 3,000-4,000 indigenes on the western coastal islands were slaughtered by the Japanese.[36][37]

The Kinabalu Guerrillas movement ended when the Japanese massacred Kwok, Panglima Ali and its members on 21 January 1944. The Japanese also enacted wholesale slaughters of the Suluks and Bajau civilian populations to the point of wiping the entire Suluk population out after finding out they participated in the uprising. (The Petagas War Memorial was later erected at this site. The exploits of the guerrillas are described in the book Kinabalu Guerrillas by Maxwell Hall.[38]

References[edit]

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