Penang Story Lecture: Penang Kempetai War Crimes Trial

Penang Story Lecture:
Penang Kempetai War Crimes Trial

Speaker: Dr Arujunan Narayanan
Date: 18 September 2015, Friday.

Time: 6.30-9.30pm
Venue: The Star Level 1, The Star Pitt Street, 15 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, 10200 Penang
Admission fee: PHT members RM10; Non-members RM25
Limited seats only.

RSVP before 17 September 2015, Thursday, 12pm, contact 04-2642631.​



The Japanese Military Forces conquered Penang on 19th December 1941 and it remained under Japanese military occupation until 12th September 1945. During the military occupation, the Japanese military arrested a large number of civilians suspected as threat to their military rule. Some of the suspects were members of the Communist Party of Malaya while others were ordinary civilians. They were detained in the Penang Prison and were severely tortured by the Kempetai, the notorious Japanese Military Police. More than 1000 died as a result of being tortured while others survived but had to endure a sickly life after their release . Some of the victims were buried at the Air Itam cemetery while others were dumped into a mass grave near Jelutong. Following the end of the war, the British Military Authority brought 31 Japanese military personnel and 4 civilians to trial. The trial was held in Penang from 30th August to 28th September 1946. At the end of the trial, 21 were sentenced to death, 11 were given different terms of imprisonment and 3 were acquitted. The Penang Kempetai Trial was an exemplary military trial for criminal justice.


Speaker’s profile

Dr Arujunan Narayanan received his masters in Defense Studies from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 1989 and obtained his PhD from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth UK in 2004. Having been an educator for more than 20years, he has lectured at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, the Malaysian Armed Forces Defense College and the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations amongst others. He did PhD thesis on War Crimes Justice in Minor War Crimes Trials in Malaya and Singapore for crimes committed during Japanese Occupation. He has published articles on International Relations such as war crimes, human rights, foreign and defense policies and supervised post-graduate thesis on Straits of Malacca, South China Sea, Sulu and Celebes Seas and the Maritime Territorial Disputes in Northeast Asia.

Penang Story_poster 18 September