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Malaysians Are Petitioning to Include This Woman in Our History Syllabus, Here’s Why



Malaysians Are Petitioning to Include This Woman in Our History Syllabus, Find Out Why - World Of Buzz 3
Source: NST & Women Heroes of World War II
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Earlier this week, a petition was launched on, calling for Sybil Karthigasu to be included in Malaysian history books, describing the nurse as one of our forgotten heroes and heroines. Just two days after its launch, the petition reached 1,000 signatures and has caught the attention of major local news outlets. Walao!

Never heard of her? Well, after reading about Sybil, she’s definitely one of the bravest Malaysians out there and deserves more recognition for the sacrifices she made for her country. Check out what this extraordinary woman did!


1. Many consider her Malaysia’s Florence Nightingale 

Sybil Medan Karthigasu worked as a nurse during the most turbulent period in recent history, World War II. Sybil and her husband, Dr Abdon Clement Kathigasu, ran a clinic together in Ipoh from 1926 until the Japanese invaded Malaya.

During the Japanese occupation, Sybil and her husband opened a dispensary in Papan, where they secretly gave medical treatment and supplies to guerrilla forces. They also provided information to resistance forces that were fighting against the Japanese.


2. She was imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese during World War II

In 1943, Sybil and Abdon were discovered and arrested by the Japanese military police, and were sent to the Batu Gajah jail. Sybil was subjected to horrific torture while being interrogated by them.

One of the torture methods she faced was the “Tokyo wine treatment“, which involved water being pumped into her body and her torturers would stomp on her abdomen to force the water out through all her orifices.

She was also beaten, burnt, and kicked, had her bones broken, and lost all her fingernails. They even hung her then 5-year-old daughter from a tree and threatened to roast her alive by burning charcoal beneath her!

Despite the unbelievable horror she faced, Sybil never told her torturers anything about the resistance.


3. She is the only Malaysian ever to be awarded Britain’s George Medal

Sybil suffered health problems from the brutal torture she faced. After Malaya was liberated in 1945, she was flown to the United Kingdom for medical treatment. She also began penning her memoirs while she was there.

A few years later, she was awarded the George Medal for Gallantry, making her the only Malaysian to ever be awarded. A few months later, she passed away from the injuries she sustained from her brutal torture at just 48 years old. She was buried in Scotland but her body was returned to Ipoh a year later in 1949. Her final resting place is now at the Roman Catholic cemetery next to St. Michael’s Church on what is now known as Jalan Sultan Idris Shah.

Sybil’s home in Papan is now a memorial to her heroism.

Malaysians Are Petitioning to Include This Woman in Our History Syllabus, Find Out Why - World Of Buzz

Source: Anilnetto


Sybil Kathigasu definitely deserves a place in our history books. After all, it is thanks to selfless and brave people like her that Malaysia was ultimately able to achieve independence and peace. It’s definitely our responsibility to make sure future generations remember what heroes like her went through for our country.

Sign the petition here in hopes to get her in our history syllabus!

If you’re interested to find out more about this amazing woman, read her memoirs, ‘No Dram of Mercy, or watch the miniseries about her life, ‘Apa Dosaku‘. 


Also read: Dying Doctor Selflessly Donates Corneas to Save One Last Patient

Selfless Doctor Wants To Save One Last Patient Before He Dies, Donates His Corneas - World Of Buzz

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