Ex-president Devan Nair once told Melanie Chew that his contact with the MPAJA happened through an untouchable, the pariah Paramanan. He was one of the labourers working for Nair's father, the chief clerk put in charge of a rubber estate. It was a moral dilemma for father and son when thirty Japanese trucks rolled up and demanded the surrender of the labourers. Nair undertook the risk to warn Paramanan during the night. Next morning, the Japanese found only old ladies and babies, everybody else had fled to the jungle.
There were 15 people who had been involved with Paramanan and the MPAJA. Father and son included. If Paramanan was caught and succumbed to torture, they would be finished. The horribly mutilated corpse of Paramanan was later found, thrown out of the Kempeitai headquarters like discarded trash.
Parmanan had not revealed any names. What Nair found incredible was that "an unlettered, illiterate, lowly born pariah, enduring the most cruel Japanese torture" had saved their lives. He saw it as one more reason to reject one hated man's views on genetics and intelligence. You can give a man all the paper qualifications in the world, he said, it will not make a difference. Don't even get started with the bogus certificates from degree mills which the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) seems to accept with alacrity.