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Chinese middle school riots

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Chinese middle school riots

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Part of a series on the
History of Singapore
Early history of Singapore (pre-1819)
Founding of modern Singapore (1819–26)
Straits Settlements (1826–67)
Crown colony (1867–1942)
Battle of Singapore (1942)
Japanese Occupation (1942–45)
Post-war period (1945–55)
Internal self-government (1955–62)
Merger with Malaysia (1962–65)
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The Chinese Middle Schools Riots were a series of riots that broke out in the Chinese Singaporean community in 1956, resulting in 13 people killed and more than 100 injured.

In 1956, after Lim Yew Hock replaced David Marshall as Chief Minister of Singapore, he began to take tough measures to suppress communist activities with the support of the British Governor and Commissioner of Police.

In September, Lim Yew Hock deregistered and banned two pro-communist organizations: the Singapore Women’s Association (SWA) and the Chinese Musical Gong Society. The Singapore Chinese Middle School Students Union (SCMSSU) was also dissolved.

In protest, students gathered and camped at Chung Cheng High School and The Chinese High School. They sat-in over the next two weeks, organising meetings and holding demonstrations. On October 24, the government issued an ultimatum that the schools be vacated. As the deadline approached, riots started at the Chinese High School and spread to other parts of the island.

The government decided to take action. On 26 October 1956, the police entered the schools and cleared the students using tear gas. Forced out from the schools, the students headed for the city. They overturned cars and damaged traffic lights. They also threw stones and bottles. [1] Over the next five days, 13 people were killed and more than 100 were injured.

Some nine hundred people were arrested, including Lim Chin Siong, Fong Swee Suan and Devan Nair. They were released in 1959 when the People's Action Party, led by Lee Kuan Yew, won the 1959 general election to form the government as Singapore gained self rule.

References

  • "Singapore - People's Action Party". Retrieved Nov. 7, 2005.
  • 1956 Riots
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