Chinese middle schools riots
|Also known as||Singapore Chinese Middle School Students Union (SCMSSU) riots|
|Outcome||15 people dead|
more than 100 injured
Part of a series on the
|History of Singapore|
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.
The riots came about when Lim Yew Hock announced that the Singapore Chinese Middle School Students' Union would be closed due to its communist activities. The government also arrested four student leaders and expelled 142 students
In protest, students gathered and camped at Chung Cheng High School and The Chinese High School. They sat-in over the next two weeks, organizing meetings and holding demonstrations. On 24 October, 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. 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.