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Chinese middle school student riots
Communist front inspired riots, Singapore, October 1956
Also known asSingapore Chinese Middle School Students Union (SCMSSU) riots
Outcome13 people dead
more than 120 injured

The Chinese middle school student riots were a series of riots in Singapore that broke out between the Chinese community in 1956, resulting in 13 people killed and more than 120 injured. [1]


In 1956, after Lim Yew Hock replaced David Marshall as Chief Minister of Singapore, [2] [3] he began to take tough measures to suppress communist activities with the support of the British Governor and Commissioner of Police. [4]

In September, Lim deregistered and banned three organizations supposedly pro-communist: the Singapore Women’s Association (SWA) and the Chinese Musical Gong Society. The Singapore Chinese Middle School Students Union (SCMSSU) was also dissolved. [4] [5]

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. [1] [6] The government also arrested four student leaders and expelled 142 students and 2 teachers. [7]

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 by 8pm the following evening. [1] As the deadline approached, riots started at the Chung Cheng 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, and also threw stones and bottles. [8] Over the next five days, 13 people were killed and more than 100 were injured.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Singapore: A Journey Through Time, 1299–1970s (Secondary Two). Star Publishing Pte Ltd. 2022. pp. 66–67.
  2. ^ "David Saul Marshall | Infopedia". Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  3. ^ "SAME TEAM-GAME GOES ON". [{The Straits Times]]. 9 June 1956. p. 1. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  4. ^ a b "THE CLEAN-UP: Act Two". The Straits Times. 25 September 1956. p. 1.
  5. ^ "CHILDREN 'MISGUIDED' —GOVERNMENT'S AIM IS TO HELP THEM". The Straits Times. 11 October 1956. p. 7. Retrieved 5 January 2024 – via NewspaperSG.
  6. ^ "Day of decision on unruly students". The Straits Times. 10 October 1956. p. 9. Retrieved 5 January 2024 – via NewspaperSG.
  7. ^ "Lords' tribute to Mr. Lim Yew Hock". The Straits Times. 1 November 1956. p. 9. Retrieved 5 January 2024 – via NewspaperSG.
  8. ^ "8". SINGAPORE From settlement to nation Pre-1819 to 1971. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Education. 2011. ISBN  978-981-2859-94-5.

External links