1954 National Service Riots or Anti-National Service Riots was a riot that broke out in Singapore in May 1954 involving a number of Chinese Singaporean students.
In 1954 the British colonial government in Singapore passed the National Service Ordinance, requiring all males aged between 18 and 20 to register by May 1954 for part-time National Service. Those who failed to register would be either jailed or fined. Thousands of secondary students from Chinese schools - many of whom were 20 years old or above as their education had been disrupted by World War II - were influenced by communist ideals and unwilling to defend the colonial government. On the first day of registration, very few students from Chung Cheng High School and The Chinese High School turned up.
On 13 May 1954, 500 students gathered in front of the Government House (present-day Istana) to present their petition to the Governor. Soon the peaceful demonstration turned into a riot when the police were called in to disperse the crowd. The police and the students clashed. About 26 people were injured and 48 students arrested.
- ↑ Script error
- National Service Riots of 1954 article in Singapore National Library Infopedia
Understanding Our Past - SINGAPORE: from Colony to Nation