1954 National Service riots

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13 May Incident or 1954 National Service riots
Date 13 May 1954
Location Singapore
Also known as 13 May Incident
Participants Singapore Chinese Middle School Student Union Members and Singapore Police Force Riot Squad.
Outcome 26 injured
46-60 students arrested
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1954 National Service riots or 13 May Incident started out as a peaceful protest in May 1954 involving a number of students from the Singapore Chinese Middle School Student Union (SCMSSU).

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. 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 then Governor John Fearns Nicoll. Soon the peaceful demonstration was broken up through the use of violence by members of the police riot squad.[1][2][3] The police and the students clashed. About 26 people were injured and between 46[4] to 60[5] students were arrested.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lee, Ting Hui (1996). The Open United Front: The Communist Struggle In Singapore 1954-1966. Singapore: South Seas Society. p. 49. 
  2. ^ Wu, Cai Tang (2014). Youth On Trial. Singapore: Function 8. pp. 144–145. 
  3. ^ Tan, Kok Chiang (2014). Youth On Trial. Function 8. pp. 144–145. 
  4. ^ "National Service Riots of 1954". National Library Board. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Hong, Lysa (2011). The May 13 Generation. Malaysia: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre. p. 67. 
  6. ^ "1954 Anti National Service Protest". Archived from the original on 24 December 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2007. 

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