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Main Causes for the Striles & Riots That Happened in Singapore in the 1960s

  • Date Submitted: 02/26/2012 12:43 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 51.9 
  • Words: 1090
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The tumultuous years after the end of world war II were marred with a lot of Post-War Problems, such as unemployment, lack of housing, and shortage of food. All this led to discontent among the general populace, which resulted in a number of strikes & riots, namely the hock lee bus riots, anti-NS riots, and SCMSSU riots. These riots were initiated mainly because of the aforesaid post war problems, the strong presence of communist leaders and rhe insensitive attitude of the governmernt. I agree to a large extent that the strong presence of communist leaders was the main cause of Strikes & Riots in the 1960s. Let’s analyse the reasons.
I agree to a small extent that the strong presence of communist leaders was the main reason for the strikes and riots that occurred in the 1960s. The communists, comprising of several key figures such as Lim Chin Siong and Fong Swee Suan, were able to appeal to the Chinese masses through their ability to converse, and more importantly persuade, in the Hokkien Dialect, which was the language spoken by the majority of Chinese workers, which formed the majority of the population, thus enabling them to garner a large group of supporters, ready to tap into & mobilize if needs be. This, coupled with the entrenched hate in the Chinese towards the british for failing to solve the Post War problems, which resulted in scores of   unemployed / underpaid Chinese workers, created a imminent hotbed of tension, mistrust & anger, ready to explode at any time – it was just missing a triggering factor. Well, that factor was the communists.   The fact that they instigated the hock lee bus riots and the fact that they were able to mobilize hundreds of Chinese students to support the hock lee bus workers when they went on strike is testament enough to their ability to appeal to the masses. Even Lee Kwan Yew described Lim Chin Siong’s oratorical skills as “hypnotic” and acknowledged that he was a force to be reckoned with in Singapore...

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