Ethnic riots in Singapore

Tuesday, 13th May 1969

Ethnic riots break out in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and later spill over to Singapore. This is also known as the "Seven-Day Racial Riots" between 31 May 1969 to 6 June 1969. Rumours began to spread here from KL that the Singaporean Malays, a minority in Singapore, would be subjected to revenge after Malaysian Chinese were unfairly treated by the Malaysian government. Chinese secret societies began plans to attack the Malay-majority Jalan Ubi and Jalan Kayu. The Malay triads retaliated by burning Chinese shophouses in Geylang. The Internal Security Department (ISD) of Singapore worked with the police to quash all conflicts, but the seven-day riots still caused at least four deaths and 80 injuries. The mounting tensions between the two races continued for another couple of years, but the government made efforts to ensure such high level of violence would not happen again.

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