Post-war Problems after Japanese Occupation

Postwar Problems after
Japanese Occupation
Psychological problems
Discontentment with the British
Workers were unhappy with their low wages
and poor working conditions
workers joined trade unions which
organized strikes to get employers to agree
to their demands
more than 300 strikes involving 70000
workers held in 1947 alone, British had to
call up troops to maintain law and order
Chinese middle school students felt they
were treated unfairly by the British colonial
government
British colonial government gave little
support to the students and they had
limited oppportunity to pursue education in
Singapore. Those returning from China
were banned to come to Singapore to stop
the spread of communist ideas
British introduced National Service 1954 for
males aged 1820 and many Chinese
middle school students were upset as their
studies would be further disrupted
they were not willing to defend the colonial
government, loyalty was not to the British
13 May 1954 around 500 students held
paceful demonstration against NS but
British government ended the
demonstration which resulted in a clash
between students and the police.
Student demonstrations continued and
students locked themselves up in Chung
Cheng High school as part of their protest.
Maria Hertogh riots 1950
some Muslims were angry with the
Supreme Court's ruling and felt that the
British was unfair and had taken the side of
the Dutch
led to riots where Europeans and Eurasians
were attacked. Riots continued for 3 days,
curfew lasted for two weeks and 18 people
were killed while 173 others injured.
Demands for citizenship
Chinese Chamber of Commerce started a
petition in 1951 for the British colonial
government to grant citizenship to
Chinaborn Chinese immigrants over the
age of 21
The Chinaborn Chinese felt that they
should also be treated and given the same
privileges as the localborn Chinese as they
have already made their homes in
Singapore
they do not want to be regarded as aliens
and want the same voting privileges and
naturalisation papers to be certified as a
citizen.
Demands for better treatment of local civil
servants
After 1948, the colonial government
recruited more locals into the civil service
but the British officials continued to enjoy
better pay and hold senior positions even
though the locals were equally
wellqualified.
Local civil servants opposed the British
colonial government's unequal treatment
of the locals and demanded that the
government raise their pay.
Demands for local political involvement
there was a change in mindset and
increased political consciousness and
awareness among the people in Singapore
after the Japanese Occupation.
political groups emerged, such as the
Malayan Democratic Union (MDU), formed
in 1945 comprising of mainly localborn,
Englisheducated Chinese, Indians and
Eurasians. Members of the MDU often
discussed how they wanted to be
governed.
Physical problems
Food shortage
insufficient food due to disruption of trade
black market thrived, food continued to be
sold at high prices
Job shortage / Unemployment
jobs were limited due to lack of trade and
businesses
Housing shortage
houses were scarce
living conditions were cramped and
overcrowded
rents were high due to shortage of
housing
Education affected
many children did not attend school during
Japanese Occupation
wanted to continue with education after
British returned
but there were insufficient schools,
teachers, textbooks to meet demands for
education
Trade and businesses affected
trade was disrupted during the war
businesses needed time to recover
some students chose not to return to
school and entered the workforce but jobs
were limited for them
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