Headlines, Lifelines

1954 - Anti-National Service protest

Students protesting against NS

IN May 1954, students from Chung Cheng High School held a demonstration to protest against National Service.

All males between the ages of 18 and 20 were required to register for part-time National Service.

The Chinese students felt that it was unfair to them, as they saw no future in the British-ruled state. Some also believed that it was a ploy to use local people to preserve colonial rule.

On May 13, 500 students created havoc in the streets, while another 1,000 students locked themselves in Chung Cheng High School. Over 20 students were injured and 48 were arrested by the police.

On May 18, 55 students formed a delegation to request for exemption from National Service. Their request was turned down.

The school authorities decided to close the school two weeks earlier for the school vacation, fearing that there would be further trouble.

2,500 students locked themselves in Chung Cheng High School. The group only dispersed when the police and parents stepped in to intervene.


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