The Emergency of June 24, 1948

Singaporeís struggle against Communist Terror

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By Cindy Liew   

Terrorism – a term we too often easily associate with suicide bombings or car bombings.

In contrast to the peace and security people enjoy now, terrorism once took place in Singapore – bomb blasts were no stranger to Singapore in the 1950s due to the onset of communist terror that occurred after World War II.

On June 24, 1948, a state of emergency was declared in Singapore after a series of violence triggered by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP). Till today, painful memories of sabotage, arson, acid attacks, grenade attacks and barbaric assassinations are still vivid in the minds of people who witnessed MCP’s terrorism.

China is regarded as the last bastion of communism. MCP’s political ideologies were strongly influenced by the Chinese Communist Party. The latter has supported the establishment of the communist parties in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Burma, Laos, and Nepal. According to the award-winning Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party (, many leaders of these communist parties are Chinese, and some of them, to this day, are still holed up in China.

Communist Terror

In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, terrorism is explained as “the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective”.

To quote from the ‘Communist Manifesto’: “The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions” – in other words, the atheist Communist Party’s means of securing power is through violence.

Hence, the link between communism and terrorism is irrefutable.

In his recently published book ‘Quest for Political Power: Communist Subversion and Militancy in Singapore’, author Dr Bilveer Singh, lecturer and researcher at the National University of Singapore and former head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security at Nanyang Technological University, stated: “For communists anywhere, armed struggle and violence have always been an important strategy for achieving political power, and this was also true in Malaysia and Singapore.”

Dr Singh also noted that similar to the present-day jihadist terrorism, the communist party used propaganda to justify the adoption of violence against its enemies “through a process of de-humanisation” so that it could “fulfill its historic mission’”.

Dr Singh recorded many accounts of MCP’s sabotage, murders and assassinations in Singapore in his book, from which a few are cited below:

1.One of the most serious acts of arson in Singapore was committed by MCP on 27 July 1950 at the Aik Hoe Rubber Factory, which resulted in a damage of S$12 million.

2.In December 1953, the general manager of the Hock Lee Bus Company was shot by three men in front of his staff.

3.In June 1954, two dock police at the Singapore Harbour Board were murdered.

4. In May 1954, a day after the 13 May students’ riot against the National Service Ordinance, 675 grenades plus high explosives, mortar bombs and artillery shells were unearthed off Thomson Road. Five years later, 1100 grenades were discovered by police in various secret hideouts.

Violence Unjustified

The resort to violence (by communists or terrorists) is not and will never be justified – and even if there are any justifications, they are usually claims reflecting the totalitarian ideology: I am right, therefore whatever I do is right, including killing.

In such cases, the interests of certain groups of people, not universal morality, determine “right” and “wrong”.

Dr Singh recounted in his book that MCP believed “what is good for communism is good. So if that good means lying, cheating, stealing, robbing and killing, that’s all right. And who decides? The Party leader. So you surrender your conscience to the party leader”.

The fight against an ideology of extreme violence continues today in the 21st century – because beyond terror in the Middle East, some of the world’s grossest human rights abuses are still occurring in China, under the deceptive façade of the Chinese Communist Party.

On June 22, a new China organ harvesting report revealed that a state-run medical genocide – which may have performed up to 1.5 million organ transplants from unwilling live donors, mostly from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience – has been carried out by the Chinese Communist Party since 2000. [1]

As philosopher Slavoj Žižek said in an interview in 2011, “Because the horror of Communism, Stalinism, is not that bad people do bad things — they always do. It’s that good people do horrible things thinking they are doing something great.”

And that is how terror becomes commonplace.


[1] Robertson, Matthew. ìReport Reveals Vast State-Run Industry to Harvest Organs in China.î Epoch Times. 22 June 2016.

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