Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Maria Hertogh Saga...part 4


The large crowd outside the Court on 11 Dec 1950
In the weeks prior to the Final Court Hearing to consider the appeal against the earlier N0vember 20 verdict tensions were starting to rise day by day. The increasingly sensational news stories and reports by various newspapers added more fuel to the already over-heated atmosphere. Many of the stories did nothing more than incite anger and hatred among the Muslims against the Europeans who were largely Christians. The stage was set for a final showdown. Everything depended on the outcome of the Court hearing.

Above: The news and pictures published in foreign papers
The Final Hearing - 11 December 1950
Long before the Court session started,the large crowds gathered. They were mainly Malays, Indian Muslims and Indo-Muslims, many carrying flags and banners bearing the crescent logo. They were well-organised and were prepared for a long session.
The Hearing began sharp at 12 noon....and within just 5 short minutes, it was OVER! The legal appeal was completely thrown out....just like that! Everyone outside was shocked.The brevity of the hearing convinced the crowd that the colonial legal system was biased against Muslims.
The uncontrollable crowd erupted. The seemingly peaceful crowd broke up into mobs of rioters who began to attack Europeans and Eurasians on sight. They were reportedly joined by Chinese secret society gangs. Buildings were torched and vehicles burnt. The rioting spread to various parts of the island. The police had a difficult time trying to contain the violence. One reason, as later mentioned in the official findings, was that the lower ranks of the force consisted largely of Malay policemen who were sympathetic to the rioters' cause...being fellow Muslims.
The British Military Commander, Major-General Dunlop had to request for urgent help from his Malayan counterpart. The military and police reinforcements came the next day Dec 12 and by noon on December 13 the situation was under control.
What was the damage like?
18 people were killed. They were 7 Europeans, 9 rioters and 2 police officers.
173 people were injured, many seriously.
119 vehicles and 2 buildings were burnt.
To further contain any attempt at violence or revengeful attacks, a 2 week curfew was imposed.





2 comments:

Icemoon said...

The doll is kind of freaky. What's with her hands?

unk Dicko said...

No idea about the doll's hand. But some dolls can be quite scary. I recall seeing some scenes from Hollywood horror movies where "dolls" could move under evil influence and commit murder.