Singapore Free Press 1930.08.30 -11; 1930.09.03 -155
The Sungei Rambei riot case, which had been transferred from the Jasin Court, was continued this morning before Mr. Boyd. At the Jasin Court on Wednesday, 39 Hylams were charged with rioting at Sungei Rambei village on August 19th. An additional charge of causing hurt to a Malay Lance-Corporal was preferred against three of the men.
Police evidence was to the effect that on Sungei Rambei Police Station being informed of a big fight in the village, a Lance-Corporal proceeded immediately to the scene armed with a long gun. On his arrival he saw a crowd of over 100. Stepping from his car he was surrounded and attacked by 10 men, who seized the gun. The Lance-Corporal ran into a Tamil eating shop after being hotly pursued by the mob. Police reinforcements arrived and arrested 38 men, the last of the accused being arrested some days later. Inspector Sullivan, making enquiry into the trouble, was informed by the Chinese manager of Lim Joo Eng estate that he had dismissed two coolies. One, however, continued working but was again ordered to leave. The manager visited the village on the day in question and entered a barber shop, but was followed by the last accused, who mentioned his name. When the manager confirmed his name, accused shouted to men outside to enter and assault the manager. Over 10 men entered and levelled blows at the manager who escaped to a neighbouring house.
The defence was opened yesterday, most of the accused making statements. Accused No. 26 stated in the witness box that the manager dismissed him and another coolie and they were told to leave immediately. A request to stay over-night owing to the lateness of the hour was refused, the manager at the same time assaulting them. Eventually, they left and slept in the five-foot way. The following day accused spotted the manager entering a barber’s shop. He followed him and demanded of the manager the reason for the assault. The manager again assaulted him, witness shouting for help. Later the police arrived and arrested him.
Cross-examined accused denied receiving notice. He said he reported the assault at the Station and told people in the village of the incident.
Other accused in the witness box stated that they heard of the assault. They considered it unfair and had gathered together with the intention of interviewing the manager as to his reason for the assault on the coolies.
They complained to the Magistrate that they were brutally treated by detectives during their arrest.
Ten accused were discharged for lack of evidence and the case was adjourned until Tuesday.