History project- Maria Hertogh riot: script by EEsP8g


									History Project: A riot to remember
 A dramatization of the Maria Hertogh Riots in 1950

              Tan Shi Ni
          Rania Selo Hartano
            Cheryl Leong
              Cheng Ivy
              Miao Jing
            Low Zhen Jie
            Deborah Lye
                      Zhenjie=Che Aminah
                        Ivy=Narrator no. 1
     Shini=Narrator no. 2/Dutch person 1/policewoman/lawyer
               Rania =Maria Hertogh/ Malay rioter 1
            Jiahong=Adeline Hertogh/ Dutch person 2
                    Cheryl=Jury/ Malay rioter 2
                  Deborah=Mansoor/ Policeman

N: Good morning Ms Tan, and fellow classmates. We will be doing a play on the
Maria Hertogh riots. Although there are 2 different versions of the story, we are
going by Adeline’s version. Now I shall introduce the characters. Rania is Maria,
Deborah is Maria’s husband, Mansoor, Jia Hong is Adeline Hertogh, Maria’s
biological mother, Zhen Jie is Che Aminah, Maria’s adoptive parent, Shi Ni acts
as several roles, Miao Jing is the Judge, Cheryl is the Jury. Throughout the play,
there will be some change of roles to fit into the script.

N: Maria Huberdina Hertogh was born into a Dutch Catholic family. She was
caught in a custody battle between her Catholic biological parents and her
Muslim foster mother. They went to court to settle her custody. However, what
started out as a custody battle in late 1949 later became bloody and chaotic
leaving 18 dead, 173 injured and nearly 200 vehicles burnt or damaged.

N: Maria Hertogh’s hearing at court.

Judge: Aminah Binte Mohamed, please tell the court your version.

Aminah: (meanwhile Deborah, Shi Ni and Rania act out the roles – no sound
preferred) Adeline Hertogh, her biological mother, had given her up for adoption
in late 1942, and I adopted her. I also told her that I would treat Maria like one of
my own, and bring her up in the Muslim faith and she agreed. After the adoption,
we continued to visit each other frequently until she left to look for a job and we
never saw each other again till 1950. Thus, her custody should be mine.

Juge: Adeline Hertogh, please tell the court your version.

Adeline: (meanwhile Deborah, Shi Ni and Rania act out the roles – no sound
preferred) I was persuaded by my mother after the birth of my 6th child to let
Maria stay with Che Aminah in Bandung for 3-4 days. When Maria wasn’t
returned to me, I set out on bicycle to fetch my daughter. However, along the way,
I was arrested by a Japanese sentry as I did not have a pass. By sending
smuggled letters to my mother, my mother sent my children over to me. However,
Maria was not sent over, she was still with Aminah. My mother then told me that
Aminah wanted to keep Maria for a couple more days and then send her over.
However, I did not see my daughter throughout my internment and after I was
released, I could not find both Maria and Aminah.

(Jury pretend to discuss with judge.)

Jury: We have all come to a decision and I shall announce the verdict; Ms Maria
Huberdina Hertogh is to be returned to her biological parents, Mr and Mrs
Adrainus Petrus Hertogh.

N: Che Aminah was very unwilling to give Maria back. She appealed against the
court order and succeeded.

Che Aminah: HAH! In your face.

Adeline: (cries)

N: On 1st August 1950, Aminah arranged for Maria, only 13 years old then, to
marry a Malay teacher in training at Bukit Panjang Government School, Mansoor
Adabi, to make Adeline Hertogh give up on taking Maria back. But the newly
wed couple did NOT do ANYTHING. (Emphasize) Meanwhile, Adeline got the
lawyers to deliver a letter demanding the return of Maria.

(Stage is being split into half, the left featuring Adeline and Lawyer; the right
featuring Aminah and Mansoor; or vice versa.
Lawyer: Mrs Hertogh, if they do not return Maria by the 10th of August, we can
take legal action.

Adeline: YES YES YES! Now they have no choice.

N: Aminah and Mansoor received the letter.

Aminah: Mansoor, we’ve got mail from the Hertoghs. They say that if we don’t
return Maria by 10th August, they will take legal action. What do we do?
Mansoor: Do not do anything, mother. She is married to me. They can’t do
anything to Maria.
Aminah: Yes, indeed. We shall ignore the deadline.
Mansoor: -nod-nod-

Adeline: They did not abide to the letter. Let’s take legal action on them!

N: Therefore, Che Aminah was taken to court by Adeline. They fought in the
court for Maria’s custody. The hearing began on 20th November. Adeline
travelled down to Singapore to attend the hearing. The marriage, instead of
solving the matter, complicated it.
Judge: I have 2 issues to raise today – firstly, Maria’s marriage, and secondly,
her custody. Maria’s marriage is invalid because she was underage and although
Muslims allow underage marriages, she was born to a Dutch family, and girls
there aren’t allowed to get married until they are 16 years of age. Regarding the
custody of Maria, I have to consider her well-being in the future besides her
current situation. Moreover, Mr Adrianus Hertogh, Maria’s biological father, has
not abrogated his parental rights. Therefore, the custody should be awarded to
the Hertoghs with immediate effect.
(bangs hammer) Court dismissed!

N: When the hearing ended, policewomen came to take Maria to a girls’ home for
temporary stay.

Maria: NO!! I don’t want to leave with this unknown person! I know who my
mother is! *bawls & hugs mansoor and Aminah* (what a touching scene)

N: Maria Hertogh was put in a convent and was made to stay there against her
own will. Pictures of Maria surrounded by Christian faith offended the muslims as
they felt she was one of their own and this triggered anger between the muslims
and Dutch.

N: On 11th December 1950, the appeal hearing opened. Maria stayed in her
convent and did not attend. Crowds of supporters gathered at the supreme court
that day.

N: In less than five minutes later…

Judge comes out and says: The jury has decided, Maria Hertogh shall stay with
her biological parents.

Random Muslim supporter: What?! This is so unfair! You are clearly biased
against us Muslims!

Random Muslim supporter2: Exactly! This is an outrage!

-Murmur of agreement through crowd-

Anger aroused in heated argument. *voices get louder to shrills*

The Muslims starts marching across the street. When they see a couple of
Eurasians having coffee/tea nearby, they walk towards them. One of them picks
up a hammer from the ground and hides it behind the back. They tap on the
Eurasians’ shoulders (allowing them to stand up first).

The Eurasians turn around and smile, saying: “Hi!”
The Muslims says: Hi! (Then one of them swings the hammer around, and
The Eurasians are shocked and run for their lives. The Muslims chase them
around the Theatrette.

A policeman guarding the Supreme Court: Oh there is some chasing over there!
Um… OH I see, it’s a riot! (Chases after the people.)
The policeman chases after the Eurasians: Are you Dutchmen? Are you
Dutchmen? (Without waiting for an answer – attacks them brutally.)

-Signages waving around and banners-

All rioters chant: DOWN WITH THE DUTCH!!!

Police officer: This is useless. We won’t be able to stop them. We need to call in
the British Military.

Police officer2: Yes, of course. (Calls with telephone and pretends to speak with
British officer) Into phone: Hello? Sir, we have a problem…

British officer announces over PA: People of Singapore. Please listen up, this is
important. We have just imposed a 24-hour curfew and all of you are required to
stay at home for your own safety. Everyone on the streets is to seek shelter in
their residences NOW. Those who disobey will be dealt with severely.
(British policemen start to go around Singapore to inform them and ensure that
all people are safe in their homes.)

Narrator 1: After the riots, the police set up a special investigation unit which
detained the rioters. They brought rioting charges against 200 people, of whom
25 were acquitted, 100 were convicted and 62 referred to the Enquiry Advisory
Committee. Seven people were brought to trial at the Assize Court for wanton
killing and five of them were subsequently sentenced to death on the gallows.

Narrator 2: On 25 August 1951, Tunku Abdul Rahman immediately set out to
save the seven on death row. Gathering support from the Muslim population,
Abdul Rahman placed pressure on the British authorities, who finally gave in and
the death sentences for all five were commuted to life imprisonment.
What we want the audiences to take back
At the end of our play, we hope our audience would be more informed about
information on this riot and also to understand both sides of the story (Adeline’s
and Che Aminah’s version), the difficulties of both parties and how the two
different sides interpreted the situation at that time. Leaving them to decide for
themselves who they really think Maria’s custody should go to as we did not side
anyone. Adeline or Che Aminah

Maria Hertogh riots overview
      started on 11 December 1950
      caused by outraged Muslims who resented the court decision to give the custody of
       Maria Hertogh (or Bertha Hertogh), then 13, to her biological Dutch Catholic parents
       after she had been raised as a Muslim under the care of Aminah binte Mohamed, whom
       she regarded as her mother.
      lasted till noon on 13 December
       18 killed, 173 injured and many properties damaged – the worst incident of its kind
       ever witnessed in Singapore.

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