Salakau, which literally means '369' in Hokkien, also known as "Sah Lak Kau", is a street gang or secret society based in Singapore. The numbers 3, 6 and 9 add up to 18. History In the late 1980s and early 1970s, Salakau furiously attacked rival gangs and started many turf wars. It also started recruiting many members from Indian and Malay communities after relaxing the Chinese-only rule. In the 1970s, more Malays were reported to be joining it after being introduced to gang members during tea dances in discos. This was because Malay gangs were smaller and more loosely structured due to the drastic drop of the Malay population and increase of the Chinese population.[1] Salakau also made profits from narcotics, extortion and prostitution. Attacks on rival gangs such as the '303' gang (Sakongsa in Hokkien), the Omega gang and the 18 SYH gang were somewhat of a routine occurrence. The police cracked down on gang activity in the early 1980s and gang wars came to a screeching halt as many of the leaders were jailed. Many other notorious 'headmen' fled to neighbouring countries or were killed in gang attacks.[citation needed] In the 1990s, some teenagers in "pseudo-street gangs" claimed affiliation to Salakau to be "cool" but did not engage in activities as violent as those engaged in by the real gang;[2] in 1993, there were at least nine separate teenage gangs calling themselves 'Salakau'.[3] However, in the late 1990s and early dawn of the millennium, the gang gained strength as many of the jailed leaders were released, and several of the members had succeeded in scaring off many rival gangs from territories. Gang attacks once again became common and rioting cases shot up. Cases of murder involving gang attacks and riots were steadily increasing and the police tightened its noose on the gangs. Singapore's Secret Society Branch dedicated most of its resources to halt the gang violence and managed in netting in a considerable amount of members. Slowly but surely, the gang violence receded and many members were put in prison. Salakau has predominantly held the territories as mentioned but gang activity has slowed down considerably due to the Singapore Police Force (SPF) having a better understanding of the gang networks and sufficient resources. The Secret Societies Branch (SSB) of the SPF has made efforts to control the secret societies in recent years. The SSB regularly conducts surprise raids or checks on nightspots and public places known to be gang territories to deter any potential offenders. Under Singaporean criminal law, a person found guilty of being a member of an unlawful society may be punished up to a maximum of five years imprisonment and five strokes of the cane. Sentences are usually doubled or even tripled for anyone with significant leadership authority in any unlawful society in Singapore. Incidents in 2010 [edit]Downtown East incident On 30 October 2010, a staring incident at NTUC Downtown East in Pasir Ris led to a fatal attack on Republic Polytechnic student Darren Ng.[4] Four persons aged between 18 and 21 were arrested 48 hours after the incident and charged with murder. [edit]Bukit Panjang incident On 8 November 2010, seven youths were repeatedly slashed by a group of parang-wielding men in Bukit Panjang, in what appeared to be gang-related attacks. The victims, aged between 14 and 20, were set upon in two separate incidents. The victim of the first incident was a 20-year-old assistant technician, who was slashed in the back and legs. The victims of the second incident were a group of 20 youths, who were surrounded by the attackers. In both instances, the assailants first asked their victims whether they were from a gang called "Pak Hai Tong". The victims were slashed when they denied association with the group. The gang members shouted "Salakau" before fleeing the scene. The slashings left 20-year-old Jayasiva Shangar Guru hospitalised while six others from the second attack received outpatient treatment for their wounds.

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Updated in February 2013