How the gangsters did it?
In the days of the 50s and 60s, the tongs and triad activities were high. They ran the country’s business world parallelled to the limited presence of the police force. They were quite successful and were part and parcel of life. They had their ways to gain acceptance by the communities, rightfully or wrongly. They had their own modus operandi, from thugs to saviours. They brought along peace and order in an otherwise chaotic society. Of course they were the bullies and took advantage of the people whenever they could, for their own benefits. They disturbed the businesses, from street hawkers to shopkeepers. They harassed the operators and workers. They threatened them as well as their customers. Things were broken, shops broken into, electrical and water supplies damaged, fires were often encountered. Robberies and theft and whatever that gave no peace to businesses. Then, with the situation grinding to a point of near collapse, help was needed to restore order and stability. The village or kampong headmen would invite the gangsters to help. And what else could happen if the devils stopped playing punks? The gangsters became the heroes, for saving the villages and kampongs of their problems. How would the villages know that their problems were caused by the same gangsters they appointed to help? So the devil became the saviour. They were honoured and given their dues. That was how the gangsters claimed credits for undoing their own dirty works. The formula, create a mess, chaos, problems for everyone, everyone crying for help, then step in like a knight in shining armour. Always work.