Omega and 369 "gang war" in Singapore (2019)

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On 23 August 2019, a series of messages regarding an alleged gang war in Singapore was circulated on WhatsApp and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The messages alleged that two rival gangs, Omega and 369, were engaging in gang related violence across the island.

Details of online hoax

One of the messages that had been circulating on WhatsApp. Others took to their Instagram stories, warning their followers of the fights. Photo from imgur.

Details of messages

Detailing a list of “areas to be aware of” around Singapore, the messages warned of the ongoing war and “recruitment”. According to the messages, the Omega gang was allegedly recruiting new members by force and beating up Malay individuals who refused to be recruited.


Youths were warned against going out alone and to stick to crowds.[1] It was also alleged that a boy from Admiralty Secondary School had died after being beaten up by the Omega gang.[2] Additionally, some messages stated that the gang had also been raping unsuspecting girls.[3]

Graphic pictures and video "evidence"

Besides the flurry of messages, alleged pictorial and video “evidence” of the gang-related violence were also circulated. This included the following:[4]

  • A photograph of a man with a deep open wound on his chin
  • A man with blood on his face and T-shirt
  • A video of a group of Malays gathering near a void deck, with a voice in the background commenting that they were from the Omega gang


A video montage of the three alleged pieces of "evidence" can be found here.

Confirmation of fake news

On 24 August 2019, MP Amrin Amin (in red) stood up for the innocence of the implicated dikir barat group, Makyong Kedek. Photo from Amrin Amin's Facebook post.

Singapore Police Force

On 24 August 2019, the Singapore Police Force released a statement on Facebook confirming that the information about the alleged gang activities was false. The police reported that none of the alleged incidents purported had occurred. At the same time, members of the public were advised against perpetuating the fake news.[5]


The SPF statement can be viewed here.

Video “evidence” debunked

A netizen and the MP of Sembawang GRC Amrin Amin had reached out to dismiss the credibility of the video "evidence".


A Twitter user by the name of Amirul Ashraf Iyun came forward to explain the context of the video. He clarified the video was, in fact, a debriefing session for his dikir barat group, Makyong Kedek Family.[6] On 24 August 2019, Amrin Amin, the MP for Sembawang GRC, pledged his support to the dikir barat group. He revealed that he had met with the group earlier in the day at their competition in Woodlands.[7]


On Makyong Kedek’s Instagram page (@percussionz_by_makyong_kedek), a post on 24 August 2019 verified the fact that the group indeed had a competition on that day.[8] The group expressed their gratitude to MP Amrin Amin through an Instagram post dated 25 August 2019.[9]

Historical precedence

Omega and 369 are real gangs that originated in Singapore.[10][11][12] The Omega and 369 gangs are notorious with a history of reported violence against rival gangs. This 2019 fake news incident leveraged on existing fears in Singapore's society and past events that had set a historical precedent.

Gang reputations

A research paper published in the International Sociological Association states that Omega was reportedly formed on 23 September 1989 and has since become a household name among Malay youths in Singapore.[13][14] According to another published academic study, Omega is an acronym for “Orang Melayu Enter Gangster Area” (trans. Malay people enter gangster area).[15] The earliest newspaper report of the "369" gang dates back to 30 March 1948.[16]

Omega & 369 gang fight (2000)

On 8 October 2000, a gang fight erupted between members of the two gangs at Oasis Restaurant & Nite Club Building and Shore Gardens Open Park in Kallang. The fight started from a taunt delivered by an Omega gang member to the members of the 369 gang. The fight led to the death of Rasid Saini, an Omega gang member. 9 members of the 369 gang were jailed and caned for causing grievous hurt.[17]

References / Citations

  1. “S’pore police debunk widespread messages on rumoured gang war, case is being probed”. MustShareNews. August 24, 2019. Accessed 9 September 2019. Retrieved from MustShareNews.
  2. Malavika Menon. “Police investigating fake news being circulated about gang fights and activities in Singapore”. The Straits Times. August 24, 2019. Accessed 9 September 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  3. Low, Derek. “[FactCheck]: Is the “Omega” secret society making a comeback in Singapore?”. Blackdot Research. August 24, 2019. Accessed 9 September 2019. Retrieved from blackdotresearch.sg.
  4. Wong, Charlene. “Video purporting to show a gathering of gangsters in S’pore for a ‘turf war’ outed as fake”. Observer+. August 24, 2019. Accessed 9 September 2019. Retrieved from observer.plus.
  5. “Police investigating false information on gang activities”. Singapore Police Force. August 24, 2019. Accessed 9 September 2019. Retrieved from Facebook.
  6. Wong, Charlene. “Video purporting to show a gathering of gangsters in S’pore for a ‘turf war’ outed as fake”. Observer+. August 24, 2019. Accessed 9 September 2019. Retrieved from observer.plus.
  7. Amrin Amin. Facebook. August 24, 2019. Accessed 9 September 2019. Retrieved from Facebook.
  8. PERCUSSIONZ By Makyong Kedek. Instagram. August 24, 2019. Accessed on 10 September 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1iq6yIBNx_/
  9. PERCUSSIONZ By Makyong Kedek. Instagram. August 25, 2019. Accessed on 10 September 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1ko_rFB9cw/
  10. Ganapathy Narayanan. “‘Us’ and ‘Them’: Ethnic Minority Gangs in the Singapore Prisons”. ISA e-Symposium for Sociology (2012): 1-16.
  11. Low, Derek. “[FactCheck]: Is the “Omega” secret society making a comeback in Singapore?”. Blackdot Research. August 24, 2019. Accessed 9 September 2019. Retrieved from blackdotresearch.sg.
  12. ""369" GANG PIRATES TONGKANG'". Malaya Tribune. March 30, 1948. Accessed on 10 September 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  13. Ganapathy Narayanan. “‘Us’ and ‘Them’: Ethnic Minority Gangs in the Singapore Prisons”. ISA e-Symposium for Sociology (2012): 1-16.
  14. Low, Derek. “[FactCheck]: Is the “Omega” secret society making a comeback in Singapore?”. Blackdot Research. August 24, 2019. Accessed 9 September 2019. Retrieved from blackdotresearch.sg.
  15. Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir. “The Malay Gangster” in Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity, ed. Joshua Barker, Eric Harms and Johan Lindquist (Hawaii: Hawaii University Press, 2014). Retrieved from ResearchGate.
  16. ""369" GANG PIRATES TONGKANG'". Malaya Tribune. March 30, 1948. Accessed on 10 September 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  17. Wong, Fei Wan. "Jail and cane for attackers in gang fight". The Straits Times. June 8, 2001. Accessed on 10 September 2019. Retrieved from World Corporal Punishment Research Archives.