There was a scarce of food and resources. The price of basic necessities increased a lot due to hyperinflation. For example, the price of rice increased from $5 per 100 catties (about 60 kg or 130 lb) to $5000. So the Japanese issued ration cards to limit the amount of resources received by the civilian population. Once a month, people would line up at the kumiai shop (distribution association) for hours to purchased whatever rations that were available.
Sources: CPDD Ministry Of Education. (2007).Singapore From Settlement To Nation Pre 1819 To 1971. Singapore. Marshall Cavendish Education.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_occupation_of_Singapore (Date accessed: 17 Feb 13)
|A food ration card|