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Project Independence: Singapore

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by

Sarah Lim

on 24 September 2013

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Transcript of Project Independence: Singapore

The want for independence started when the British abandoned Singapore to defend their home country.
Project Independence:
Singapore!

In 1959...
British
: Now, they would control only the police, the armed forces and foreign relations in Singapore.
Independence!
So Singapore finally gained independence, and now we celebrate National Day on every 9 Aug! :D
By: Si Ying (6), Sarah (7), Rui En (14), Tricia (19) and Damien (24)
The process in how Singapore achieved independence,
varying between conflict and cooperation.

Who were the main parties involved in the process?
Britain
,
Malaysia
and of course,
Singapore
were the main parties involved in Singapore's road to independence.
Singapore realised it was time to have a local rule the country, to have someone who would always put Singapore a first priority.
Independence!!
Conflict
occurs when involved parties see each others as competitors, which hence causes them to oppose each other and have different point of view and thoughts on problems, which hence leads to them to regard and treat each other as threats.
Was the route to independence one of conflict or cooperation?
Cooperation
occurs when involved parties see each other as equals who enhance each other as they often have a common goal. Each party, through helping others, also is able to benefit from it.
We will answer the question through the next few slides...

So what is conflict and cooperation?
Singapore's Route to Independence which was of conflict and cooperation
1824
:
Singapore
became a
British
possession, and they promised to defend and protect the island and her citizens. However when the
Japanese
attacked
Singapore
in World War Two, the
British
fled back to their homeland to defend
Britain
against
Germany
, leaving
Singapore
defenseless and easily conquered by the
Japanese
.
We can no longer trust and depend on the British or any other foreign ruler to protect us!
Locals
This developed the locals' desire for self-governance as this would mean they would be able to protect themselves from foreign invaders.

We will grant you locals some self-governance!
Japanese
Locals
Post War Singapore
The Communists took advantage of the situation....
September 1945
: Singapore was repossessed by the British after the surrender of Japan. However, although the British ruled Singapore again, things had changed...
This shows a sense of mistrust between
Singapore
and the
British
. Conflicts occurred because of a lack of trust for each other. Hence, we can say that the
British
and
Singapore
are having a conflict.
Come on, let's have riots and strikes to get more jobs and higher pay!
Communists
British
We don't want you to rule us anymore! We want independence!
We want communist states! Let us organize more riots and strikes!
Locals
Locals
Communists
We rule S'pore!
Return of the British
Self-Government...?
Singapore's port is profitable and the island is a good military base; we shouldn't relinquish our power! But we cannot keep our power if we do not please the citizens, who want democracy... how about we come to a compromise?
British
1948
: The British allowed six non-official members in the Legislative Council to be elected by the people.
There was a lot of conflict during this time, but there was some cooperation on the
British's
part as well. This lessened the conflict with
S'pore
.
No, we still want full independence!
1954
: Political parties Singapore Labour Front and the People’s Action Party were formed, and fought to improve working conditions of locals and more importantly, self-government! The British further compromised.

Locals
1955:
David Marshall, first Chief
Minister of Singapore
London
Full self-governance at last!
Please grant Singapore democracy.
How about no.
1956:
British
Communists, pro-communist leaders in trade unions and Chinese middle schools
Strikes! Strikes! Riots! Riots!
Lim Yew Hock
With the help of British troops and the local police, Lim Yew Hock had many of them arrested and put in prison. The British saw that he would use violent means to control communism, and that he could effectively control the Communists in Singapore.

1957, in London
Please grant Singapore democracy.
Democracy granted.
Rioters being detained by the police after the communists instigated riots
I failed... I should step down.
Thus,
Lee Kuan Yew
became the first
Prime Minister
of the State of
Singapore
. The
P.A.P. government
was the first fully democratic government of
Singapore
. A few months later,
Yusoff Ishak
became the
Head of State
.
Government
: Local representatives were now allowed into the government and would have full control of all other matters of government.
Evening of 3 June
: Many came to the Padang in front of the City Hall to celebrate the
Singapore’s independence
from the
British Empire
.
But that was not the end of Singapore's problems...
Unemployment
Poor housing
Lack of Education
Urgent problems the local government faced...
Singapore as a young nation, did not have the resources or economy to develop and solve these problems
P.A.P. Leaders
We need to merge with another country that is more developed economically, larger in size; another country that could help solve and develop Singapore... Malaysia!
Benefits from Merging:
Resources: Singapore could gain access to Malaysia’s vast resources and use them to manufacture goods
Protection from communists
Independence form the British
Create a common market, and remove the tariff barrier between the two countries. Both countries could also increase their market and consumer base at the same time.
Why merge?
Tengku Abdul Rahman,
Malaysian Prime Minister
The
communists
in Singapore could
overpower the P.A.P.
and form a
communist
government that will next try to
overpower us
! We should merge with Singapore to keep an eye on
Communist Activities
.
16th September 1963
:
Singapore
merged with
Malaya
to form the
Federation of Malaysia
. However throughout this merge, the
P.A.P.
and the
Alliance Party in Kuala Lumpur
never saw eye to eye...
Although there was cooperation present through the merge of
Singapore
and
Malaysia
, each country had different reasons for wanting to merge and treated it as an easy way to solve their own problems. When one party has decided that its problem has been solved, it will want to break the agreement; therefore this display of cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia would be short-lived.

End of the Merger...
What were the reasons leading to a smooth/violent transfer of power?
There was some violence involved, but the transfer of power was not COMPLETELY violent.
“Most of the problems facing Singapore arise out of the high rate of population growth. The dependency problem is great – about two-thirds of the population depend on the productivity of a third. Social service requirements – health, education, and housing – to match the population growth would involve heavy investment.”
Source: Extract from State of Singapore, Development Plan 1961 - 1964 (1961) p. 18.

And thus...
.


Political
Political
Economic
Economic
Common market happened too slowly
Malaysia
We should have a Bumiputra system, so Malays can get certain privileges!
Singapore
No, there should be a meritocratic system, where all races get equal privileges!
P.A.P.
Alliance Party
Vote for us! We care for the people!
No, we're better! You're stealing our voters!
Malaysian government introduced new taxes (40% to 60%)
Clashed with Singapore's idea of economic growth
Malaysia
Singapore
Let's be partners and work together for a better economic future!
Malaysia
Singapore
They're our economic rivals...
Instead...
Here, we can see that there was disagreement between the two parties even though they were merged, which shows that conflicts can occur after cooperation. Eventually, disagreements became so serious that riots broke out in Singapore in July and September 1964.

The relationship between the P.A.P. and the Malay Alliance leaders turned from bad to worse. PAP and the Alliance Party leaders had different ideas and feelings which were conflicting. The PAP and Alliance Party never came to an agreement Prime minister Lee Kuan Yew tried to make a deal but failed, which eventually resulted in their separation from each other on 9 August 1965.
There were many reasons for the end of the merger, both economic and political:
When the conflict is too big to solve, or when too many conflicts occur over time and are left unsolved, the relationship of involved parties that were actually cooperating can turn sour and eventually be broken off, like what happened to
Singapore
and
Malaysia
. When cooperation involves compromises, which does not always work, it can lead to even further conflict. Therefore, although conflict and cooperation were both present in
Singapore
’s route to independence, conflict was present to a greater extent than cooperation in
Singapore’
s route to independence.
Let's go back to our original question...
Was the route to independence one of conflict or cooperation?
Singapore’s route to independence consisted of both conflict and cooperation.
Why do we say so? How was conflict and cooperation present in Singapore's route to independence?
In Lee Kuan Yew’s memoir, Life and Times of Lee Kuan Yew, he aptly writes; some countries are born independent. Singapore had independence thrust upon it. Indeed, our independence was not violent physically, but it was definitely not peaceful and smooth-sailing.
From
Malaysia
to
Singapore
: The transfer of power had some physical violence, but only to a certain extent. It was more shocking and devastating than violent for Singapore.. There was much tension between the Chinese and Malays. Combined with the conflict we have shown just now, there was no smooth transfer of power.
From
British
to
Singapore
: The transfer of power was relatively smooth, since the British came to a compromise even though there were communist riots. It was because they saw Lim Yew Hock's capability in keeping communist activities under control, that they granted Singapore all aspects of independence apart from foreign affairs and defence.
BOARD PUBLIC HOUSING ESTATE IN SINGAPORE (1965)
Singapore' Respond to British Rule after WW2
Divided Land
Singapore Rejected
Bibliography
Primary

News article, straits times, 10 aug 1965, pg 1
http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19650810-1.2.2.aspx

Secondary

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15971013

http://www.parliament.gov.sg/sites/default/files/Edu%20Factsht%201%20-Rd%20to%20Independence%20%282012%29.pdf

Singapore: The unexpected Nation by Edwin Lee

Singapore documentary by David Whitefield Jones of Visual works inc.

Source: http://library.thinkquest.org/10414/indep.html

http://library.thinkquest.org/10414/indep.html

Source: Extract from State of Singapore, Development Plan 1961 - 1964 (1961) p. 18.

Source: Extract of oral history interview with Dr Albert Winsemius,

1982.Source: K F Wong Source: MICA
Full transcript