Monday, July 20, 2015

Independence Day Blues

The question from Melanie Chew was: "Can you explain to me why independence for Singapore was declared in the 31st August 1963, before the formation of Malaysia on September 16th, 1963."
Dr Toh Chin Chye's reply:
That was Lee Kuan Yew forcing it through. Because the proposal for Maphilindo was still up in the air: that was the confederation of Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia that Sukarno wanted. The United Nations had to consult Sabah and Sarawak on Malaysia. And they were not ready.
So to appease them, the Tengku had to postpone Malaysia Day. But Lee Kuan Yew told the Tengku to make it August 31st, 1963. To push the whole thing through, to preempt any unforeseen obstacles cropping up." ("Leaders of Singapore", page 93)

That's not the only weird part of our history. Singapore, unlike most other states and nations, achieved independence twice: Once in 1959 when it was decolonised by the British; then again after it was booted out of the Federation of Malaysia in 1965, into which Singapore had integrated in 1963. (Columbia Electronic Encyclopaedia (2011), 6th Edition, 11/1/2011)

Some have written that Singapore achieved independence in 1959 due to a lack of British colonial retaliation to the Japanese occupation during World War II. In 1954, pressure for independence from Commonwealth countries started to grow, and in 1955 the British handed Singapore its own administration, while retaining foreign policy and defence. Even so, Singapore was considered a heavy financial burden on the British, leading to the final decolonisation.

If independence meant that "Her Majesty’s sovereignty and jurisdiction in respect of the new states shall be relinquished so as to vest in the manner agreed", we should really be celebrating the year 1959 or 1963, not the year we were turfed out. The propaganda movie starring Lim Kay Tong will have to be renamed. All those SG50 paraphernalia will have to be reprinted. More seniors will qualify for the Pioneer Generation Package goodies. Dr Toh said the whole independence day thingy was "pushed through", to preempt any unforeseen obstacles cropping up. Was the schedule for the next general elections similarly adjusted to preempt any of those unforeseen obstacles?


  1. Isn't the day we were kicked out of the Federation a day of regret? Even the horrible person shed tears over it. How is this the day of celebration, our National Day? National Days are for rejoicing, a founder's day, a day of true independence from oppressors or foreign rule. There is a contrariness to this event in our history. Unless it is a day we celebrate to spite the entity of which we are no longer a part, to assuage the ego of one horrible person - a PAP Day?

    1. That is why our history is so confusing starting from 1959.

      So much manipulation... a difficult birth indeed.
      While the truth is buried in some narrative, the younger generation is fed with dates that may not be accurate.

    2. //There is a contrariness to this event ...//
      Habibe never forgot or forgave what LKY said about the rupiah falling if he was elected President of Indonesia. That's why when Teo Chee Hean was sent over to make amends, he gesticulated angrily to make it crystal clear Singapore is merely a little red dot on his wall map. And now the jokers are waving the red dot around like a badge of honour! Why not go the whole hog, and adopt the pee-sai thrown at George Yeo for opening his big mouth at the UN as a national icon?

    3. A difficult birth tends to result in mal-formed growth and development.
      For nationhood, it is the Same. 50 years and the Rot and decay have reached irreparable stage. Almost like getting into Stage 4 in Cancer.

      The only hope left is for simeone who is capable of dealing with the malignant cells without destroying the normal one.


  2. This National Day we will have, in addition to the usual marches, songs, dances and fireworks,something morbid.
    A dead person would rise up and read the declaration of independence whch he did not do at that time.
    It surely will be a day to remember.
    I wonder if the filial son would go one step further to made the horrible man a member permanent(MP) for that GRC so that he would have a place in our head.

  3. The question is when we joined Malaysia in 1963, were we free to choose to join or is a must condition set by the British. If in 1963 Singapore already is able to choose between a merger with Malaya or be its own independent country, then I say the Independent's date is 1963. It doesn't matter that in 1963 we joined Malaya to form Malaysia. The fact that we could choose either way, shows that we have gained full independent status in 1963.

    1. If you study the Referendum on Merger with Malaysia back in 1962, the Singaporean voters were never given a Yes-No choice on merger.

      Three choices were given.
      All three choices were for a merger with Malaysia.
      The only difference was the terms of the merger.

      Choice of three options
      It was finally decided that the referendum would offer voters three alternative forms of merger:

      See below for the three "choices" that were available
      A. The constitutional arrangements set out in Command Paper 33 of 1961 giving Singapore autonomy in education and labour and other agreed matters as amended by agreement between the two governments on the 30 July 1962, by which Singapore citizens will be citizens of Malaysia.

      B. A complete and unconditional merger as a state on an equal basis with the other 11 states in accordance with the constitutional documents of the Federation of Malaya.

      C. Entering Malaysia on terms no less favourable than the terms for the Borneo territories.


    2. 9 July, 1963 is the day we gained Full Independence, and is therefore our TRUE National Day.

      We attained full powers of internal self-government when Lim Yew Hock signed the agreement in London on May 28, 1958. But we attained full independence from Britain, ironically, the day we signed the agreement to join Malaysia.

      The Malaysia Agreement is a legal document that spells out the terms for the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. It was signed in London on 9 July 1963 between Great Britain, the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak.

      August 9, 1965, is a day to be forgotten, the day we were no longer part of Malaysia through the willfulness of one horrible person.

    3. Something else about the merger that does not make sense. Singapore merged into Malaysia like any of the states such as Penang, Perak and Malacca. But the 1959 Constitution already gave us all the powers of a self-governing state. We had all the portfolios, finance, home affairs and communications. This was far greater than what Penang, Perak or Malacca had. But all these powers were surrendered when we merged in 1963. It was the horrible person's doing, he drafted the terms of the merger.

    4. Why were there no objections or opposition to the three "yes" options in the referendum if there were really some people who wanted genuine option to NOT be merged with MY? How come he referendum were allowed to be put forth?!

    5. There were plenty of objections, but the opponents were incarcerated under operation cold store

  4. What were the possible obstacles then that could happen which led to the preemption?

    1. According to Dr Toh Chin Chye, he was afraid that in Sabah and Sarawak, the results would not be in his favour. Sabah and Sarawak, long known as the British Borneo territories, had their own ambitions of forming their own federation.

  5. @ Anonymous 7/21/2015 9:00 AM

    "Something else about the merger that does not make sense. ...
    But the 1959 Constitution already gave us all the powers of a self-governing state. ......
    But all these powers were surrendered when we merged in 1963. It was the horrible person's doing, he drafted the terms of the merger."
    Does this mean that our "Founding" Prime Minister did not have enough confidence in himself and Singaporeans to stand on our own two feet back in 1963?
    All "Founding" Leaders laugh and cheer when they achieve independence.
    Our "Founding" Father cried instead.

    1. Has this lack of self confidence in Singapore and Singaporeans changed over the years?
      Is this lack of self confidence reflected in the way we keep replacing Singaporeans with Aliens?
      Aliens in which the Pro Alien Party subserviently call "Foreign Talents"?

      Are we voting for political leaders and a political party who does not have confidence in Singaporeans?

    2. Our proud(?) Founding Father brimming with confidence in Singaporeans on the day of our independence:


      If you don't have confidence in Singaporeans, please don't be our leader and replace us with Aliens.
      Please lead, follow or get out of our way.

    3. He cried because he won the Battle For Merger with Operation Coldstore but Malaysians saw through his Grand Ambition of Malaysia Founding Father. They saw that he was devious; detaining his ex party comrades without trial and breaking his pre-merger promise not to have PAP contest in Peninsula Malaya elections. With Singapore booted out, he had no chance of becoming PM of Malaysia.