Saturday, October 10, 2015

National Museum of Singapore - Mergers and Separations

The issue of merger in post independent Singapore created cracks within PAP as the pro-communist faction opposed merger for fear of suppression by the Federal Government. Led by Lim Chin Siong, this group broke away to form the Barisan 1961. Thus began the battle for the hearts and minds of the people with Lee Kuan Yew delivering a series of radio talks that exposed the motives of the Communists. In Sept 1962, a referendum was held on the issue of merger with the Federation. 71% of the electorate voted for it and on 16 September 1963, Singapore was officially part of Malaysia . Then conditions changed and separation with Malaysia became inevitable in 1965.

A diorama depicting the people discussing the issue of merger with the Federation in 1962

A compilation of Lee Kuan Yew's radio talks in 1961 which exposed the goals, methods and organisation of the Communist. With the PAP hanging on by just one  seat in the legislative  assembly, these talks helped to turn the tide against the Communist. 

This headline made me do a double take. Actually this was how Singapore celebrated  the merger, with floats, lights and carnivals. 

Till today, I have never seen anyone who speaks with such vigor and conviction even on the international stage. 

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