British As Rulers

BEFORE world war 2

The people in Singapore viewed the British as rulers before the Japanese Occupation. In the 19th century, Britain was one of the colonial powers ruling many parts of the world thus people in Singapore believed that European culture was superior and they believed that the British had the responsibility to make Singapore more civilised. The belief in British Superiority can be seen in how Singapore was governed. There was little local involvement in the government and even well-qualified local people were not given important positions in the government. Locals that were in the government had little influence over the government policies and they were non-official members in the Legislative Council. Thus, people regarded the British as rulers of Singapore before the Japanese Occupation

DURING world war 2

The people in Singapore did not view the British as rulers, the Japanese wanted to dispel the myth of the ‘white man’s’ superiority and promoted ‘asia for asians’  instead of allowing the british to rule. The british that were once the rulers of singapore were  prisoner of war (POW) was seen as roadsweepers and had to do menial and laborious tasks. The Japanese promoted the Asian Consciousness through propaganda such as changing education in schools, posters, newspapers, radio broadcasts and many more. Hence, the Japanese wanted to spread the idea that Asians were as good as Europeans and British and the British were not fit for rule.

AFTER world war 2

People living in Singapore stopped regarding the British as rulers.  Most living in Singapore including immigrants started being discontented and discordant with the British and did not want them to continue ruling Singapore after World War 2 when they came back. The people were unhappy as the British and European people had better privileges than the locals working in Singapore hence they felt it was unfair. British officials continued to enjoy better pay and to hold senior positions within the civil service even though the locals were equally well qualified. British rulers also payed the British workers special family allowance which angered the local civil servants even more. Many joined trade unions to secure their wages and positions and organised strikes to go against the British government for better working conditions.

BY: Shu Han (02) Zoey (24) Lup Yun (29) Zaccary (30) Navashen (38)

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