Aspirations people had 

during 1945-1959

There were many aspirations among the political groups, however, some groups shared the same aspiration – to be free from colonial rule. The PAP were against British colonial rule and wanted immediate independence for Singapore by merging with Malaya. The Labour Front even launched a campaign called the ‘merdeka week’ to show the British how the people of Singapore wanted freedom from colonial rule. Chinese School students wanted to pursue their studies but had limited opportunities for a university education in Singapore and their group that offers education for secondary and pre-university students were given little support from the British colonial government and felt that they were treated not fairly. They even organised a peaceful demonstration against National Service. The Trade Unions were also concerned with the workers’ working situations and felt that the British colonial government sided with the employers and did not o much to protect the workers’ interests.

Another aspiration that most people had during 1945 – 1959 was to be able to protect workers’ interests. The Labour Front sought to protect workers’ interests as well as the Trade Unions which included English-educated men. However, the Labour Front lacked a clear political aim. The Trade Unions were concerned with improving workers’ conditions. To them, the British colonial government sided with the employers and did do not much to protect worker’s interest. Many of them wanted immediate change to their working conditions. The British colonial government was suspicious of the Trade Unions as they feared that they were under communist influence so the members of the Trade Unions demanded more changes that could improve opportunities at work.


Aspirations people had after 1959

From 1959-1963, most of the people in Singapore wanted to merge with Malaya. This was because, some of them believed that merger would help solve some of the problems that Singapore faced in 1969. One of the problem was that the British colonial government was unwilling to grant Singapore independence as they though Singapore was too small to survive on its own. They said they would grant Singapore’s wish only if it became part of the Federation of Malaya, together with Sabah and Sarawak. Basically Singapore aspired to merge as they want independence. However, as time pass by, from 1963-1965, there were a lot of problems faced due to the merger with Malaya, causing Singaporeans to come together and aspire to be independent, to govern themselves. Therefore, Singapore wanted independence initially but had to merge with Malaya for it and after all of the problems faced during that period of time of merger that made them wanting independence more.

Most people in Singapore wanted freedom through separation. There were disagreement regarding the common market and taxes. Although Singapore hoped to enjoy economic benefits through the formation of a common market, there was a greater competition between the two countries. Malaya increased the revenue for Singapore to collect from 40%to 60%. Singapore felt that this was unfair which made most people felt that it would be a better choice to separate from Malaya.


Done by: Lisha, Lissa, Maisarah, Xuan Ling & Fadhlin Atiqah

What Aspirations did the people have for Singapore after 1945?

singapore memory project



The Right to Vote   

 The people wanted the right to vote for themselves. But only British subjects could vote for representatives in Singapore after the limited elections were introduced in 1948. After the war, more citizens had gained political consciousness and wanted to be a part of ruling their country so they had wanted to vote for someone who could represent their interests and address their problems. During the 1955 elections more people were given the opportunity because of the automatic registration of voters.

Better Living Conditions

   The people wanted better living conditions for themselves and  also wanted to settle into their lives after the war. People desired better working conditions and educational opportunities after their work and studies were interrupted by the war.The Chinese Middle school students were some of the people who wanted to continue their studies. When they started school again after the war, the British government introduced a policy for males aged 18-20 to register for national service. The students had qualified for the policy due to starting late in school caused by the delay made during the Japanese occupation.


A Self-Governing Nation

   Singaporeans wanted to govern their own country and become independent. Labour Front the winning party,supported this idea and David Marshall,the Chief Minister went on ‘Merdeka Talks’ to demonstrate to the British that the people of Singapore wanted freedom from colonial rule.There were 2 delegations in London for Singapore’s Self-Government.The first delegation was by David Marshall and  he did not take serious action against the Chinese Middle School Students and the Trade Unions who were believed to have communism influence,failed in achieving Singapore as a self-governing nation.He had promised to quit as Chief Minister if he failed before and he stepped down soon after.The second delegation was led by Mr Lim Yew Hock,the following Chief Minister after David Marshall. He took strong actions against the Chinese Middle School Students and Trade Unions which made the anti-communist British think that Singapore would be handled well, therefore granting Singapore self-government.

Independence Through Merger

The people aspired for merger after the People’s Action Party won the 1959 election.Both Singapore and Malaya’s government wanted to join forces to fight the communist threats.Both governments thought that Singapore was too small to survive on its own. Singapore wanted to merge to avoid taxes on goods traded between Singapore and Malaya. However, some PAP members were concerned for the people in Singapore not enjoying the same rights such as employment as those who were from Malaya.

Done By: Celestyn,Wan Shi,Ruby,Eng Chong,Nicole

history chapter task 2016 (yanyun’s group)


one of the many aspirations that the people had during this period of time was to have internal self-government. many political parties who emerged such as the labour front and people’s action party were against colonial rule and they wanted Singapore to govern itself and wanted immediate self-government. An example would be when the Chinese school students sought to promote anti-colonial ideas as they felt that that they were being unfairly treated and it made then feel like the British colonial government had neglect their interests and needs. thus, this shows that the people wanted to have control over the governing of Singapore.

Not only that, the people also wished for better workers’ rights. Many felt that they were treated unfairly in their workplace by their bosses and they also felt that the British colonial government was biased towards the employers. instead of defending the employee’s rights, they sided completely with the employers. even when the workers were exploited or bullied, they did not do much to protect the workers. the workers were also paid less than what they deserved even though they were diligent in their work. thus, many trade unions were formed by the displeasure the workers had and these unions’ sole motive  was to create a better working environment for the workers. hence,  in this period of time, the people aspired to have the ideal working conditions they wanted.

after 1959 

many people wanted to merge with Malaya. the people action party felt that the merger would aid  Singapore in many ways. the British colonial government would only grant Singapore independence if it became part of the federation of Malaya as they believed that Singapore was too small to survive on its own.they also hoped that through merger, common market would be established and trade activities between Malaya and Singapore would increase, creating more job opportunities for the people. therefore, with these benefits in mind, many hoped that merger would take place

unfortunately, not everybody were all for the merger. many strongly opposed the merger and they did not want it to take place.they believed that the merger had too many disadvantages and it would drag down the growth of Singapore. many were worried that Singaporeans would not be able to enjoy the same rights as the people living in Malaya did and they were afraid that this would affect their ability to land jobs that they desire. they were also scared that they might face discrimination as they were not federal citizens. the Malayan prime minister also felt that the merger might upset the racial balance in Malaya as there might be too many Chinese in Singapore after the merger. many problems also surfaced such as disagreements about the common market, taxation and the political beliefs and privileges for Malays. thus, the people felt that this problems were obstacles that hindered Singapore from growing into a prosperous country and this caused them to to have aspirations about the breaking of the merger.

these were the aspirations the people had during these periods of time

done by: yanyun, viba, janice, siangying, jing en
class 2/6 (2016)







Aspirations people have for Singapore after 1945

After the Japanese Occupation, some people began to question the British right to rule Singapore and considered alternatives to British colonial rule. Different people had different aspirations after the return of the British in 1945. These are the aspirations most people had for Singapore from 1945 to 1965.

From 1945 – 1959, one of the aspirations most of the people had for Singapore was to be politically involved in Singapore’s future. After the return of the British, many people questioned the British superiority and found it unfair that they held the most important positions in Singapore. More people are also born locally and more people started taking an interest in how Singapore was ruled. When they were given the right to vote in the 1955 Elections, many people were able to vote for a party that best represented their interest, making them more politically involved and help change Singapore’s future for a better life. Therefore, most people aspired to be politically involved in Singapore’s future as they wanted a better life.

Another aspiration most people had from 1945 – 1959 was to protect workers’ interests. And so, due to this aspiration, most people voted for Labour Front as they sought to protect workers’ interests. David Marshall, Labour Front’s leader, was concerned about the welfare of the people and was active in discussing issues. And so, they believed that working with the British to attain self-government would give them the opportunity to protect workers’ rights and working conditions for the people of Singapore. Hence, protection of workers’ interests was one of the people’s aspiration from 1945 – 1959 as they felt that the British colonial government sided with the employers and did little to protect workers ’interests.

In the 1959 General Elections, People’s Action Party won the elections. As more people voted for PAP than Singapore People’s Alliance (formerly Labour Front), it shows that people had aspirations when they voted for PAP. These are some of the aspirations people had from 1959 – 1965.

One of the aspirations most people had from 1959 – 1965 when People’s Action Party (PAP) won the election was to have a better life. As the PAP was elected, their goals were to change Singapore into a better place for the people to live in. They improved public works and general welfare, housing, schools and employment as PAP’s motto was to give the people a better life in Singapore. For example, street lamps and water standpipes are installed to provide street lighting and piped water for the people. More houses were also able to enjoy amenities such as gas and telephone services. Schools were also built and teachers were recruited to provide more educational opportunities for the people and school enrollment also increased rapidly from 1959 to 1963. Under employment, more factories that are manufacturing goods such as cotton wool, mirrors, clothing and condensed milk were built. These factories increased the number of job opportunities, allowing more people to get jobs, to increase their family income and to improve their life. Thus, during 1959 – 1965, most people aspired to have a better life as they voted for PAP which said they will improve the people’s lives.

Another aspiration people had from 1959 – 1965 was the merger with Malaya. PAP was discussing for a merger with Malaya and the possibility for it. It was because PAP believed in merger because it could solve some of the problems faced in 1519. British colonial government did not want to grant Singapore independence as they thought Singapore was too small to survive on its own. However, PAP believed that the British would grant Singapore independence if it became part of the Federation of Malaya. The Malayan government introduced taxes on goods traded between Singapore and Malaya after Malaya gained independence. This makes limited trade between them. Singapore hoped that a common market could be established through merger. The trade between Malaya and Singapore would increase, creating more jobs for each other. Therefore, most people aspired for merger with Malaya from 1959 – 1965.

These are all the aspirations people had for Singapore from 1945 to 1965.

Done by: Wen Xin, Jing Hui, Roshan, Harman and Jasper

Class: 2/6E

Sabrina’s group History Chapter Task


Increase local involvement:

After the second world war(Japanese occupation), Singapore was left to be ruled again by British colonial.This caused many spikes in Singapore and caused many people to want to have more political control for Singapore’s future.The reason behind this is because many people want to protect their own country after the world war which made them feel attached to Singapore more.British’s superiority was also ruled out, which made people go against British with no fear and started to demand political involvement.Following this, they wanted the right to vote for their leaders instead of British choosing their leaders.Locals wanted this because they wanted to control their countries future.

Rebuilding lives after Japanese Occupation:

The Japanese Occupation left Singapore’s condition in a mess and the British had to        re-organise  the people and help them get back to normal living standards like it was before the war.One of the things they would have to focus on is healthcare and housing.Alas, the aftermath of the world war was lack of resources in many countries,there were not man trades going around,and with many countries needing t rebuild their housing too,and the lack of natural resources in Singapore,British could not rebuild the housing.Healthcare was also very major issue British had to deal with. The same problem occurs, with many other countries needing the healthcare resource, the British could not get their hands on medicine easily, leaving British struggling in post-war Singapore.

Other than that,workers were also often underpaid or not paid at all as the bosses wanted more money to get their money back after the war.This caused many workers to complain and was unfair to them.The trade union was formed to help workers and protect workers rights. Planing strikes when they felt that they were treated unfairly.



After separation with British, Singapore was on its own.One of the first thing that was considered was merger with Malaysia.This merger would benefit Singapore in many ways which are:economy,relationship, no tax,resources(like water)and defence . This was backfired when Malaysia asked for heavy taxes(60 percent of Singapore’s earnings).This caused Singapore’s economy to fall instead of the plan of increasing it. Relationship also did not work out well.Singapore wanted to have all races to be all equal while Malaysia wanted Malaysia Malaysian where Malays are superior. Adding to that was the chinese and malaysians did not have good relationship and did not get along well.This caused racial riots and fights to happen leaving many dead or injured. Different common markets also were a big problem.






















aspirations from the different groups from 1945 to 1959

Aspirations of the different groups from 1945 to 1959
Between 1945 to 1959, many different political parties had begun to form up with each one having their own aspirations. The first major political party was the Singapore Progressive Party (SPP).Their goals were to gradually progress towards self-government and to work with the British colonial government. The next party was the Labour Front (LF) which had split from the Singapore Labour Party. The LF was against colonial rule and wanted immediate self-government and wanted to protect workers’ interests. The last political party is the People’s Action Party (PAP).The PAP was against colonial rule but wanted immediate independence and to unite with Malaya. Hence, different political parties had their own goals for people living in Singapore

Aspirations of the voters in 1955
Before Singapore’s independence, the voters have different aspirations too. The people of Singapore wanted freedom from the colonial rule by having a merdeka week campaign launch by the Labour front government. The political groups also wanted to have internal self-government for Singapore. The Chinese middle school students and LF government felt that they were unfairly treated and thus demand more changes that could improve their opportunities at work and in education. Therefore, people had their own opinion towards the merger.

Proposal for a merger with Malaya
Between 1959 to 1963, PAP was pursuing a merger between Singapore and Malaya however Malaya’s prime minster, Tunku Abdul Rahman was against it as he felt that many problems would arise, and the communist in Singapore would grow into Malaya if not addressed promptly, hence wanted the merger to include British colonies. Another problem that he was worried about was that there would be too many chinese if Singapore were to join Malaya, which might upset the racial balance in Malaya. PAP wanted to merge as it wanted Singapore to gain independence from the British. They hoped that a common market could be established in Singapore though merger and trade between Malaya and Singapore would increase, creating more job and business opportunities for the people. Thus, a referendum was held to find out the type of merger people wanted.
On the 1st of September 1962, a referendum was held to find out the type of merger people in Singapore wanted. They were given 3 choices by the PAP, option A,B and C. Option A was that people would support merger by giving Singapore autonomy in labour, education and other agreed matters that was set out in Command Paper NO 33 of 1961 with Singapore citizens becoming citizens of Malaysia automatically. Option B was that the people would support complete unconditional merger for Singapore as a state on an equal basis with 11 other states in accordance with the constitutional documents of the federation of Malaya. The last option was that the citizens of Singapore would enter Malaysia on terms that was no less favorable than those given to the Borneo territories. Among all the 3 options, 71% of the people voted for option A with 0.9% and 1.4% of the people voting for option B and C respectively. 1.7% of to votes were rejected and a large proportion of the people, 25% gave blank votes as another political party, the Barisan Sosialis urged people to cast bank votes to show their opposition towards the 3 options offered as the Barisan Sosialis were against the 3 options

Aspirations People had for Singapore after 1945.


People had the same primary aspiration but had different secondary aspirations. The primary was to self-govern themselves.But the secondary aspirations differed.People followed political groups which had different secondary aspirations.PAP wanted to merge with Malaya. SPP wanted to work with the British. LF wanted worker’s rights. Hence these are the aspirations people wanted for Singapore from 1945 to 1959.

The aspirations of the middle class and English speaking professionals were to have no tax in trade between Singapore and Malaya. The tax Malaya implemented was a huge burden towards the businessmen in Singapore as it didn’t benefit Singapore’s economy at all. On the other hand, the workers’ union aspired to protect workers’ rights and have better treatment and environment in their workplace. Most workers received low income and worked in harsh environments just to earn money causing them to be illiterate and uneducated. The Chinese Middle School Students, most of them who had their education delayed due to the Japanese Occupation, were against the idea of National Service as it will further delay their education. Many also believed that National Servicemen were to go and fight against the Communists due to the rise of Communism in Malaya and in Singapore. Thus, different groups of people had different kinds of aspirations.


PAP wanted to merge with Malaya. As both Malaya and Singapore were against the idea of Communism, they wanted to join forces to fight the communist threat. PAP also wanted to improve the living and working conditions of people and hence introduced some measures such as public works, general welfare, housing, education, and employment. The public works and general welfare included the building of street lamps and water standpipes to provide street light and piped water for the people. The HDB was formed in February to build more houses for the people. More schools were built and more teachers were hired to provide education for the children. Various factories manufacturing goods were set up to employ more people.

PAP wanted Singapore to be a multiracial country and to represent the invests of all communities regardless of their race. PAP also wanted equal rights for everyone in Singapore. They also wanted to collect their own revenue and send an agreed sum. Therefore, these are the aspirations of people.

Done by: Nandhu, Shammas, Tian Jun, Yi Xuan  and Arthi.

Aspirations That People Had For Singapore After 1945

Aspirations of people for Singapore from 1945 to 1959

PAP Logo

Most people in Singapore aspired to work with the British. They believed that they could influence the political future of Singapore by working with the British to increase local control over government. Also, working with the British to attain self-government would provide them with the opportunity to improve workers’ rights and working conditions. Some examples of political parties that worked towards this aspiration was the SPP (Singapore Progressive Party), LF ( Labour Front) and PAP (People’s Action Party) that took part in the 1955 election. Therefore, many people aspired to work with the British colonial government. However, there were also groups of people who did not believe in working with the British colonial government. They distrusted the British and believed that the constitutional changes would not genuinely contribute to shape Singapore’s political developments. Some of the Chinese middle school students and trade unions were part of these groups.This was mainly because they felt that they were unfairly treated by the British colonial government . Hence, some people aspired against colonial rule as they distrusted the British.

Aspirations of people for Singapore from 1959 to 1965

The Joint Federation Of Malaya and Singapore

The aspiration of some people in Singapore in this time period was to merge with the Federation Of Malaya. Political leaders such as former Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew from PAP expressed a desire for independence through merger with Malaya. By doing so, Singapore could be independent and could have a common market with Malaya, where taxes will not be charged. The results of proposal for merger reflected that majority of the people in Singapore was aspired to merge with Malaya. Thus, the aspiration of the people was to merge with Malaya.

The aspiration of others was to not merge with Malaya and oppose merger.They felt that the terms of merger would disadvantage Singapore instead of helping her. People were concerned that Singapore would not able to enjoy the same rights as those who stayed in Malaya, to find more jobs and better business opportunities. Also, the terms of merger with Malaysia did not include granting automatic Malaysian citizenship to Singapore citizens and it also did not allow Singapore to have complete control over internal security. Therefore, some other people aspired to oppose against merger

Done By: Hai Tao, Brian Shao Kai, Deekshitha, Lakshmi