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