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

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