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

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