What did independence mean for Singapore?

by: lisha, xuan ling, lissa, atiqah, maisarah 2/6

Before its independence, Singapore has faced many challenges. Even after independence, there were many more obstacles to overcome and it changed the way Singapore worked. Hence, these major event create stronger ties with other countries to make living in Singapore better economically and socially.

One of the challenges faced was ensuring the security of Singapore, internally and externally. In other countries, there were conflicts going on such as the Vietnamese War that happened between the communist and non-communist. The leaders were afraid that the conflict might spread to Singapore. To worsen the situation, the British announced their withdrawal of the British military from Singapore. Thus, this leaves Singapore defenceless. It was even more worrying when the British withdrew their military earlier than expected. Moreover, Singapore only had two full-time army battalion which had 1000 soldiers of which 700 were Malaysians. They also only had 5000 police officers in the Singapore Police Force. Singapore’s tensed relation with Malaysia caused a higher tax imposed on goods and hence, Singapore could not mainly rely on entreport trade. This caused a severe unemployment and so did the withdrawal of the British military. Citizenship and a sense of belonging was needed desperately to forge a common identity. However, many were born in Malaysia. If it was solved as soon as possible, problems of the economy, housing, education and many more.

Some of the local had no reaction to singapore’s independence as they were not aware of political issues while some decided to work towards survival and security. The locals did worry whether Singapore would succeed since it is only small country and had no natural resources. There were also some who were disappointed. The Malaysian prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, gave Singapore his fullest support and helped to defend Singapore. Some leaders from other countries consoled Mr Lee Kuan Yew and supported him in striving towards independence.

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