How far were people’s lives transformed after independence?

After independence, Singapore faced many challenges such as defence internally and externally and job employment. Despite the odds, Singapore managed to break through and lives of Singaporeans were transformed shortly after.

It was not easy to set up a strong defence force as Singapore’s manpower and financial resources were limited and had to be used for other areas of development.Hence, National Service was introduced. It was compulsory for male citizens to enrol for military service and they would continue to be part of the reservist forces.National service will help foster a national identity among the people of Singapore.It will also lead to a nation-building and creates loyalty and nation-consciousness by involving in Singapore’s defence.With the young men needing to enter National Service to contribute to the defending of sg,the lives of Singaporeans were transformed. This is because some of their family incomes and education were disrupted. Some people,inclusive of parents were reluctant to support National Service at first due to concerns of their children.However, the messages,get-togethers organised by the Members of Parliament made them realise that NS was essential for their nation’s security.Some were also supportive of the NS and felt that it was necessary.New Zealand,Australia,Britain,Malaysia and Singapore was also part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements formed and regular joint military exercises would be conducted within them. They would also consult each other if Singapore faced external threats.The chartered industries of Singapore was also set up to provide weapons and ammunition for the SAF to decrease the reliance on other countries for the provision of equipments.These measures hence made people feel that Singapore was well-defended.

Singapore also had to provide jobs for its people. The Ministers for Finance, together with the Dutch Economic Advisor, came up with various strategies to diversify Singapore’s economy as it was a way to provide employment for people. These strategies comprises of Developing Manufacturing Industries, Developing of Singapore’s Infrastructure & also Developing of Tourism and Finance Industries. SG could not depend too much on trade with other countries and increase its employment instead, hence, the leaders of SG focused on developing manufacturing industries that would produce goods at a lower cost for export worldwide. They attracted a lot of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) as they provide considerable jobs in beginning of 1966. They even provide 6000-7000 of jobs that would reduce the unemployment rate. MNCs set up factories in SG and provide technical trainings also work experience for people. This reduces the number of people unemployed over years. Besides that, the Government reserved industrial estates in SG for the building of factories. Jurong was the first estate changed to industrial estate to start off SG’s industrialisation programme. Over time, more industrial estates were formed. SG then planned to develop Tourism and Finance Industries as tourists spending could affect SG’s economic growth and would increase job opportunities in tourism related industries. They promoted attractions & were also engaged in conservation projects in historical areas. These eventually attracted more and more visitors to SG. SG also transformed into a financial hub They were responsible for building investors’ confidence. With all these, SG’s economy grew quickly and foreign investments also increased in SG. Hence, unemployment rate decreased drastically too.


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

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