1962 Singaporean integration referendum
Top 10 1962 Singaporean integration referendum related articles
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A referendum on the terms of integration into the Federation of Malaysia was held in Singapore on 1 September 1962. The idea for a referendum to be held was championed by then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of the People's Action Party (PAP). Opposition parties, notably the Barisan Sosialis (BS), were not satisfied with the framing of the referendum, as it did not allow voters the choice of rejecting the merger altogether. Despite such dissatisfaction, the referendum was carried out with three options being offered to voters. Option A, which provided for the highest level of autonomy, was chosen by 96% of voters.
1962 Singaporean integration referendum Intro articles: 70
The first internal challenge to merger with the Federation of Malaya came from and grew out of a political struggle between the People's Action Party (PAP) and their opponents included the Barisan Sosialis (Socialist Front), the Liberal-Socialist Party, the Workers' Party, the United People's Party and the Partai Rakyat (People's Party).
In Singapore, the PAP sought formation of Malaysia on the basis of the strong mandate it obtained during the general elections of 1959 when PAP won 43 of the 51 seats. However, this mandate became questionable when dissension within the party led to a split. In July 1961, following a debate on a vote of confidence in the government, 13 PAP Assemblymen were expelled from the PAP for abstaining from voting. Subsequently, they formed a new political party, the Barisan Sosialis or the Barisan, reducing the PAP's majority in the Legislative Assembly to 26 of the 51 seats.
The ruling PAP was not legally obliged to call for a referendum, but did so to secure the mandate of the people. However, the Barisan Sosialis, a left-wing socialist party consisting of former PAP members with communist sympathies pedigree to the opposition to the colonialism, and imperialism movements were alleged that the people did not support merger, but Lee Kuan Yew declared that people did.
The referendum did not have an option of objecting to the idea of merger because no one had legitimately raised the issue in the Legislative Assembly before then. However, the methods had been debatable. The referendum was therefore called to resolve the issue as an effort to decide objectively which option the people backed. The legitimacy of the referendum was often challenged by Singaporean left-wingers, due to the lack of an option to vote against the merger.
Council of Joint Action
The Council of Joint Action (CJA) founded by 19 members of the Assembly to block the merger and scuttle the referendum by taking the issue before the UN Committee on Colonialism. On 6 July 1962, The CJA signed a memorandum condemning the referendum on the grounds that the proposed constitutional changes and to assure its continued right to bases in Singapore, and to protect its privileged economic position. The CJA also criticized the terms, and the lack of choice in the referendum. In the memorandum, The CJA concluded that the transfer of sovereignty would be contrary to the spirit and resolution of the United Nations General Assembly's Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
1962 Singaporean integration referendum Background articles: 10
|Option and Symbols||Description of Status|
Strongly against the referendum, the Barisan Sosialis called for a boycott of the referendum, telling supporters to submit blank votes in protest of the "rigged" referendum. Over 144,000 blank votes were cast, over a quarter of all votes. That move had been anticipated by the ruling PAP government, as seen by the insertion of a clause that stated that all blank would be counted as a vote for the option that wins the most votes if there was no outright majority or that blank votes would be counted as Option A.
The mass media campaign fielded by both sides was extremely heated, many of the leaders on both sides broadcast radio shows in several languages.
Overview of "Mass media" article
|Total valid votes||414,959||100|
|Total votes cast||561,559||100|
|Source: Direct Democracy,|
State of Singapore, Government Gazette Extraordinary, No. 60, IV Dated 3 September 1962
Backed by the official mandate, the Agreement relating to Malaysia between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore was signed on 9 July 1963.
1962 Singaporean integration referendum Results articles: 4
- Singapore, 1 September 1962: Integration with Malaya Direct Democracy (in German)
- The 13 members of the PAP Assemblymen were – Lee Siew Choh, Low Por Tuck, Wong Soon Fong, ST Bani, Sheng Nam Chin, Chan Sun Wing, Ong Chang Sam, Leong Keng Seng, Fng Yin Ching, Lin You Eng, Tee Kim Leng, Teo Hock Guan, and Tan Cheng Teng
- See: Singapore Legislative Assembly Debates, 24 November 1961, at pages 689-692
- See: Lee Kuan Yew, The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew (Singapore: Singapore Press Holdings, 1998) at page 393.
- 19 members of the Assemblymen were ——
from 'Barisan Sosialis Lee Siew Choh, Low Por Tuck, Wong Soon Fong, ST Bani, Sheng Nam Chin, Chan Sun Wing, Ong Chang Sam, Leong Keng Seng, Fng Yin Ching, Lin You Eng, Tee Kim Leng, Teo Hock Guan, and Tan Cheng Teng,
from United People’s Party Ong Eng Guan, SV Lingam, and Ng Teng Kian
from Workers' Party David Marshall and
Independents Hoe Puay Choo and CH Koh
- See: The UK Statute Law Database: Formation of the Malay States and of the Settlements of Penang and Malacca into a new independent Federation of States under Federation of Malaya Constitution.
- See: Singapore National Referendum Ordinance 1961.
- See: the Independence of Singapore Agreement 1965 and the Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom Singapore Act 1966.
- Singapore-elections - a site documenting the various election results in Singapore's history.