Singapore separates from Malaysia


Major Events, Nation Building, People, Places No Comments

For Singapore, 9 August 1965 was no ceremonial occasion. The Malaysian Parliament votes, 2 days ago on 7 August 1965, to expel Singapore from the Federation; Singapore becomes independent after separating from Malaysia. One of the more poignant moments which many Singaporeans, this is the time Mr Lee Kuan Yew cried on Television during a meet the press session on the separation of Singapore from Malaysia. His speech included this quote: “For me, it is a moment of anguish. All my life, my whole adult life, I have believed in merger and unity of the two territories.”

He went on “On our island of 224 square miles were two million people. We inherited what was the capital of the British Empire in Southeast Asia, but dismembered from the hinterland which was the empire. The question was how to make a living? How to survive? This was not a theoretical problem in the economics of development. It was a matter of life and death for two million people. The realities of the world of 1965 had to be faced. The sole objective was survival. How this was to be achieved, by socialism or free enterprise, was a secondary matter. The answer turned out to be free enterprise, tempered with the socialist philosophy of equal opportunities for education, jobs, health, housing.”

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