Swing Singapore

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Swing Singapore, a mass party, was first sponsored by the then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. About 250,000 people attended the party in August 1988 on Orchard Road to boogie, shimmy, shake or twist to music blasted from huge loudspeakers by popular singers and disc jockeys who were perched up nine metres on mobile cranes. Orchard Road was turned into a kaleidoscope of lights for the event.

The event was organised by Singapore Armed Forces Reservists’ Association (SAFRA) and sponsored and produced by Fraser Neave. Swing Singapore revelries brought fun, frolic and merry to many a Singaporean’s life. However, in 1992 it was discontinued despite its continuing success.

Alex Josey Died

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Alex Josey, age 75, died at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and his ashes were placed at Singapore Casket in Lavender Street, Singapore. Alex Josey, a journalist Singapore and public relations officer to Lee Kwan Yew (LKY), gained prominents in Singapore for writing LKY’s biography between 1959 and 1978 period. Read more »

National Courtesy Campaign Launched

Nation Building, Places 1 Comment

“Make courtesy our way of life” – that was the theme of the first courtesy campaign launched by Lee, Kuan Yew, the then Prime Minister of Singapore, at the Singapore Conference Hall. The aim of the Campaign was to create a pleasant social environment with Singaporeans considerate to each other and thoughtful of each other’s needs. The campaign was initially represented by a Smiley logo and had the slogan “Make courtesy our way of life”. The Smiley logo was subsequently replaced by Singa, the Lion mascot in 1982.   It became one of the more enduring campaigns in years to come. It has since 2001 been incorporated into the Singapore Kindness Movement.

Upper Pierce Reservoir Opened

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At the opening of the Upper Pierce Reservoir, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew had suggest that keeping the waterways of Singapore clean need to be a priority. There he set the target of a decade for the Ministry of Environment to clean up both the Singapore River and the Kallang River.

The rivers’ pollution had grown as for decades, the river residents had lived in unsewered premises and disposed their farm wastes into the river. These included families living on bum boats, hawkers, squatters, pig farms and duck farms. At least 26,000 families and 2,800 cottage industries had to be relocated during this massive clean-up.

Opening of Pulau Brani Naval Base

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Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew declared open the Singapore Maritime Command Naval Base on Pulau Brani. Singapore Maritime Command was-later renamed the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). RSS Laburnum, RSS Panglima and RSS Bedok came under SNVF’s charge and the prefix RSS (Republic of Singapore Ship) was also used for the first time.

Malaysian PM visit Singapore

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Singapore gave Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak and his wife Toh Puan Rahah a cordial welcome when they flew in today for a three-day official visit. They were met on arrival at Paya Lebar airport by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Mrs Lee, Cabinet ministers and members of the diplomatic corps. This was the first official visit of a Malaysian Prime Minister to Singapore since the Republic became independent in August 1965.

NTUC Open First Cooperative Supermarket

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The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) launched a supermarket co-operative called NTUC Welcome (Fairprice) in Toa Payoh. The then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew was there to officially declare the store opened. This was a significant indication of the strong support from the government.

Eighth Singapore Grand Prix

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SIA (Singapore Airlines) replaces MSA (Malaysia-Singapore Airlines) as the sponsor. Singapore Airlines hosted most of the top overseas racer. The main race was won by Vern Schuppan in his March 722. Graeme Lawrence and John Macdonald came in second and third respectively. The Motorcycle GP was won by Bill Molloy in his Kawasaki 750. This was the last Grand Prix that was held in the Upper Thomson Road Street Circuit. Read more »

Queenstown Library Opened

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Queenstown Library was officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Queenstown Library was the first public library to be located in a HDB Neighborhood. 12,600 nearby residents registered themselves as library members on opening day.

Princess Alexandra Visited Singapore

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Exactly 150 years after Stamford Raffles of the British Empire founded Singapore, another another lesser known, Princess Alexandra, cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, flew into the city as the Queen’s special envoy for the 150th anniversary celebrations for the founding of modern Singapore. Waiting on the tarmac to greet her were Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew; the British High Commissioner, Sir Arthur de la Mare; and their wives. At the reception committee for the Princess, the attendees included the who’s who of Singapore; the Chief Justice, cabinet ministers, MPs, statutory board heads, as well as Commonwealth leaders. Hordes of local islanders could only watch the pomp and pageantry from outside the fence-up compound.

Man On The Moon Radio Broadcast

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Singapore radio listeners was able to hear Radio Malaysia’s English service relay of BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) live broadcast of mans first landing on the moon from 1:39pm to 1:58pm (Singapore Time). Apollo 11 Lunar Module “Eagle” landed on the Moon surface at 3:49 am (Singapore Time). At 1:48pm (Singapore Time), the mission commander stepped out of the craft to walk on the surface of the moon. As Neil Armstrong climb out of his Lunar Module, he said in his scripted line “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  When on the moon surface he went on, “Yes, the surface is fine and powdery. I can kick it up loosely with my toe.”
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Keep Singapore Clean Campaign

Nation Building, People 1 Comment

Lee Kuan Yew, launching ceremony of the “Keep Singapore Clean” Campaign. In his speech, he said “We have built. We have progressed. But there is no hallmark of our success more distinctive and more meaningful than achieving the position as the cleanest and greenest city in South Asia.”

Britain announced withdrawal of troops

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Mr Harold Wilson, the then Prime Minister of UK, announced the intention to withdraw all of Britain’s 35,000 troops stationed in Singapore by end 1971. This shocked the nation as it was less than three years into independence from Malaysia. The situation had Mr Lee Kuan Yew saying, “If you go out too fast, I will just have to hire mercenaries rather than have a power vacuum.”

National Service Act

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The National Service Bill (Amendment) 1967 was first read in Parliament on 27 Feb 1967. After a spirited debate in Parliament, the NS Act was passed.

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First National Service Call-Up

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The first National Service, compulsory military training, call-up of 9,000 youths for the independent nation was initiated on this day the then Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew (LKY). The cream of Singapore’s youths would have to serve two years in the Armed Forces on leaving school. Eligible for call-up were those whose 18th birthday fell on or after 1 January 1967.

The Civilian War Memorial

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The Civilian Memorial was officially unveiled by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who laid a wreath on behalf of the Government and the people of Singapore. Religious rites were conducted by officials of the Inter-Religious Organisation and a three-minute silence was observed in honour of the dead during the Japanese Occupation (from 15 Feb 1942 to 15 Aug 1945). Those present included the victims’ families, members of the diplomatic corps (including the Japanese Ambassador), religious chiefs and representatives from the four races. Costing an estimated $500,000 (Singapore Dollars), one of the characteristics of the Memorial is its height of 61 metres and its four columns. The columns represent the four races joined together at the base – signifying the unity of all races. Construction of the Memorial began in June 1966 and was completed in January 1967.

Singapore celebrated its first National Day

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The main event of the first Singapore National Day was a National Day parade involving 23,000 men, women and children which was held at the Padang. , At exactly 9 am was the arrival of the Republic’s first President, Yusof bin Ishak and was met by Defence Minister cum Colonel of the Singapore Artillery, Dr Goh Keng Swee. Already seated the steps of the City Hall were Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Cabinet Members, Members of Parliament and invited guests. Then the National Anthem was played with a Presidential salute, and then, escorted by Doctor Goh, the President reviewed the parade Guard of Honor. This was followed by the start of the march past. The finale brought crashing cymbals, gongs, thundering drums and a mass display of 60 lions and dragons dance. The event ended at 10.30 am.

PM opens Union House

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The Trade Union House was opened this evening in Shenton Way. The location of the union house on such a prime piece of land was in recognition of the important role played by the trade unions in nation building. The opening ceremony was performed by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew – himself fulfilling an election pledge in 1959 – before his party swept to power with massive union support. Tributes were paid to the Secretary General of NTUC Devan Nair by unionists and Mr Lee.

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