Year 1973

Opium smugglers escape

Thursday, 6th December 1973

Three members of a syndicate of opium smugglers escaped after their car shot past the Woodlands checkpoint and later crashed into a lamppost at the 13th mile Woodlands. The Customs Land Division recovered 19 slabs of pure opium from the crashed car. The value is estimated to be over $15,000. In their hurry, the smugglers, believed to be Malaysians, left behind their Malaysian restricted passports and their car registration card. Police launched an island-wide hunt for the smugglers.

Heather wins silver medal

Sunday, 18th November 1973

Athlete Heather Marican collected a silver medal for the Republic when she finished second in the 200 m hurdles event at the First Asian Track and Field Championships in Manila. She clocked 28.5 secs for the event which was won by Japan’s Toshimi Hayashida in a fast time of 27.6 secs. Her silver medal was the best performance by a Singaporean female runner at the Asian level to date.

Malaysian PM visit Singapore

Tuesday, 13th November 1973

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.

Government Told Six popular discos to shut down

Thursday, 1st November 1973

Six of Singapore most well-known Discos (discotheques) were ordered to shut down while severe restrictions were imposed on all others. The Ministry of Culture said the Boiler Room in Mandarin Hotel, Pink Pussycat in Prince’s Hotel Garni, Barbarella in Ming Court, Lost Horizon in Shangri-la Hotel, the Pub in Marco Hotel and Rasa Sayang at the Tropicana night club had the worst record for drug abuses between 1971 and September 1973. All other discos had to abide by a list of restrictions including: no dim or psychedelic lights, no hippie-type images, and no admission for males with long hair.

The 121 Squadron Formed

Wednesday, 24th October 1973

The 121 Squadron "Gannet" Squadron (renamed to "Brahminy Kite" in 1994) was formed with the commissioning of the Short Skyvan 3M. The primary role is to provide dedicated wide area maritime air surveillance for search and resource operations, aeromedical evacuations and the transportation of personnel.

Muhammad Ali is amazed by local kungfu fighter

Tuesday, 23rd October 1973

Muhammad Ali, the visiting former world heavyweight boxing champion, took up a challenge by two Singapore fungku master and was stunned by their strength. He packed all his formidable power into a chop which he landed squarely on kungfu master Wong Yue Chee’s throat. The martial arts exponent did not even flinch. Wong and fellow kungfu master Anthony Wee were demonstrating their Qi (internal strength) to Ali at a special lunch held at the Goodwood Park Hotel. Muhammad Ali shook his head in disbelief: “It’s crazy, real crazy.”

Discos Operator Warned

Saturday, 20th October 1973

As part of the crackdown on drug abuse, discotheques were given notice that some of them would be closed down if they did not clean up their act. Health and Home Affairs Minister Chua Sian Chin said stringent controls would be imposed on those allowed to operate. He said discos had turned into haunts where drug abuse came alive nightly and acts of violence were common occurrences. The Anti-Drug Abuse Week was to step up public awareness of the drug problem.

High Court sentenced five kidnappers to death

Monday, 8th October 1973

The Singapore High Court sentenced five kidnappers to death, under the Kidnapping Act (Cap 101, 1970 Ed), after they pleaded guilty to the abduction of Mr. Tjioe Kow Hwie, an Indonesian businessman, from his Watten Estate home on 14 March 1972. The kidnappers also successfully obtained ransom money of SGD $50,000 and released Mr. Tjioe.  Believed to the first case of its kind here, the Court rejected the contention that a guilty plea with life imprisonment sentence would set a dangerous precedent for potential kidnappers.  It was also contrary to public interest. The Court applied the discretion that life imprisonment in kidnapping for ransom would only be imposed under very exceptional circumstances.

SIA Boeing 747 Has Landed

Monday, 3rd September 1973

Mr Yong Nyuk Lin, then Minister for Communications at the welcoming ceremony of the first two SIA-Boeing 747s at Paya Lebar Airport on Monday 3 September 1973 at 1600 hours. The two new Boeing 747 was be introduced in October 1973.

Time Capsule Buried

Saturday, 18th August 1973

Dr Toh Chin Chye, who was the Minister-in-charge of the Science Board, buried a time capsule at the site of the Singapore Science Centre.

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