Year 1979

Malaysia Claims Pedra Branca

Friday, 21st December 1979

Malaysia published the Peta Baru (the New Map), which displayed and specified Malaysia's territorial sea which labeled Pedra Branca as Malaysian territory.  Singapore Protested.

Three A-4 Skyhawk Crashed In Philippines

Wednesday, 19th December 1979

Four Singaporean pilots aboard three A-4 Skyhawk aircraft were killed after they crashed on Mount Demahonte in Aurora Province 95 miles NE of Manila.The three A-4 Skyhawks were part of a squadron of Singapore Air Force planes engaged in training in the Philippines with the help of the U.S. Air Force at Clark Air Base and were on their way from Clark to the Crow Valley Bombing Range near the base.

PWD To Exhume Graves In Peck San Theng

Sunday, 4th November 1979

Public Works Department (PWD) announced that they will exhume 170,000 graves in Peck San Theng Cantonese Cemetery located next to Marymount Road. One of the tomb affected belongs to the late Wong Ah Fook. The exhumed remains will be created at Mount Vernon Crematoria and rehoused in new niches at Bishan Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng. After the graves are removed, the Housing Development Board (HDB) planned to build low-income housing on the 131-hectare land and rename Peck San Theng Cementary to Bishan Housing Estate (Bishan New Town).

RSAF 131 Squadron Formed

Thursday, 1st November 1979

The RSAF formed the No. 131 Squadron to provide Advanced Jet Training using ex-French Air Force Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. Squadron 131 operates out from RSAF Tengah Air Base.

Singapore Air Defence Artillery Formed

Monday, 9th July 1979

The Singapore Air Defence Artillery (SADA) was formed as a dedicated air defence formation. It consist of 160 Bn and 170 SQN. The task of SADA is to provide air defence coverage for the Army Divisions. This air cover allows army units greater maneuverability on the ground. The SADA unit operates the short-range laser-guided Bofors RBS 70 portable SAM systems and the 20mm Oerlikon guns.

National Courtesy Campaign Launched

Friday, 1st June 1979

"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.

F-5 Fighter Squadron Formed

Monday, 19th February 1979

The new RSAF 144 Squadron, "Black Kites", was formed to welcome the arrival the age of the supersonic jets in Singapore. The Squadron 144 will be home of the new F-5 supersonic jet aircraft. The squadron commander is LTC Michael Teo and will be used to conduct F-5 operational conversion course (OCU) of pilots. LTA Eng Jee Leong, LTA Peh Teng Keng, LTA Sham Chee Keong, LTA Teo Shi On and LTA Lee Chang Rhen were the first batch of pilots to be converted here.

Consercration of Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

Friday, 2nd February 1979

A consercration of #Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple# was held on a grand scale for its reconstruction and expansion.  Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple is one of Singapore's earliest Hindu Temples built in the 1880s.  It is renowned for its beautiful sculpture, majestic shrines and elaborately painted ceilings.  It is also the starting point for kavidi carriers during Thaipusam.

SSO Founded

Wednesday, 24th January 1979

Singapore’s first professional orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) was founded.

Singapore Refining Company Formed

Thursday, 11th January 1979

Singapore Refining Company, or SRC, was the first joint processing refinery in Southeast Asia.  SRC was a joint venture between Singapore Petroleum Company (SPC), British Petroleum Singapore (BP) and Caltex Petroleum Corporation.