The 1964 July racial riot is considered to be one of the worst incidents in the history of Singapore. 22 people died in the riot and 454 others suffered severe injuries. This riot occurred during the procession to celebrate Mawlid (the birthday of the Muslim prophet Muhammad). Twenty-five thousand majority-Muslim Malay people had gathered at the Padang.
Besides the recital of some prayers and engagement in some religious activities, a series of fiery speeches was also made by the organisers, instigating racial tensions. During the procession, clashes occurred between the Malays and the Chinese which eventually led to a riot spreading to other areas. There are multiple accounts and reports on how the riots began. The riots are seen as pivotal leading up to the independence of Singapore, for fear from the government of Malaysia (of which Singapore was briefly a part) that Malay-Chinese ethnic violence would spread in the rest of the newly federated country.
|1964 race riots in Singapore|
|Part of the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation|
|Date||21 July 1964|
3 September 1964
|Caused by||Political and religious tensions between ethnic Chinese and Malay groups|
|Parties to the civil conflict|
|Casualties and arrests|
|Death(s)||23 (July riots)|
13 (September riots) 
|Injuries||454 (July riots)|
106 (September riots) 
|Arrested||3,568 (July riots)|
1,439 (September riots) 
|Detained||945 (July riots)|
268 (September riots) 
|Charged||715 (July riots)|
154 (September riots) 
16 September 1963 marked the year of Singapore's merger with Malaysia for economic and security interests as the former lacked the natural resources for survival. Malaysia's Prime Minister Tunku had initially rejected Lee Kuan Yew's proposal for a merger due to the fear of communist insurgency in Singapore and the large number of ethnic Chinese in Singapore which might outnumber the Malay population in Malaysia. (Additionally, Chinese Malaysians constituted a large portion of the population of Malaya/Malaysia at the time and continue to this day.)
However, Tunku changed his mind to call for the merger with Singapore, when the Pro-communist Singaporean leader Ong Eng Guan had won a seat for the PAP in one of the by-elections. This worried Malaysia as this would mean the potential use of Singapore as a communist base to spread communism to Malaysia, over which it would not have sovereignty. Furthermore, maintenance of the high number of Malays in Malaysia was addressed by the inclusion of Borneo island's regions Sabah and Sarawak into the Malaysian federation.
The People's Action Party (PAP) the dominant political party in Singapore and United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) the null dominant political party in Malaysia had two differing competing political ideologies. The PAP, led by Lee Kuan Yew, adopted non-communal politics whereby it called for equality for all regardless of race or religion. By contrast, UMNO, led by Tunku Abdul Rahman, advocated for the provision of special rights and privileges for the bumiputeras (indigenous Malays in Malaysia); meant as a form of affirmative action as the Straits Chinese had traditionally better economic affluence and the Malays tended to be poorer. These ideological differences were important factors causing social and political tensions from 1963 until the point of separation of Singapore from Malaysia. One of the conditions imposed by Tunku Adbul Rahman was Singapore's interference in Malaysian politics and federal elections. The relationship between UMNO and PAP began to sour when the PAP won 37 seats in the elections that were conducted five days after the merger with Singapore. The Singapore Alliance Party, which was supported by UMNO and had hoped to receive the support from the local Malay community, fielded its 42 candidates but failed to win even a single seat. The UMNO saw these results as threatening, as these candidates were primarily running for election in Malay-dominated areas but were defeated by the PAP.
Lee and the PAP fielded some of candidates to contest in the 1964 Federal elections in April as an attempt to portray itself as a Malaysian political party as well, in the interest of national unification. This was instead of the request made by Tunku Abdul Rahman not to "interfere" in Malaysia's federal elections.
The PAP won one seat, which was seen as an intrusion into Malaysia's political space and a threat to the provision of special rights to the Malays. Tunku viewed this defeat as a humiliating blow to the credibility of UMNO. Lee's intentions of creating a Malaysian Malaysia, advocating for equal treatment and opportunity for all races, was viewed with suspicion and hostility by UMNO. In an attempt to safeguard Malaysia's political interest and to sway the Singaporean Malays' support towards UMNO, Malaysia began to launch anti-PAP propaganda campaign through the publication of news in using newspapers and political rallies.
The official state's narrative on the cause of the 21st July 1964 characterizes the UMNO and Malay-language newspaper Utusan Melayu controlled by UMNO as playing an instigating role. It points to the publishing of anti-PAP headlines and incitement for the Malays to against the PAP. Utusan Melayu is the first Malay owned newspaper founded by Singapore's first President Yusuf Ishak in 1939. Utusan Melayu's stated aim was to “fight for religion, race and its homeland”, placing key emphasis on the rights and the elevated status of the local Malays in Singapore. Utusan Melayu aroused anti-PAP sentiments among the local Malays by publishing and amplifying the Singapore government's decision to evict the Malays from Crawford area for redevelopment of the urban spaces. This was seen as a violation of Malay rights. The newspaper did not report that along with the Malays, the Chinese residents were also evicted.
To address the grievances of the Malays, Lee held a meeting with the various Malay organisations on July 19. This angered UNMO, as it was not invited to attend this meeting. In that meeting, Lee assured the Malays that they would be given ample opportunities education, employment and skill training for them to compete effectively with the non-Malays in the country. However, PM Lee refused to promise the granting of special rights for the Malays. This meeting did satisfy some Malay community leaders and agitated some, who had the view that the needs and pleas of the Malays were not being heard. The Singapore Malayan National Committee was one such group that was not convinced of PM Lee's promises. Thus in order to rally the support of the Malays to go against the PAP government, leaflets containing rumours of the Chinese in Singapore trying to kill the Malays were published and distributed throughout the island on July 20, 1964. The spread of such information was also carried out during the procession of the Prophet Mohammad's birthday celebration, triggering the riots.
As a form of retaliation and to further incite the conflict between the Malays and PAP, UNMO called for a meeting which was attending by a close to 12,000 people. This meeting was chaired by Secretary General of UMNO Syed Ja’far Albar who referred to Lee as an ‘Ikan Sepet’, which lives in muddy waters, and called for collective action against the Chinese community led by the PAP. While this convention was under way, communal violence was sparked in Bukit Mertajam killing two people. This was seen as a prelude to the much bigger riots that followed on July 21st, 1964.
Former Minister for Social Affairs, Othman Wok wrote in his autobiography that he had come to know from one of the reporters from the Utsan Melayu that the latter had already known about the potential riots even before their outbreak, which raised official suspicions that UNMO leaders may have orchestrated the riots. Othman also makes references to some key political meetings which took place between the Malay community in Singapore and politicians in Singapore to express their grievances. Accounts from the meetings indicate that the Malays in Singapore had no major grievances and that UMNO’s Secretary-General Syed Ja’afar was responsible for instigating them. Some of the matters brought up by the Malay community included infrastructural issues that Malay schools faced and these issues were contrary to what the UMNO and Utusan Melayu had portrayed.
On 21st July 1964 afternoon, about 20,000 Malays representing the different Muslim organisations in Singapore had gathered for the procession to begin to mark the birthday celebrations of Prophet Muhammad. The procession started at Padang and was planned to end at the Jamiyah Headquarters located at Lorong 12, Geylang area. The dominant narration of the July 1964 Racial riot on public forums and history textbooks is simplified and remembered as a riot which involved 20,000 Chinese throwing bottles and rocks at the Malays at the Padang. In reality, some scholars argue that the bottles and rocks being overthrown and clash with a Malay policeman who tried to restrain the Malays were not the reasons for the cause of the riots. But rather, part of the reasons could be also attributed to the distribution of leaflets to the Malay community before the start of the procession by a group named Pertobohan Perjuangan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapore.
The leaflets instigated anti-Chinese and anti-PAP sentiments among the Malays as it called for a greater union of the Malays to oppose and wipe out the Chinese as they were believed to be starting a ploy to kill the Malays. SUMO's (Singapore Malay National Organisation) Secretary-General Syed Esa Almenoar had given a fiery speech on the need for the Malay community to fight for their rights instead of giving a religious and non-political speech. This further heightened the suspicions that the Malays had toward the PAP and the Chinese community. The procession was being led by Yang di-Pertuan Negara, Yusof bin Ishak and other PAP political leaders such as Othman Wok. The procession went along Arab Street, Kallang and Geylang areas. The riots occurred around 5 p.m., where a few Malay youths were seen to be hitting a Chinese cyclist along Victoria Street, which was intervened against by a Chinese constable. Mr Othman Wok recounted in his autobiography that while he and his team were along Lorong 14, a group of youths believed to be from UMNO shouted "strike the Chinese" and these youths were seen to be marching in front of Wok's contingent. The riots which occurred around Victoria and Geylang had spread to other parts of Singapore such as Palmer Road and Madras Street. The police force, military and the Gurkha battalion were activated to curb the violence and at 9.30 p.m., a curfew was imposed whereby everyone was ordered to stay at home.
The riot saw serious damages to the private properties, loss of lives and injuries sustained by the citizens. According to the reports from the police force, a total of 220 incidents were recorded with 4 being killed and 178 people having sustained some injuries. Furthermore, close to 20 shophouses owned by the Chinese around the Geylang and Jalan Eunos regions were burnt down. The curfew was lifted at 6 a.m. on July 22nd, 1964. Clashes and tensions between the Malays and Chinese re-arose, so the curfew was re-imposed at 11.30 a.m.
Political leaders of both Malaysia and Singapore, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Lee Kuan Yew, each led national radio broadcasts and emphasised for the need to maintain peace and harmony among the different racial and religious groups. Both appealed to the people to remain indoors and not participate in any unlawful acts.
The racial riots subsided by July 24th, 1964, as the number of communal clashes reported was reduced to seven cases. On August 2nd, the imposition of the curfew since July 21st was completely lifted and the high police and military supervision removed.
The year 1964 was a year of turbulence for Singapore with a heightened communal violence between the Chinese and the Malays. After the July riots, a period of relative calm was broken by another riot on 2 September 1964. This riot was triggered by the mysterious killing of a Malay Trishaw rider along Geylang Serai and this incident sparked attempted of stabbings and heightened violence. 13 people were killed, 106 sustained injuries while 1,439 were arrested.
Indonesia was accused of encouraging communal strife to coincide with the landing of the Indonesian commandos in Johor Bahru. This accusation was found to be highly improbable by the American Ambassador to Singapore, who cited the tense situation following the July riots as the cause of the September riot.
According to Lee Kuan Yew, there were irreconcilable differences between the two from the outset, due to the UMNO's communal politics. The racial riots in July 1964, triggered and intensified the political rift between PAP and UMNO. Communal politics was often the central theme of Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman's speeches and he often pointed the finger at the PAP leaders and Lee Kuan Yew for interfering in his political party's decisions and for contesting in Malaya's federal elections advocating for a non-communal politics. Furthermore, Tunku Abdul Rahman's encouragement of racial tension and anti-PAP sentiments among Singaporean Malays made it difficult for the PAP to work with UMNO to forge good relations. Thus, these ideological differences on party politics and the outbreaks of the racial riots in 1964 were some of the important contributing factors which led to the eventual separation of Singapore from the Malayan, paving the way for Singapore's independence in June 1965. Singapore was finally declared an independent and sovereign state on August 9, 1965.
There were calls for an inquiry on who was responsible for starting the riots by the central government on 29 July 1964. The UMNO and the Malaysian Federal government blamed the Indonesian forces for stirring up potential conflict among the Malay Kampong regions. However, this was denied by W.A Luscombe the second secretary of the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur due to the lack of evidence.
From the Malaysian government's point of view, Lee Kuan Yew and PAP were responsible for instigating these series of riots and discontent among the Malay community in Singapore. UMNO and Tun Razak had attributed to the Malay's anger and hostility towards the Chinese and Lee Kuan Yew's former speech made on 30 June 1964 for passing inflammatory remarks of the UMNO's communal politics. However, the American Embassy had refuted these claims by stating that Utusan Melayu could have misquoted Lee's speech.
Whereas for the PAP and Lee Kuan Yew, strongly believed that the 1964 July riot was not a spontaneous one as UNMO had always tried to stir anti-PAP sentiments and communal politics among the Singapore Malays. Furthermore, they had often used fiery speeches and Utusan Melayu as a tool to propagate pro-Malay sentiments and to sway their support towards UMNO.
The narration of the 1964 race riots often includes the political dimension where UMNO and PAP had a political rift. This narration does not examine how the Singaporeans who had lived through this period of time had viewed this Racial Riots. Thus, Cheng (2001) attempted to revive the memories of the people who had lived through the racial riots and most of them associated the racial riots as more of a religious tension as it took place during Prophet Mohammad's birthday procession. Some of the Singaporeans felt that this riot had not much of significant impact on them since they were living in regions far from Geylang and they did not view this riot as being serious. Contrary to the official discourse which cites Syed Ja'far Albar as the culprit instigating the riots, most of the Malays saw the throwing of a bottle by a Chinese causing the riots while the Chinese saw the Malay's aggressive actions towards their racial group as the main factor for the outbreak of the riot. Most of them did not believe that this riot was due to political incompatibility between PAP and UMNO but rather they viewed this as a mere religious and racial clash.
The July 1964 racial riots played a significant role in shaping some of Singapore's fundamental principles such as multiculturalism and multiracialism once it had gained independence from Malaysia in 1965. The Singapore constitution emphasized the need to adopt non-discriminatory policies based on race or religion. Furthermore, the state also guaranteed the grant of minority rights and to ensure that the minorities in Singapore are not mistreated, the Maintenance of the Religious Harmony Act was drafted and implemented in 1990. Furthermore, the Presidential Council for the Minority Rights (PCMR) established in 1970 to ensure that the bills passed by the parliament are not discriminatory against any racial groups. The government has used the recollection of the 1964 race riots to frame its Singapore's story. For instance, former Prime Minister Goh had implemented a new curriculum known as National Education to foster social and national cohesiveness among Singaporeans. In this national education programme, students were taught about the 1964 racial riots to educate the younger generation about the detrimental implications of the racial tension to the cohesiveness of a nation. Furthermore, commemorative days such as racial harmony day was also introduced in 1997 to foster greater cultural appreciation and to enable students to inculcate values such as respect. Every year on July 21, schools commemorate the racial riots to emphasise the need for tolerance among each other. During this commemoration day, schools recall the racial riots that occurred but however, the emphasis on the events are focused on the tension between the Malays and the Chinese rather than on the political differences between UMNO and PAP.
External Links18-point agreement
The 18-point agreement, or the 18-point memorandum, was a hypothetical list of 18 points drawn up by Sarawak, proposing terms to form Malaysia, during negotiations prior to the creation of the new federation in 1963. It was argued as hypothetical as unlike the 20-point memorandum of Sabah submitted jointly by its political leaders in 1962, which exact documents existed, the details of who prepared & signed the 18-point memorandum remains sketchy. A Commission of Enquiry, headed by Lord Cameron Cobbold, and The Lansdowne Committee, an inter-governmental committee, were appointed to aid in the drafting of the Malaysia Agreement. Lord Lansdowne served for Britain and Tun Abdul Razak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya, served for Malaya. The 18 points were based on the Nine Cardinal Principles of the rule of the English Rajah. A similar memorandum, known as the 20-point agreement, was prepared and submitted by North Borneo. Now, Sarawak's and Sabah's rights within Malaysia have since been badly eroded.
The agreements, which can be found in the Proclamation of Malaysia and also the Cobbold Commission reports, stated the conditions and rights that were meant to safeguard the autonomy and the special interest of the people of Sabah and Sarawak, protecting, among others, these regions’ rights on religion, language, education, administration, economy and culture.
Some of the points were incorporated into the Constitution of Malaysia while the rest of Sarawak’s 18 points are outlined as follows:
Head of the federation Point
Name of the federation Point
Right to secession Point
British Officers Point
Tariffs and Finance Point
Special position of indigenous races Point
State Government Point
Transitional period Point
Constitutional safeguards Point
Representation in Federal Parliament Point
Name of Head of StateCobbold Commission
The Cobbold Commission, was a Commission of Enquiry set up to determine whether the people of North Borneo (now Sabah) and Sarawak supported the proposal to create the Federation of Malaysia consisting of Malaya, Brunei, Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak. It was also responsible for the subsequent drafting of the Constitution of Malaysia prior to the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963. The Commission was headed by former Bank of England governor, Lord Cobbold.Combat operations in 1964 during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
The Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation began in early 1963 following Indonesia's opposition to the creation of Malaysia. Initial Indonesian attacks into East Malaysia relied heavily on local volunteers trained by the Indonesian Army. With the passage of time infiltration forces became more organised with the inclusion of a larger component of Indonesian forces. To deter and disrupt Indonesia's growing campaign of infiltrations, the British responded in 1964 by launching their own covert operations into Indonesian Kalimantan under the code name Operation Claret. Coinciding with Sukarno announcing a 'year of dangerous living' and the 1964 race riots in Singapore, Indonesia launched an expanded campaign of operations into West Malaysia on 17 August 1964, albeit without military success. A build-up of Indonesian forces on the Kalimantan border in December 1964 then saw the UK commit significant forces from the UK-based Army Strategic Command.Independence of Singapore Agreement 1965
The Independence of Singapore Agreement 1965 was an agreement between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of Singapore on 7 August 1965 that granted independence to Singapore. The Singapore Act 1966 followed the treaty. The agreement included a Proclamation on Singapore to be made by Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman; a different Proclamation of Singapore was made by Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.
As a result of the agreement, Singapore achieved full independence from Malaysia with effect from 9 August 1965.Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
The Indonesian–Malaysian confrontation or Borneo confrontation (also known by its Indonesian/Malay name, Konfrontasi) was a violent conflict from 1963–66 that stemmed from Indonesia's opposition to the creation of Malaysia. The creation of Malaysia was the amalgamation of the Federation of Malaya (now West Malaysia), Singapore and the crown colony/British protectorates of North Borneo and Sarawak (collectively known as British Borneo, now East Malaysia) in September 1963. Important precursors to the conflict included Indonesia's policy of confrontation against Netherlands New Guinea from March–August 1962 and the Brunei Revolt in December 1962.
The confrontation was an undeclared war with most of the action occurring in the border area between Indonesia and East Malaysia on the island of Borneo (known as Kalimantan in Indonesia). The conflict was characterised by restrained and isolated ground combat, set within tactics of low-level brinkmanship. Combat was usually conducted by company- or platoon-sized operations on either side of the border. Indonesia's campaign of infiltrations into Borneo sought to exploit the ethnic and religious diversity in Sabah and Sarawak compared to that of Malaya and Singapore, with the intent of unraveling the proposed state of Malaysia.
The challenging jungle terrain of Borneo and lack of roads straddling the Malaysia/Indonesia border forced both Indonesian and Commonwealth forces to conduct long foot patrols. Both sides relied on light infantry operations and air transport, although Commonwealth forces enjoyed the advantage of better helicopter deployment and resupply to forward operating bases. Rivers were also used as a method of transport and infiltration. Although combat operations were primarily conducted by ground forces, aerial forces played a vital support role and naval forces ensured the security of the sea flanks. The British provided most of the defensive effort, although Malaysian forces steadily increased their contributions, and there were periodic contributions from Australian and New Zealand forces within the combined Far East Strategic Reserve stationed then in West Malaysia and Singapore.Initial Indonesian attacks into East Malaysia relied heavily on local volunteers trained by the Indonesian Army. With the passage of time infiltration forces became more organised with the inclusion of a larger component of Indonesian forces. To deter and disrupt Indonesia's growing campaign of infiltrations, the British responded in 1964 by launching their own covert operations into Indonesian Kalimantan under the code name Operation Claret. Coinciding with Sukarno announcing a 'year of dangerous living' and the 1964 race riots in Singapore, Indonesia launched an expanded campaign of operations into West Malaysia on 17 August 1964, albeit without military success. A build-up of Indonesian forces on the Kalimantan border in December 1964 saw the UK commit significant forces from the UK-based Army Strategic Command and Australia and New Zealand deployed roulement combat forces from West Malaysia to Borneo in 1965–66. The intensity of the conflict began to subside following the events of the 30 September Movement and Suharto's rise to power. A new round of peace negotiations between Indonesia and Malaysia began in May 1966 and a final peace agreement was signed on 11 August 1966 with Indonesia formally recognising Malaysia.Keningau Oath Stone
The Keningau Oath Stone (Malay: Batu Sumpah Keningau) is a monument in Keningau, Sabah erected to commemorate the terms in which the former British Crown Colony of North Borneo joined the former colony of Sarawak and the other states of the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia.MacDonald House bombing
The MacDonald House bombing occurred on 10 March 1965, at the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank building (currently known as MacDonald House) along Orchard Road of Singapore, which was then part of Malaysia. The nitroglycerin bomb was planted by the Indonesian saboteurs, during the period of Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation (known as Konfrontasi). The explosion killed three people and injured at least 33 others.Malaysia Act 1963
The Malaysia Act 1963 (1963 C 35) was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It came into operation on 31 July 1963.
The Act made provisions for the federation of the States of North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore with the existing States of the Federation of Malaya merge with the states of North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore and the union was renamed Malaysia. As a result of the Act, the Federation of Malaya was renamed Malaysia on 16 September 1963.Singapore ceased to be a state of Malaysia on 9 August 1965, becoming an independent state instead.Malaysia Bill
The Malaysia Bill is an annex of the Agreement relating to Malaysia between United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore. It gave effect to the Agreement where that the British colonies of North Borneo, Sarawak and the State of Singapore should be federated with the existing States of the Federation of Malaya and the name of the federation should be Malaysia, and the Federal constitution wherewith to amend and adopt the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya so as to provide for the admission of those States. it adopted its present name, the name of the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya should be changed into Constitution of Malaysia.Malaysia Day
Malaysia Day is held on 16 September every year to commemorate the establishment of the Malaysian federation on the same date in 1963. It marked the joining together of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia. But then Singapore was expelled on 9 August 1965, after two years being a part of Malaysia.Manila Accord
The Manila Accord was signed on 31 July 1963 by the Federation of Malaya, the Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of the Philippines, after a meeting from 7 to 11 June 1963 in Manila.
Initiated by President of the Philippines Diosdado Macapagal, the meeting was convened to resolve issues over the wishes of people in North Borneo and Sarawak within the context of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), Principle 9 of the Annex taking into account the referendum in North Borneo and Sarawak that would be free and without coercion.Maphilindo
The Greater Malayan Confederation, or Maphilindo (for Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia), was a proposed, nonpolitical confederation of the three Southeast Asian countries.North Borneo Federation
The North Borneo Federation, also known as North Kalimantan or Negara Kesatuan Kalimantan Utara (Unitary State of North Kalimantan) in Malay, was a proposed political entity which would have comprised the British Colonies of Sarawak, British North Borneo (now known as the Malaysian state of Sabah) and the protectorate of Brunei.Proclamation of Malaysia
The Proclamation of Malaysia (Malay: Permasyhuran Malaysia), was a statement, written in English and the Jawi script of Malay, that declared the merger of the Federation of Malaya with the British crown colonies of North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore into the new Federation of Malaysia, following the enactment of the Malaysia Agreement and the Malaysia Act 1963 that July. The merger came into effect on 16 September 1963, and the proclamation was delivered on that date by Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman in the Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur.Proclamation of Singapore
The Proclamation of Singapore is an annex of the Agreement relating to the separation of Singapore from Malaysia as an independent and sovereign state dated 7 August 1965 between the Government of Malaysia and Government of Singapore, and An Act to amend the Constitution of Malaysia and the Malaysia Act on 9 August 1965 signed by the Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and, was read on the day of separation from Malaysia, on 9 August 1965 by Lee Kuan Yew Singapore prime minister declared independence of Singapore.Singapore in Malaysia
Singapore was one of the 14 states of Malaysia from 1963 to 1965. Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963 as a new political entity from the merger of the Federation of Malaya with former British colonies of North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore. This marked the end of a 144-year period of British rule in Singapore, beginning with the founding of modern Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819.
The union, however, was unstable due to distrust and ideological differences between leaders of the State of Singapore and the federal government of Malaysia. Such issues resulted in frequent disagreements relating to economics, finance and politics. The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which was the political party in power in the federal government, saw the participation of the Singapore-based People's Action Party (PAP) in the Malaysian general election of 1964 as a threat to its Malay-based political system. There were also major racial riots that year involving the majority Chinese community and the Malay community in Singapore. During a 1965 Singaporean by-election, UMNO threw its support behind the opposition Barisan Sosialis candidate. In 1965, Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman decided upon the expulsion of Singapore from the Federation, leading to the independence of Singapore on 9 August 1965. This led to Singapore and Malaysia to separate and become distinct countries by 1966. However, they cooperate in commerce.Singaporeans
Singaporeans or Singapore people are citizens of the city-state of Singapore – a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-lingual country with Singaporeans of Chinese, Malay, and Indian descent historically making up the vast majority of the population. Singaporeans may also refer to people with Singaporean ancestry.
In 1819, the port of Singapore was established by Sir Stamford Raffles, who opened the port to free trade and free immigration on the south coast of the island. Many immigrants from the region settled in Singapore. By 1827, the population of the island was composed of people from various ethnic groups.According to the 2006 AsiaBarometer survey, a majority of Singaporeans identify themselves as "Singaporean", while a small percentage prefer to identify with their ancestry or ethnic group. As of 2017, the population of Singaporeans stands at 3,439,200 and the population of overseas Singaporeans stands at 214,700.Ultra (Malaysia)
During the 1960s in Malaysia and Singapore, some racial extremists were referred to as "ultras". The phrase was most commonly used by the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, and other leaders of his political party, the People's Action Party (PAP), to refer to Malay extremists. However, it was also used by some members of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) — the leader of the Alliance coalition governing Malaysia — to refer to Lee instead, as Lee was perceived to be a Chinese chauvinist himself.Winston Choo
Winston Choo Wee Leong (born 18 July 1941) is a Singaporean diplomat, civil servant and former general. He was the first Chief of Defence Force of the Singapore Armed Forces from 1974–1992 and held the rank of Lieutenant-General.