Colony of Singapore

The colony of Singapore was a British Crown colony that existed from 1946 until 1963, when Singapore became part of Malaysia. When the Empire of Japan surrendered to the Allies at the end of World War II, the island was handed back to the British in 1945. In 1946, the Straits Settlements were dissolved and Singapore together with the Cocos-Keeling and Christmas islands became a separate Crown colony.[3] The colony was governed by the British Empire until it gained partial internal self-governance in 1955.[4]

Colony of Singapore

Koloni Singapura  (Malay)
காலனி சிங்கப்பூர்  (Tamil)
Kālaṉi Ciṅkappūr
新加坡殖民地  (Chinese)
Xīnjiāpō zhímíndì
Location of Singapore in the Malay Archipelago
Location of Singapore in the Malay Archipelago
StatusCrown Colony
and largest city
1°17′N 103°50′E / 1.283°N 103.833°E
Official language
and national language
Common languagesChinese, Malay, Tamil
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• 1936–1952
George VI
• 1952–1963
Elizabeth II
• 1946–1952 (first)
Franklin Charles Gimson
• 1957–1959 (last)
William Goode
Chief Minister / Prime Minister 
• 1955–1956
David Marshall
• 1956–1959
Lim Yew Hock
• 1959–1963
Lee Kuan Yew
Historical eraBritish Empire
• Dissolution of the Straits Settlements
1 April 1946
• Labuan transferred to North Borneo
15 July 1946
• Cocos (Keeling) Islands transferred to Australia
23 November 1955
• Christmas Island transferred to Australia
1 October 1958
• Autonomy within the British Empire
• Merger with the Federation of Malaysia
16 September 1963
1963[2]670 km2 (260 sq mi)
• 1963[2]
Time zoneUTC+07:30 (Malay Standard Time (SST))
Driving sideright
ISO 3166 codeSG
Preceded by
Succeeded by
British Military Administration (Malaya)
Straits Settlements
Japanese occupation of Singapore
Singapore in Malaysia
Crown Colony of North Borneo
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Christmas Island
Today part of


Post war period: return of British rule

After Japan surrendered to the Allies on 15 August 1945, there was a state of anomie in Singapore, as the British had not arrived to take control, while the Japanese occupiers had a considerably weakened hold over the populace. Incidents of looting and revenge-killing were widespread.

When British troops returned to Singapore in September 1945, thousands of Singaporeans lined the streets to cheer them. Singapore was ruled by a British Military Administration (BMA) between September 1945 and March 1946, during which it also served as the headquarters of the British governor general for Southeast Asia. However much of the infrastructure had been destroyed, including electricity and water supply systems, telephone services, as well as the harbour facilities at the Port of Singapore.[5]

There was also a shortage of food including rice, and this led to malnutrition, disease and rampant crimes and violence. Unemployment, high food prices, and workers' discontent culminated into a series of strikes in 1947 causing massive stoppages in public transport and other services. By late 1947, the economy began to recover, facilitated by the growing demand for tin and rubber around the world. But it would take several more years before the economy returned to pre-war levels.[5]

Establishment of the colony

On 1 April 1946, the Straits Settlements was dissolved and Singapore became a Crown Colony with a civil administration headed by a Governor and separated from peninsular Malaya. In July 1947, separate Executive and Legislative Councils were established and provisions were made to allow for the election of six members of the Legislative Council the next year.[6]

Merger with Malaysia

The failure of the British to defend Singapore had destroyed their credibility as infallible rulers in the eyes of the locals in Singapore. The decades after and during the war saw a political awakening amongst the local populace and the rise of nationalist and anti-colonial sentiments, including a cry for Merdeka, roughly translated to "independence" in the Malay language. The British, on their part, were prepared to embark on a program of gradually increasing self-governance for Singapore and Malaya.[5] The Crown colony was dissolved on 16 September 1963 when Singapore became part of Malaysia, which ended the 144 years British rule of the island.

On 9 August 1965, Singapore officially left Malaysia to become the independent Republic of Singapore, due to political and economical disputes.


First Legislative Council (1948–1951)

The first Singaporean elections, held in March 1948 to select members of the Legislative Council, were rather limited. The right to vote was restricted to adult British subjects, of which only 23,000 or about 10 percent of those eligible registered to vote. In addition, only six of the twenty-five seats on the Legislative Council were to be elected; the rest were chosen either by the Governor or by the chambers of commerce.[5]

Three of the elected seats were won by a newly formed Singapore Progressive Party (SPP), a conservative party whose leaders were businessmen and professionals and were disinclined to press for immediate self-rule. The other three seats were won by independents.

Three months after the elections, an armed insurgency by communist groups in Malaya – the Malayan Emergency – broke out, and the British imposed harsh measures to control left-wing groups in both Singapore and Malaya; the controversial Internal Security Act, which allowed indefinite detention without trial for persons suspected of being "threats to security", was introduced at this time.[5]

Since the left-wing groups were the strongest critics of the colonial system, progress on self-government stalled for several years. The colonial government also tried to prevent contacts between Singaporean Chinese and China, which had just fallen under the rule of the Communist Party of China. Tan Kah Kee, a local businessman and philanthropist, was denied re-entry into Singapore after he made a trip to China.[5]

Second Legislative Council (1951–1955)

A second Legislative Council election was held in 1951 with the number of elected seats increased to nine. This election was again dominated by the SPP which won six seats. This slowly contributed to the formation of a distinct government of Singapore, although colonial administration was still dominant.

In 1953, with the communists in Malaya suppressed and the worst of the 'Emergency' period over, the government appointed a commission, headed by Sir George Rendel, to study the possibility of self-government for Singapore. The commission proposed a limited form of self-government.

The Legislative Assembly with twenty-five out of thirty-two seats chosen by popular election would replace the Legislative Council, from which a Chief Minister as head of government and Council of Ministers as a cabinet would be picked under a parliamentary system. The British would retain control over areas such as internal security and foreign affairs, as well as veto power over legislation.

The government agreed with the recommendations, and Legislative Assembly elections were scheduled for 2 April 1955. The election was a lively and closely fought affair, with several newly formed political parties joining the fray. In contrast to previous elections, voters were automatically registered, expanding the electorate to around 300,000. The SPP was soundly defeated in the election, winning only four seats. The newly formed, left-leaning Labour Front was the largest winner with ten seats and was able to form a coalition government with the UMNO-MCA Alliance, which won three seats.[5] Another new party, the then leftist People's Action Party (PAP), won three seats.


On 1 April 1946, the colony of Singapore was formed with Cocos-Keeling, Christmas islands after the dissolution of the Straits Settlement. As a Crown colony, Singapore inherited the hierarchical organisational structure of the Straits Settlements government with a governor, who was assisted by an Advisory Executive Council, a Legislative Council and a Municipal Council.[7] In July 1946, Labuan became part of the Crown Colony of North Borneo.[8] The sovereignty of the Cocos (Keeling) islands was transferred to Australia in 1955. The administration of Christmas island was also transferred to Australia in 1957 at the request of the Australian government.

Governors of Singapore (1946–1959)

The Governors of Singapore ruled Singapore. The men that held this position governed the Crown Colony of Singapore from 1946 to 1959, on behalf of the Colonial Office until Singapore gained self-governance in 1959 in where the Office of the Governor was abolished.

# Governor of Singapore Term of office
Took office Left office
1 Frank Gimson Sir Franklin Charles Gimson, KCMG 1 April 1946 20 March 1952
No image Wilfred Lawson Blythe
20 March 1952 1 April 1952
2 John Fearns Nicoll2 Sir John Fearns Nicoll, KCMG 21 April 1952 2 June 1955
William Allmond Codrington Goode Sir William Goode, GCMG
2 June 1955 30 June 1955
3 No image Sir Robert Brown Black, GCMG 30 June 1955 9 December 1957
4 William Allmond Codrington Goode Sir William Goode, GCMG 9 December 1957 3 June 1959
  • Bose, Romen, "THE END OF THE WAR: The Liberation of Singapore and the aftermath of the Second World War", Marshall Cavendish, Singapore, 2005


  1. ^ There is no authorised version of the national anthem as the words are a matter of tradition; only the first verse is usually sung.[1] No law was passed making "God Save the Queen" the official anthem. In the English tradition, such laws are not necessary; proclamation and usage are sufficient to make it the national anthem. "God Save the Queen" also serves as the Royal anthem for certain Commonwealth realms. The words Queen, she, her, used at present (in the reign of Elizabeth II), are replaced by King, he, him when the monarch is male.


  1. ^ "National Anthem". Official web site of the British Royal Family. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Singapore - Land area". Index Mundi. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  3. ^ Colony of Singapore. Government Gazette. (1946, April 1). The Singapore Colony Order in Council, 1946 (G.N. 2, pp. 2–3). Singapore: [s.n.]. Call no.: RCLOS 959.57 SGG; White paper on Malaya (1946, January 26). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Tan, K. Y. L. (Ed.). (1999). The Singapore legal system (pp. 232–233). Singapore: Singapore University Press. Call no.: RSING 349.5957 SIN.
  4. ^ "Singapore : History | The Commonwealth". Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Singapore – Aftermath of War". U.S. Library of Congress. Retrieved 18 June 2006.
  6. ^ "Towards Self-government". Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, Singapore. Retrieved 18 June 2006.
  7. ^ Electoral representation for new Singapore Council. (1946, April 2). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Tan, T. Y. L. (1999). The Singapore legal system (pp. 40–42). Singapore: Singapore University Press. Call no.: RSING 349.5957 SIN.
  8. ^ N. Borneo becomes a colony. (1946, July 16). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Coordinates: 1°22′N 103°48′E / 1.367°N 103.800°E

1958 in Singapore

The following lists events that happened during 1958 in Colony of Singapore.

Attorney-General of Singapore

The Attorney-General of the Republic of Singapore (AG) is the legal adviser to the Government of Singapore and the Public Prosecutor (PP). He carries out his functions with the assistance of his deputies, including the Deputy Attorney-General (DAG) and the Solicitor-General (SG), through the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC). The current Attorney-General is Lucien Wong, SC.

The office of attorney-general was born in Singapore in 1867, when the British crown appointed an Attorney-General of the Straits Settlements, based in Singapore, to serve as legal adviser to the new crown colony's government. Today, the President of Singapore appoints the Attorney-General, acting in his discretion and in concurrence with the Prime Minister's advice, under Article 35 of the Constitution of Singapore. Unlike some countries that follow the Westminster parliamentary model, the Attorney-General is not a member of Parliament.

Chief Justice of Singapore

The Chief Justice of Singapore is the highest post in the judicial system of Singapore. The Chief Justice is appointed by the President, chosen from candidates recommended by the Prime Minister. The incumbent Chief Justice is Sundaresh Menon.

Chief Minister of Singapore

The Chief Minister of Singapore was the head of government of the Crown colony of Singapore until its abolition on 3 June 1959 replaced by the role of Prime Minister. The Chief Minister was appointed by the Governor of Singapore. The Chief Minister was the party leader of the largest party in the Legislative Assembly.

City of Singapore (historical entity)

The City of Singapore existed from 1951 onwards in the then British Crown colony of Singapore, with the City Council as the governing authority. Before 1951 the City Council was known as the Municipal Commission. The rest of the crown colony was under the authority of the Singapore Rural Board.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

The Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands is an Australian external territory in the Indian Ocean, comprising a small archipelago approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka and closer to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is part of Southeast Asia and is in the Southern Hemisphere. The territory's dual name (official since the islands’ incorporation into Australia in 1955) reflects that the islands have historically been known as either the Cocos Islands or the Keeling Islands.

The territory consists of two atolls made up of 27 coral islands, of which only two – West Island and Home Island – are inhabited. The population of around 600 people consists mainly of Cocos Malays, who practise Sunni Islam and speak a dialect of Malay as their first language. The territory is administered by the Australian federal government's Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, and together with Christmas Island (which is about 960 kilometres (600 mi) to the east) forms the Australian Indian Ocean Territories administrative unit. However, the islanders do have a degree of self-government through the local shire council. Many public services – including health, education, and policing – are provided by the state of Western Australia, and Western Australian law applies except where the federal government has determined otherwise.

The islands were first discovered in 1609 by William Keeling, but no settlement occurred until the early 19th century. One of the first settlers was John Clunies-Ross, a Scottish merchant; much of the island's current population is descended from the Malay workers he brought in to work his copra plantation. The Clunies-Ross family ruled the islands as a private fiefdom for almost 150 years, with the head of the family usually recognised as resident magistrate. The British formally annexed the islands in 1857, and for the next century they were officially administered from either Ceylon or Singapore. The territory was transferred to Australia in 1955, although until 1979 virtually all of the island's real estate still belonged to the Clunies-Ross family.

Crown colony

Crown colony, dependent territory or royal colony were dependent territories under the administration of United Kingdom overseas territories that were controlled by the British Government. As such they are examples of dependencies that are under colonial rule. Crown colonies were renamed "British Dependent Territories" in 1981, and since 2002, Crown colonies have been known officially as British Overseas Territories.In such territories, residents do not elect members of the British parliament. A Crown colony is usually administered by a governor who directly controls the executive and is appointed by "the Crown" — a term that in practice usually means the UK government, acting on behalf of the monarch. However, the term "Crown colony" has sometimes been used of entities that have elected governments and partial autonomy; these are also known as self-governing colonies.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a legal agreement between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas. According to its preamble, its purpose was the "substantial reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers and the elimination of preferences, on a reciprocal and mutually advantageous basis."

It was first discussed during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment and was the outcome of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization (ITO). GATT was signed by 23 nations in Geneva on 30 October 1947, and took effect on 1 January 1948. It remained in effect until the signature by 123 nations in Marrakesh on 14 April 1994, of the Uruguay Round Agreements, which established the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 1 January 1995. The WTO is a successor to GATT, and the original GATT text (GATT 1947) is still in effect under the WTO framework, subject to the modifications of GATT 1994.GATT, and its successor WTO, have successfully reduced tariffs. The average tariff levels for the major GATT participants were about 22% in 1947, but were 5% after the Uruguay Round in 1999. Experts attribute part of these tariff changes to GATT and the WTO.

History of Singapore

The history of Singapore may date back to the third century. Evidence suggests that a significant trading settlement existed in Singapore during the 14th century. In the late 14th century, Singapore was under the rule of Parameswara, who killed the previous ruler and he was expelled by the Majapahit or the Siamese. It then came under the Malacca Sultanate and then the Johor Sultanate. In 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles negotiated a treaty whereby Johor allowed the British to locate a trading port on the island, leading to the establishment of the British colony of Singapore in 1819.

During World War 2, Singapore was conquered and occupied by the Japanese Empire from 1942 to 1945. When the war ended, Singapore reverted to British control, with increasing levels of self-government being granted, culminating in Singapore's merger with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia in 1963. However, social unrest and disputes between Singapore's ruling People's Action Party and Malaysia's Alliance Party resulted in Singapore's expulsion from Malaysia. Singapore became an independent republic on 9 August 1965.

Facing severe unemployment and a housing crisis, Singapore embarked on a modernization programme beginning in the late 1960s through the 1970s that focused on establishing a manufacturing industry, developing large public housing estates and investing heavily on public education.

By the 1990s, the country had become one of the world's most prosperous nations, with a highly developed free market economy, strong international trading links, and the highest per capita gross domestic product in Asia outside Japan.

Holidays with Pay (Agriculture) Convention, 1952

Holidays with Pay (Agriculture) Convention, 1952 is an International Labour Organization Convention.

It was established in 1952, with the preamble stating:

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to holidays with pay in agriculture,...

Legislative Council of Singapore

The Legislative Council of the Colony of Singapore was a Legislative Council in Singapore that assisted the Governor in making laws in Singapore. It officially came into existence in 1946, when the Repeal Act abolished the Straits Settlements, and Singapore became a Crown Colony on its own that would need its own Legislative Council. Based on existing systems already in place when the council operated under the Straits Settlements, it was partially opened for public voting in 1948, before being replaced by the Legislative Assembly in 1953.

List of riots in Singapore

The list of riots in Singapore is a list of riots which happened in Singapore.

Singapore, Straits Settlements (1826-1946)

February 15-20, 1851 - Anti-Catholic riots (1851) Anti-Teochew Catholic riots]] (500 dead (Teochews))

May 5-17, 1854 - Hokkien-Teochew riots (200-480 dead, 222 injured) Crown Colony of Singapore (1946-1963)

December 11, 1950 - Maria Hertogh riots (18 dead, 173 injured)

May 13, 1954 - 1954 National Service Riots (26 injured)

May 12, 1955 - Hock Lee Bus Riots (4 dead, 31 injured)

October 26, 1956 - Chinese middle schools riots (13 dead, more than 100 injured)

April 22, 1963 - City Hall riot Negeri Singapura, Malaysia (1963-1965)

July 12, 1963 - Pulau Senang prison riots (4 dead, 5 injured)

July 21, 1964 - 1964 Race Riots (36 dead, 556 injured) Republic of Singapore (1965-)

1969 - 1969 Race Riots of Singapore (4 dead, 80 injured)

December 8, 2013 - 2013 Little India riot (62 injured)


Malaysians are the people who are identified with the country of Malaysia, its citizens and their descendants worldwide. This connection may be residential, legal, historical, or cultural. For most Malaysians, several (frequently all) of those types of connections exist and are the source(s) of their being considered Malaysians. Although citizens make up the majority of Malaysians, non-citizen residents and overseas Malaysians may also claim a Malaysian identity.The country is home to people of various national, ethnic and religious origins. As a result, many Malaysians do not equate their nationality with ethnicity, but with citizenship and allegiance to Malaysia. Majority of the population, however, belong to several clearly defined ethnolinguistic groups within the country with their own distinct cultures and traditions: Malays, Orang Asli (aboriginal population), Malaysian Chinese (primarily Han Chinese), Malaysian Indians (primarily Tamils). Malays themselves are the source of the name Malaysia ("land of Malays") as they traditionally formed the majority during the British rule. The majority of the non-Malay and non-aboriginal population in modern Malaysia is made up of immigrants and their descendants. Following the initial period of Portuguese, Dutch and then significantly longer British colonization, different waves (or peaks) of immigration and settlement of non-aboriginal peoples took place over the course of nearly five centuries and continue today.

Malayan independence from United Kingdom in 1957 grew gradually over the course of latter part of the 20th century since the formation of the Federation of Malaya in 1948 (excluding Crown Colony of Singapore, Crown Colony of North Borneo and Crown Colony of Sarawak). World War II in particular gave rise to a desire amongst Malayans to have their country recognised as a fully-fledged sovereign state with a distinct citizenship.

Othman Wok

Othman bin Wok, DUNU (Second Class), (Jawi: عثمان بن ووك; October 1924 – 17 April 2017), often known as Othman Wok, was a Singaporean politician. He was a minister in the Cabinet for 14 years. He was the Minister of Social Affairs from October 1963 to June 1977. After retiring from active politics, he was Singapore's ambassador to Indonesia and served on the boards of the Singapore Tourism Board and Sentosa Development Corporation. For his political, economic and social contributions to the nation building of Singapore, he was awarded the Order of Nila Utama (2nd Class) in 1983 by President Devan Nair.

Othman Wok was born on 8 October 1924 in the then British colony of Singapore, to a family of Orang Laut origins. His father, Wok Ahmad, had been a school teacher and principal. During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore in the Second World War from 1942-1945, Wok Ahmad enrolled Othman in a Japanese school in the belief that doing so would prevent Othman from being conscripted into the Japanese Imperial Army. As a result, Othman would come to learn the Japanese Language. Following the end of the Japanese Occupation, Othman would go on to continue his education in Sekolah Melayu Telok Saga before proceeding to Raffles Institution for his secondary education.Othman’s grandfather, a religious teacher, objected to Wok Ahmad’s decision to send Othman to Radin Mas and later Raffles Institution, both of which are English schools. He was afraid that Othman would waver in his religious beliefs in the course of his English-language education, converting him to Christianity. However, not only did Othman stay faithful to his religion, he became an important bridge between the Malay/Muslim community and the new People's Action Party Government from the 1950s. This affirmed Wok Ahmad’s beliefs that an English-language and mainstream education is essential for a brighter future ahead.

Othman, on the other hand, did not hold the same worries as his grandfather. He sent one of his daughters to a Catholic school, CHIJ Katong Convent. His daughter received religious education outside school hours, and remains a Muslim today.

Road to Singapore

Road to Singapore is a 1940 American semi-musical comedy film directed by Victor Schertzinger and starring Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour and Bob Hope. Based on a story by Harry Hervey, the film is about two playboys trying to forget previous romances in the Colony of Singapore, where they meet a beautiful woman. Distributed by Paramount Pictures, the film marked the debut of the long-running and popular "Road to ..." series of pictures spotlighting the trio, seven in all. The supporting cast features Charles Coburn, Anthony Quinn, and Jerry Colonna. It takes place in Singapore under British Rule.

Singapore–South Korea relations

Singapore–South Korea relations refer to the relations between the Republic of Singapore and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The relations between the both countries started when a trade mission from South Korea visited the Colony of Singapore in 1950. The two countries established formal diplomatic relations in 1975, but South Korea established a trade office and a consulate-general, and sent a special envoy to visit Singapore before that. Both countries are the only two United Nations members in the Four Asian Tigers. In 2014, South Korea was the fourth-largest import source of Singapore.

Unemployment Convention, 1919

Unemployment Convention, 1919 is an International Labour Organization Convention.

It was established in 1919:

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the "question of preventing or providing against unemployment",...

William Allmond Codrington Goode

Sir William Allmond Codrington Goode (8 June 1907 – 15 September 1986) was a British colonial officer who served as governor and colonial secretary to various Far Eastern colonies in the twentieth century. Goode was the last governor of the Crown Colony of Singapore, and the British protectorate of North Borneo.

Overseas territories
Crown dependencies
Former (Africa)
Former (Americas)
Former (Asia)
Former (Australasia)
Former (Europe)
Former (Oceania)

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