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Minister of Lands, Mines and Labour: The Hon. C. A. Kamara-Taylor
Minister of Information and Broadcasting: The Hon. K. A. Daramy
Minister of Transport and Communications: The Hon. Sembu Forna
Minister of Health: The Hon. L. A. M. Brewah
Minister of Social Welfare: The Hon. S. W. Gandi Capio
Ministers of State:
The Hon. J. C. Hadson Taylor
Hon. Paramount Chief Bai Koblo Pathbana III
The Hon. E. J. Kargbo (Defence)
The Hon. Foday B. Turay (Lands, Mines and Labour)
The Hon. Formeh Kamara (Transport and Communications)
INGAPORE is an island to the south of the Malay Peninsula, from which it is separated by a narrow channel crossed by a causeway three-quarters of a mile long. Included within its boundaries are a number of smaller islands. A few miles to the south are islands belonging to Indonesia. Singapore is situated just north of the equator, its central point being about 1° 20′ N. latitude and 103° 40′ E. longitude. The area is 224-5 square miles, and the highest point, Bukit Timah, is 581 feet above sea level. The name is derived from the Sanskrit 'Singa pura', or 'City of the Lion'.
The climate of Singapore is similar to that of West Malaysia, being hot and humid with no clearly defined seasons. Rainfall averages 95 ins. a year, and the temperature is usually between 21°C (70°F) and 34°C (93°F).
The last full census was held in 1957, but another full census is being carried out during 1970. At the end of 1969, the population was officially estimated at 2,033,500. Racial groups comprised:
Other races (Europeans, Eurasians, etc.)
The birth rate in 1969 was 22-1 per thousand and the death rate 5.1 per thousand.
At least eight different Chinese dialects are used. However, many Chinese speak Mandarin in addition to their own dialect and many speak English and Malay. The Chinese written language is common to all Chinese. The principal Indian language is Tamil, but many others are spoken. Malay and English are also commonly used, and Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English are official languages.
Primary education is free and universal. The literacy rate (1957) was 52.3 per cent but this has risen considerably since then.
The main religions are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity. Many Chinese follow the Confucian system of ethics.
Singapore's traditional means of livelihood is its entrepôt trade, including the processing of primary produce from neighbouring countries, but since 1961, as a result of various official incentive schemes, a large number of new factories have been set up. Singapore is one of the largest ports in world, with deep water wharves and ship repairing facilities. Ships also anchor in the roads and unload into lighters which bring the cargo ashore, usually into the Singapore River. The total cargo handled in 1967 was 30 million tons. The airport is at Paya Lebar, 6 miles from the centre of the city with a runway of 9,000 feet. Malaysia Singapore Airlines Ltd is the joint national airline of both Singapore and Malaysia. There are 16 miles of metre gauge railway, the railway crossing the Straits of Johore by the causeway and forming a part of the Malaysian system. In addition, eight miles of railway were completed in November 1965 to connect with the new industrial area at Jurong. There are 966 miles of roads, 524 miles of which are paved.
Radio Singapore, owned and operated by the Singapore Government, broadcasts programmes in Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil and provides facilities for commercial advertising. Approximately 90 per cent of all households possess
a radio set. In addition, Rediffusion Ltd, a private commercial enterprise, operate a wired radio service, providing advertising facilities in Mandarin, Malay and English. There are approximately 60,000 Rediffusion subscribers. Government-owned television, introduced in 1963, operates on two channels, programmes being in Chinese, Malay, Tamil and English, as with radio. Approximately 1.3 million people are believed to watch regularly. Television also offers facilities for commercial advertising. Educational T.V. operated by the Ministry of Education and using T.V. Singapura's facilities was started in 1967. This is directed at secondary schools. T.V. Malaysia is also received in Singapore.
In his Budget Speech on 9th March 1970, the Minister for Finance indicated that estimated government expenditure for the year 1st April 1970-31st March 1971 was S$1,040.9 m. (20 per cent higher than 1969). Estimated revenue was S $1,041.2 m. (11-4 per cent higher than the actual 1969 revenue). Defence expenditure accounted for 31.7 per cent of the Budget. The Minister explained that the rapid growth of Singapore's economy and higher earnings were mainly responsible for an increase of S $131.5 in the actual revenue of S $934-4 m. over the previous year. The Development Estimates for 1970/71 provide for expenditure of an additional S $438.5 m. for Government development projects and loans to statutory authorities and Government-owned companies.
Singapore's first Development Plan was completed in 1965. Total expenditure over five years was S$944 million, of which 62 per cent was on economic development and 36 per cent on social development. Two of the most notable features of this plan were the construction of over 50,000 subsidised housing units—the current rate of construction being over 12,000 units a year—and the establishment of industrial estates which have attracted many new manufacturing industries. The largest of these estates is at Jurong, which now forms the nucleus of a new town and has approximately 3,000 acres zoned for light and heavy industries and its own deep water port.
Current major projects include a S$50 million extension to the East Lagoon of the Singapore Harbour and a new electric power station at Jurong. Singapore is fast becoming a major centre and support base for the off-shore exploration activities of international oil companies in the area. It is also developing an electronics industry. 22 electronics companies, mainly Japanese or American, are setting up plant for the assembly of semi-conductors, etc., and manufacture of components. Shipbuilding and ship-reparing are another major growth area.
Singapore's external trade in 1969, including trade with West Malaysia, rose to an all-time record. Provisional figures show that trade, excluding trade with Indonesia, rose in 1969 to S$10,985 m., an increase of S$2,010 m. over 1968. Imports were worth S $6,244 m. (S$5,084 m. in 1968) and exports were S $4,741 m. (S$3,891 m. in 1968).
The Special Aid programme of £50 million provided to help the Singapore Government overcome the economic effects of the British military withdrawal is well under way. In the first two years of the programme £15 million was disbursed. The main projects in the economic sphere are the commercialisation of the former Naval Dockyard, the modernisation of Keppel Harbour, the establishment of a wide-ranging technical education programme and substantial contributions to infrastructural projects such as roads and factories. Special Aid funds have also been used for defence projects.
Singapore's National Day is 9th August.
The history of Singapore prior to 1948 is outlined in the history of Malaysia. Singapore's rapid development from the time of Sir Stamford Raffles was due in part to the farsightedness of Raffles himself in choosing an island lying, with its magnificent natural harbour, not only on the trade routes to the Far East but also placed so as to be the natural trading centre for all the surrounding territories. Over the years Singapore flourished as a free port, living on its trade, its docking facilities and its processing of imported raw materials. It was not until 1921, with the emergence of Japan as the third naval power in the world, that a decision was made to construct there, in the channel between the island and the State of Johore, a first-class naval base with graving and floating docks to take the largest ships afloat. This base was completed in 1938. The defences of the island were however designed for resistance to attack by sea and in February 1942 it fell to a Japanese land attack down the Malay Peninsula and across the Johore Strait. On the liberation of Singapore in 1945, the island was detached from the other Straits Settlements and established as a separate Colony in 1946. At the same time Labuan was detached from Singapore and became part of the Colony of North Borneo; and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (which were never occupied by the Japanese) and Christmas Island were transferred to Australia in 1955 and 1958 respectively. The Colony remained a free port and still continued to handle much of the trade of Malaya and to a lesser extent that of Indonesia. At the same time local industries were developed. A new constitution conferring full internal self-government and the title 'State of Singapore' was introduced in 1959, Singapore became a State of Malaysia on 16th September 1963. On 9th August 1965, it was separated from Malaysia and became an independent sovereign state.
After the end of the war with Japan, a short period of military administration was followed by the restoration of civil government on 1st April 1946. By Order in Council of 27th March 1946 Singapore was established as a separate Colony and a provisional Advisory Council was created pending the establishment of fully representative Executive and Legislative Councils.
The Advisory Council met for the first time on 11th April 1946 and set up a Committee to make recommendations as to the form of the Legislative Council. As a result of their recommendations, a partly elected Council met on 1st April 1948, with six Members elected from territorial constituencies. For the elections in 1951 the number of elected Members was increased to nine. In 1953 a Commission under the chairmanship of Sir George Rendel was set up to advise on a new constitution; and by Order in Council which came into force on 8th February 1955 Singapore was given a large measure of internal self-government. A Council of Ministers was formed, responsible collectively to a Legislative Assembly of thirty-two Members, of whom twenty-five were elected from singlemember constituencies, three were ex officio Members and four were Nominated Unofficial Members. The Governor ceased to preside over the Assembly and was replaced by a Speaker. There was a Council of Ministers consisting of the Governor, three ex officio Members and seven Ministers appointed from among the elected and nominated Members of the Assembly. Mr David Marshall became Singapore's first Chief Minister, but was succeeded by Mr Lim Yew Hock in the following year.
In 1957, after discussions in Singapore and London, an Agreement was signed in London providing for the constitution of a State of Singapore with full internal self-government and the creation of a Singapore citizenship. The new constitution provided for a Head of State to be known as the Yang di-Pertuan Negara, a Cabinet presided over by a Prime Minister, and a fully elective Legislative Assembly of fifty-one Members with a Speaker and Deputy Speaker. On the coming into force of this Constitution in 1959 the Governor, Sir William Goode, became the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara of the State of Singapore and the first United Kingdom Commissioner; but he relinquished the former post six months later, Enche Yusof bin Ishak being appointed in his place. The first Prime Minister was Mr Lee Kuan Yew. One of the first acts of the new Government was to abolish the Singapore Municipal Council and to assume its functions. The United Kingdom Commissioner remained responsible for Defence and External Affairs but certain responsibilities in respect of the latter were delegated to the Government of Singapore. The Singapore Government was responsible for internal security subject to the oversight of an Internal Security Council consisting of three British Representatives, three Singapore representatives and one representative of the Federation of Malaya.
On Singapore's entry into Malaysia the Internal Security Council ceased to exist, internal security becoming the responsibility of the Malaysian Government. The office of United Kingdom Commissioner was also abolished, the senior British representative being the Deputy High Commissioner who was responsible to the British High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur. After the separation from Malaysia, a British High Commissioner was appointed to Singapore.
On 7th August 1965 the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore concluded an agreement on the separation of Singapore from Malaysia as an independent sovereign state from 9th August. The Malaysian Government agreed to enact constitutional instruments to give effect to the separation. On 9th August the Malaysian Parliament passed the Constitution of Malaysia (Singapore Amendment) Act, 1965, providing for Singapore to become independent on that date and Singapore became a Member of the Commonwealth. By legislation passed in December 1965, with retrospective effect to 9th August, the island became a Republic, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara was re-styled President and the Legislative Assembly renamed Parliament. Singapore established a Presidential Council by legislation passed in December 1969. The 21-member Council, chaired by the Chief Justice, exists to examine legislation to see whether it contains elements which differentiate between racial or religious communities or contains provisions inconsistent with the fundamental liberties of Singapore citizens, and to report and advise the Government thereon.
HISTORICAL LIST OF MINISTRIES
Lee Kuan Yew, from 3rd June 1959
Following a General Election on 13th April 1968 the Government (People's Action Party) hold all 58 seats in the new Parliament. Of the 58 constituencies only seven were actually contested at the Election, the remaining PAP members being returned unopposed. In those constituencies where voting took place, there was a 91.7 per cent poll, with some 77.6 per cent of the votes cast for PAP candidates and 11.8 per cent for opposition candidates. By-elections took place in five constituencies in 1970, with the PAP retaining all 58 seats in Parliament: