- Singaporean national referendum, 1962
The Singapore national referendum of
1962, or also commonly referred to as the Merger Referendum of Singapore was the first and only referendumto date held in Singaporeon September 1 1962. It called for people to vote on the terms of merger with Malaysia. Some of the options ultimately had to deal with questions of national identity, and such questions would come to be cited even years after the merger, as well as after the subsequent separation.
There was no option to vote against the merger among the three options presented to the people:
*Option A: All Singapore citizens would automatically become citizens of Malaysia, and Singapore would retain a degree of autonomy and state power, such as over labour and education. Singapore would also get to keep its language policies, such as to retain using all four major languages, English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil.
*Option B: Singapore would become a federal state like that of the other eleven states, with no more autonomy than the other states would, thus ceding control over issues such as labour and education policies to the federal government in
Kuala Lumpur. This also meant that there would be less multilingualism - only English and Malay would be used for official purposes, and possibly education. Only those born in Singapore or descended from the Singapore-born would become citizens of Malaysia. There would also be proportionate representation in Parliament from Singapore.
*Option C: Singapore would enter on terms no less favourable than the Borneo territories,
Sabahand Sarawak, both whom were also discussing merger with Malaysia. This was to ensure that Malaysia would not discriminate along racial lines, as that would mean discriminating against Sabah and Sarawak, which were predominantly Bumiputraas well.
Option A received the majority of the vote at 73%, more than the two thirds which was required for constitutional reform. The supposedly pro-communist
Barisan Sosialiswere strongly against the idea of referendum, as the move was seen by them as one that would result in their suppression. The Barisan Socialis called for a boycott of the referendum, telling their supporters to submit blank votes in protest of the "rigged" referendum. 26% of the votes were left blank as a result. This move had been anticipated by the ruling PAP government, as seen by the insertion of a clause that stated that all blank or defaced votes would be counted as a vote for option A.
The media campaign fielded by both sides was extremely heated, many of the leaders on both sides broadcast radio shows in several languages. The voter turnout was extensive, around 624,000 had been eligible to vote, and around 561,000 voters turned up, which yielded a turnout of 90%.
The PAP was not legally obliged to call for a referendum, but did so to secure the
mandateof the people. However, the Barisan Sosialis, a left-wing socialist party consisting of former PAP members with communistsympathies alleged that the people did not support merger. Lee Kuan Yewdeclared the people did. It should be noted that the referendum did not have an option of objecting to the idea of merger because no one had "legitimately" raised the issue in the Legislative Assemblybefore then. However, the methods had been debatable. The referendum was therefore called to resolve the issue as an effort to decide objectively which option the people backed. The legitimacy of the referendum is often challenged by Singaporean left-wing supporters, due to the lack of an option to vote against the merger.
Backed by the official mandate, Singapore entered into merger with Malaysia on
September 16, 1963, marking the birth of Malaysia.
History of Singapore
Politics of Singapore
* [http://www.singapore-elections.com/ Singapore-elections] - a site documenting the various election results in Singapore's history.
* [http://ourstory.asia1.com.sg/merger/ref/malt.html Referendum alternatives] - documents the referendum options.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Singaporean general election, 1963 — Infobox Election election name = Singaporean general election, 1963 country = Singapore type = parliamentary ongoing = no previous election = Singaporean general election, 1959 previous year = 1959 next election = Singaporean general election,… … Wikipedia
People's Action Party–United Malays National Organisation relations — Malaysia This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Malaysia … Wikipedia
Timeline of Singaporean history — This is a timeline of the history of Singapore. For more detailed annual listings, see List of years in Singapore.Before 1800* 3rd century Early Chinese account of Singapore describes the island of Pu Luo Chung . * 13th century The port of… … Wikipedia
Singapore Badminton Hall — The Singapore Badminton Hall (Abbreviation: SBH; zh sp|s=新加坡羽毛球馆|p=xīnjiāpō yǔmáoqiúguǎn) is an indoor sports hall for badminton located on Guillemard Road in Geylang, Singapore. It is currently the headquarters of the Singapore Badminton… … Wikipedia
List of Singapore-related topics — This is a list of topics related to Singapore. For a similar list in alphabetical order, see list of Singapore related topics by alphabetical order. Those interested in the subject can monitor changes to the pages by clicking on Related changes… … Wikipedia
List of Singapore-related topics by alphabetical order — This is a list of Singapore related topics by alphabetical order. For a list by topic, see list of Singapore related topics. Those interested in the subject can monitor changes to the pages by clicking on Related changes in the sidebar. A list of … Wikipedia
Sook Ching massacre — This article is part of the History of Singapore series … Wikipedia
Calendar of 1995 — ▪ 1996 January January 1 Cardoso assumes office Having won some 54% of the ballots cast in the October 1994 election, Fernando Cardoso took the oath of office as president of Brazil. As chief executive of South America s largest… … Universalium
2006 — Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar.2006 was designated as: * International Year of Deserts and Desertification. [ [http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php URL ID=7589 URL DO=DO TOPIC URL SECTION=201.html… … Wikipedia
Kent Ridge Park — The Vigilante Drive entrance to Kent Ridge Park. In the background lies a decommissioned M114 155 mm howitzer gun donated by Singapore s Ministry of Defence. Kent Ridge Park (Chinese: 肯特岗公园) is a 47 hectare public park in western Singapore,… … Wikipedia