Saturday, August 22, 2009

44 Years ago...this was what happened!

In August 1990, as part of Singapore's 25th Anniversary Celebrations, the Straits Times reproduced the FRONT PAGE NEWS of 9 August 1965...which was sponsored by Rank Xerox Company of Singapore also celebrating their 25 years of operations here.
The 1st official announcement of the Separation took place at 10 am sharp over RADIO SINGAPORE.
Then at precisely 4.30 pm, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew began his press conference which was telecast later that night to a nation still reeling from the shock of the news which had spread swiftly everywhere.
All Malaysian flags were removed from buildings and replaced by Singapore's own flags by 12 noon...that day.
At homes and community centres, people, friends and family members gathered around our black and white TV sets to listen to the PM's press conference. Many of us were in great anxiety and had feelings of uncertainties about the near future. However, many of the shopkeepers and businessmen in Chinatown set off fire celebrate the occasion. They knew better. For them, it was as if Singapore had been released from a kind of stranglehold, a prison of sorts.

Suddenly, the people around my age and my generation realised that we were treated like castaways from a stable ship and left to drift and fend for ourselves in uncertain waters, with many a predator lurking in the deep.
It is with a great sense of pride to say this today...our citizens, our people rallied round the Singapore government and its leaders to begin the task of building a and schools for the people, creating jobs, building up our SAF, Police, Navy, health services., attracting foreign investments.
But the dramatic events of those weeks prior to Separation on 9 August 1965 is something that should be retold to the younger generation.
The best account I've read is from the Singapore Story...Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew.
Read it. It is that gripping!

Ps: The news clippings came from my enormous store of archived material.

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