Singapore in the 20th Century
The First World War practically did not affect Singapore, although the interned Germans were kept in the Teutonic Club (now the Goodwood Park Hotel). The only serious incident – a mutiny in the sepoy troops guarding captured Germans – occurred in 1915.
In the post-war years, despite the regular crises in the production of rubber, oil and tin, such large entrepreneurs continued to work successfully: Tian Ka Ki and Li Kun Chan, who got rich on the rubber trade, and Au Bun Hau, who founded Hau Par Gardens, traded in Chinese ” tiger balm.
Immigrants from South China arrived intensively, especially young people suffering from poverty. In 1919, there were violent demonstrations by the Chinese in support of Sun Yat-sen (the leader of the Kuomintang, who was in opposition to the communists).
In the 1920s with the rise of communist influence in China, Chinese immigration to Singapore began to decline, and Chinese schools were closed.
Lee Kuan Yew – First Prime Minister of Singapore
The Second World War, unlike the First World War, was a turning point in Singaporean history. The British were defeated in Singapore and Malacca, the faith of the inhabitants in the reliability of the British colonial authorities was undermined. The command, absorbed in the war in Europe, left Singapore without proper defense and hope for reinforcements. The Japanese simply occupied the island within weeks of landing in Malaysia.
On February 15, General Pircival decides to surrender to the Japanese, led by General Yamahito.
Brief Essays on the Japanese Occupation (1942-1945)
In 1942, Singapore became known as Xionan-To (Light of the South). Europeans, both civilian and military, were interned and held in the Changi prison and camps specially built for them. Many died on the construction of the railway in Burma and Thailand (on this topic in 1957, David Lin even made a film based on the book by Pierre Boulle “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, which received 7 Oscars, and four Golden Globes and awards “Buffy” – the British “Oscar” is still considered one of the best films about the Second World War, showing the World all the horror and naturalization of the suffering of the War).
The Singaporeans themselves lived in constant fear of the Japanese Kempetai police, dragging out a half-starved existence. Several times, the Kempetai carried out a brutal massacre of the Chinese.
Return of Britain to Singapore
After the American bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August 1945, the Japanese surrendered. Singapore regained the status of a British colony. But, however, the citizens of Singapore and Malaya did not want to continue to remain under foreign domination. Representatives of the metropolis began to develop conditions for the transfer of power to the Singaporeans. In turn, local politicians began negotiations with the British on constitutional reform. The dissatisfaction grew. Multiple performances by the left led to the introduction in 1948 on the Malay Peninsula of a state of emergency for as much as 12 years and the brutal suppression of opposition. British rule continued until 1959.
Social standing in Singapore and the People’s Action Party
Post-war Singapore looked like a run-of-the-mill Asian city: it was a corrupt, dirty, and overcrowded city. The black market flourished, as, in principle, in all territories through which the paths of war passed.
A number of attempts were made to some transformations, such as the legalization of some political parties and the granting of voting rights to local residents in the 1950s, which, unfortunately, failed to reduce the growth of social tension.
Under these conditions, the People’s Action Party, founded in 1955 by Lee Kuan Yew, came to the fore.
In the 1959 elections, it won the majority of seats in the legislative assembly and remains in power to this day.
Singapore Independence Day – 9 August 2005 (40th anniversary)
Rise of Asia – Freedom
In 1963, Singapore and Malaya managed to form the Federation of Malaysia, independent of Great Britain. The union of the two British colonies turned out to be very unstable, leaked and fell apart already in the middle of 1965.
On August 9, 1965, Singapore was proclaimed a sovereign republic. According to ehotelat, the country received the status of a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and representation in the UN, privileges, etc. etc. Despite this, the leaders of the country faced the difficult problem of the economic viability of the tiny island, which they managed to cope with brilliantly over time. Singapore remained the largest trading port in the region, but this was clearly not enough to secure the country in the future.
In 1967, Britain announced the withdrawal of its armed forces from the island, the maintenance of which brought 20% of the national income for that period of time (the last British warship sailed from the coast of Singapore on October 31, 1971).
The way out was brilliantly found by the Singaporean authorities in an accelerated situation, in particular, in the creation of joint ventures and the full opening of their market and territories. Over the next 5 years, Singapore’s economy flourished.
Singapore: Today and Tomorrow
In less than 200 years, Singapore has gone from a small port to one of the “economic wonders” of the world. In many ways, this was the merit of the Prime Minister of the Republic, Lee Kuan Yew, who held this post until 1990. He managed to implement and bring into the real life of the people and every person in particular, global transformations in the island state, which did not have any significant natural wealth.
The tough and corruption-free government pursued a policy aimed at ensuring the stability and productivity of the economy. Since Singapore’s independence, the country’s annual economic growth has been at least 9%. The literacy rate of the population has exceeded 90%, and over 85% of Singaporeans today own their own home.
Even the landscape of the island has changed. Over the past 30 years, its territory has increased by 10% due to the development of land along the southern coastline. Most of Singapore’s population of about 4.5 million people live in quality public apartment buildings.