What did independence mean for Singapore?
Singapore and its Singaporean
9 August 1965, this is the day that all the Singaporean will remember forever. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew announced Singapore’s independence from Malaysia at 10 a.m., with the Radio Singapore interrupted its regular programme to broadcast this announcement. After 123 years of British rule, 3 years of Japanese Occupation, 2 years in the Federation of Malaysia, Singapore became a republic. This unexpected news changed Singapore and changed Singaporean forever. No one knows what would the future of the Singapore being, the survival of this little island without any natural resources had been questioned.
The local residents had different reactions and feelings towards the independence of Singapore. S. Vijayan, a secondary 2 student, had no reaction beyond sensing that this news was something important. He was not aware of the political issues. Winston Choo, a 24 years old man, who had spent all his working life in the military. He felt that life must go on and that he would remain in Singapore and work towards its survival, security and success. Wee Cho Yaw, Chairman Emeritus and Adviser of UOB Group, immediate reaction was sadness and concern. He was very pessimistic about Singapore’s economic survival due to the lack of natural resources and a small population. The different reactions and feelings that they come out is due to the different occupations that they had. For students, they did not concern too much about the political problems as these were too young for them to think of. For a soldier, all they need to do is to protect Singapore no matter it merged with Malaysia or became an independence republic. For the normal occupation such as teachers, workers or officers, etc. They would feel sad and hopeless towards the future because the independence of Singapore might affect their job due to the economic and chances of being laid-off.
There are many challenges that Singapore faced after the sudden independence. Firstly, being an independence republic, Singapore needs to get international recognition for its independence. Secondly, the setup of the military is required to defend this country. Thirdly and the most importantly would be the economy of this small country that is without natural resources such as rubber, oil palm or precious minerals.
No matter what are the challenges and how difficult are them. All the Singaporean had worked hard together to strive a better future for Singapore. No matter how tough is the period and how hopeless are the people had felt. The Singaporean never give up so they earned a wonderful life right now. Singapore is an amazing nation that build up by its miraculous Singaporean.