09.08.

1965: Singapore: The Only Country Forced to Become Independent

1965: Singapore: The Only Country Forced to Become Independent
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 9 August 1965
  • Singapore had been part of Malaysia for around two years, which led to conflict. Eventually, the Malay parliament threw Singapore out of the country, with a unanimous 126 : 0 vote in favor.

This day in 1965 marked what was probably the only case in history when a country became independent against  the will of its people. Namely, on that day the Malay parliament threw Singapore out of the country.

To explain: two years previously, four British colonies – Singapore, Malaya, Sarawak, and Sabah (North Borneo) – had gained their independence from the UK and together they formed a new state – Malaysia.

The Malayans didn’t like the fact that most of the people of Singapore were Chinese. In addition, they were afraid that the center of their country would move from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore due to the latter’s economic strength.

There were also religious problems. Eventually, the Malay parliament threw Singapore out of the country, with a unanimous 126 : 0 vote in favor.

On the other hand, Singapore originally did not desire independence. Its people believed that their country had too little land, water, and natural resources to survive independently. In addition, they hoped the Malayans would help them get rid of the local communists.

In the end, Singapore did become an independent country, and has remained so to this day. In the meantime, it has experienced a massive economic growth, becoming one of the so-called “Asian Tigers”.

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