Chapter 7 - How did the local people respond to British rule after WW2?


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Chapter 7 - How did the local people respond to British rule after WW2?

  1. 1. Chapter 7 How did the local people respond to British rule after WW2? By Ms Francy Phay
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Immediate post-war problems </li></ul><ul><li>How did the post-war problems affect Singapore? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A period of unrest (strikes and riots) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shift in people’s attitudes towards the British </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>British response to Singaporeans’ desire for self-governance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maria Hertogh and anti-national service riots </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rendel Constitution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1955 Election </li></ul>
  3. 3. Immediate post-war problems
  4. 4. <ul><li>Lack of housing, rising rental rates, people living in slums </li></ul><ul><li>Food shortage </li></ul><ul><li>Rising prices of necessities like flour, sugar and bread </li></ul><ul><li>Poor sanitation, diseases, lack of health services </li></ul>Immediate post-war problems 1 2 3 4
  5. 5. How did the post-war problems affect Singapore?
  6. 6. Period of unrest <ul><li>Difficult living conditions in the post-war period led to frequent strikes. </li></ul><ul><li>1947 was remembered as ‘The year of strikes’. (More than 300 strikes) </li></ul><ul><li>Strikes often stirred up by members of the Malayan Communist Party. </li></ul><ul><li>Workers encouraged to join Communist controlled trade unions. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Period of unrest <ul><li>In response, the British government passed laws to control trade unions. </li></ul><ul><li>From 1947 onwards, all unions had to register with the government. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Shift in people’s attitude towards the British <ul><li>Lost respect for the British for surrendering to the Japanese. </li></ul><ul><li>People experienced a nationalistic awakening. </li></ul><ul><li>(Refer to page 134) </li></ul>
  9. 9. British response to Singaporeans’ desire for self-governance <ul><li>1948: Elections were introduced for the first time and the British allowed some locals to be elected into the Legislative Council. </li></ul><ul><li>Since the British only allowed those who were born in Singapore to vote and voting was not compulsory, only about 13800 out of 940000 people turned up to vote. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Look at page 137 – What do you notice about the 1948 government structure compared to that in the pre-war period? </li></ul><ul><li>Legislative Council: 3 selected by European, Chinese and Indian Chambers of Commerce, 6 elected by the people, 4 nominated by the Governor </li></ul><ul><li>More local representation </li></ul>
  11. 11. Singapore Progressive Party (SPP) <ul><li>The Singapore Progressive Party (SPP) took part in the 1948 election. </li></ul><ul><li>However, it was not a popular party because it was seen as pro-British and it believed in gradual self-government. </li></ul><ul><li>Formed in August 25, 1947 </li></ul><ul><li>Headed by Tan Chye Cheng, John Laycock and Nazir Ahmad Mallal </li></ul><ul><li>Made up of and backed by English-speaking upper class professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Advocates progressive and gradual reforms </li></ul><ul><li>Little known fact: SPP was credited for drafting a law for the setting up of the Central Provident Fund </li></ul>
  12. 12. Maria Hertogh Riots (1950) <ul><li>Riots broke out over the custody battle of Maria Hertogh. </li></ul><ul><li>Maria Hertogh was brought up by a Malay woman, Che Aminah, during the Japanese occupation. After the war, Maria’s biological parents wanted to take her back and this resulted in a custody battle. </li></ul><ul><li>The court ruled that Maria should be returned to the biological parents. This ruling infuriated the Muslim community. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Lessons from the Maria Hertogh riots <ul><li>People in positions of power need to practise sensitivity in dealing with racial and religious issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Racial and religious harmony within the society cannot be taken for granted. </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of objective media coverage pertaining to religious and racial issues. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Anti-National Service Riots (1954) <ul><li>Response to the National Service Ordinance. </li></ul><ul><li>Unpopular with secondary students from Chinese schools. </li></ul><ul><li>13 May 1954: Students gathered in front of the Government House to present petition to the Governor but the demonstration turned violent. 26 people were injured and 48 students were arrested. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Why were the students from Chinese schools unhappy with the government? <ul><li>Distrust of the British after the war. </li></ul><ul><li>Felt that Singapore should gain independence. </li></ul><ul><li>The Chinese-educated students felt marginalised when it comes to the education budget allocated to them and their tertiary education opportunities. (Pg 144) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Rendel Constitution (1953) <ul><li>A response to rising discontentment of Singaporeans. </li></ul><ul><li>It recommended limited self-government for Singapore. </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to page 145. </li></ul><ul><li>- Has a say in education, health, housing, trade and industry. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Established on 21 November 1954 </li></ul><ul><li>Founded by Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Keng Swee, Toh Chin Chye, S.Rajaratnam and K.M. Byrne </li></ul><ul><li>Demanded immediate independence </li></ul><ul><li>Aimed to win support of the workers, trade unions and students in the Chinese schools </li></ul><ul><li>Won 3 seats in the 1955 elections </li></ul><ul><li>Formed in July 1954 </li></ul><ul><li>Headed by David Marshall, Lim Yew Hock and Francis Thomas </li></ul><ul><li>Made up of people with low income and English-educated trade union leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Advocates immediate independence </li></ul><ul><li>Won 10 seats in the 1955 election </li></ul><ul><li>David Marshall becomes the first Chief Minister </li></ul>The new constitution inspired the creation of new political parties
  18. 18. 1955 Election <ul><li>79 candidates contested 25 elected seats in the Legislative Assembly. </li></ul><ul><li>Campaigns focused on anti-colonialism. </li></ul><ul><li>LF and PAP targeted the majority of the Chinese-speaking Singaporeans. </li></ul><ul><li>On polling day, 160 000 people turned up to vote. </li></ul>
  19. 19. 1955 election outcome <ul><li>LF won 10 out of 25 seats. </li></ul><ul><li>Results surprised the British because they expected SPP to win. </li></ul><ul><li>Did not expect the voters to vote for anti-colonial parties. </li></ul>