Newspaper — Revealing Social Anxiety when Singapore announced its Independence

Why there’s stress and worry in the society when Singapore detached from Malaysia?

(fig 1. “Singapore can’t go it alone”, STRAITS TIMES, MAY 23 1965)

(fig 2. “Singapore is out”, STRAITS TIMES, AUG 9 1965)

(fig 3. “Singapore quits – Malaysian Crisis”, DAILY MIRROR (SYDNEY), AUG 9 1965)

(fig 4. “A dream shattered…now a parting of the ways”, STRAITS TIMES, AUG 10 1965)


Singapore separated from Malaysia on 9th August 1965, following an amendment to the Constitution approved unanimously by both Houses of Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Many front pages gazetted this political action with their own opinion and attitudes. They somehow hinged with the tension in the society of how citizens were facing this issue.

Singapore left British colonial control in 1963 and separated from Malaysia in 1965. After a long-term relationship with Britain and Malaysia, Singapore emerged as a new Independent State with a new ruling party and political agenda.

Practically, many Singaporean worried about their future income and purchasing power as Singapore appeared to be a new state with no natural resources and alliances [1]. Other than that, ‘Singaporean’ contains many ethnic groups – Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean and Indian. Singapore faced social anxiety and cultural diversity that may turn into crimes and social turbulence [2].

Thus, this is understandable to hear all the worries and stress from the newspaper during that era. But what has happened has happened, Singaporean can only wait and recognize what kind of future is ahead.

1. Robert E. Gamer, “The Politics of Urban Development in Singapore.” Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1972, 5.

2.  Robert, “The Politics of Urban Development in Singapore.” 7.

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