Until Singapore's separation from Malaysia in August
responsibility for national security matters had always
either in London or Kuala Lumpur. In the two decades
end of World War II (1939-45), Britain spent billions of
rebuild its military bases in Singapore in order to honor
defense commitments to Malaysia and Singapore. Between
1966, several thousand British troops were deployed to
two countries during the Indonesian Confrontation
By 1967 the British Labour and Conservative
reached a consensus that Britain could no longer afford to
cost of maintaining a military presence in Southeast Asia.
January 1968, London informed the Singapore government
British forces would be withdrawn by 1971, ending 152
responsibility for the defense of Singapore.
After the 1963 merger of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and
to form the Federation of Malaysia, Singapore ceded
its armed forces to the federal government in Kuala
Lumpur. For a
time, Malaysian army and air force units were stationed in
Singapore, and Lee Kuan Yew's refusal to allow Malaysia to
control over Singapore's military establishment after
was one reason political relations between the two nations
strained well into the 1970s.
Data as of December 1989