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Singapore

 
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Singapore

AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1945-55

[JPEG]

Panoramic view of Singapore's waterfront in mid-1940s
Courtesy National Archives

The abrupt end of the war took the British by surprise. Although the Colonial Office had decided on the formation of a Malayan Union, which would include all the Malay states, Penang, and Malacca, no detailed plans had been worked out for the administration of Singapore, which was to be kept separate and serve as the headquarters of the British governor general for Southeast Asia. Many former colonial officials and businessmen opposed the separation of Singapore from peninsular Malaya, arguing that the two were economically interdependent and to exclude Singapore would "cut the heart out of Malaya." The Colonial Office maintained that the separation did not preclude union at some future date, but that union should not be forced on "communities with such widely different interests." In September 1945, Singapore became the headquarters for the British Military Administration (BMA) under Mountbatten. Although Singaporeans were relieved and happy at the arrival of the Commonwealth troops, their first-hand witnessing of the defeat of the British by an Asian power had changed forever the perspective from which they viewed their colonial overlords.

Data as of December 1989

Singapore - TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Introduction
  • History & Historical Setting

  • Go Up - Top of Page

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    Information Courtesy: The Library of Congress - Country Studies


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