Major events of this
When Singapore found herself on her own on Aug 9,
1965, her leaders decided that they had to act
quickly on all fronts to ensure her survival and
They formulated and implemented many new policies
in all major areas of life. This meant that
Singaporeans in post-independence Singapore saw
drastic changes in their lives and lifestyles.
Singapore had no defence force of its own.
An urgent priority was to create Singapores
armed forces, virtually from scratch. The government
realised that, given a small population and the need
for manpower for the civilian sector, it would be too
costly to maintain a large standing army. So they
decided that Singapores defence would be a
citizens army backed by trained reserves.
Compulsory national service for young men from all
the different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds
has full capabilities and strength: Dr Yeo
(ST, July 1, 1992)
In 1982, the idea of self-defence and
self-dependence was extended to the rest of the
population when the civil defence force was set up to
teach citizens about fire-fighting, first aid and
In 1968, the government allowed Central Provident
Fund savings to be used to pay for HDB flats.
Ten years later, in 1978, the government also
allowed Singaporeans to use their CPF savings to buy
golden bird takes off at dawn
(ST, Oct 2, 1972)
go on MRT fun rides
(ST, Nov 9, 1987)
Singapore Airlines was formed in 1972 after the
split of Malaysia-Singapore Airlines. SIA has since
gained recognition worldwide as "a great way to
fly" and recently won Executive Travel's coveted
Airline of the Year award for 1997.
After many years of planning and deliberation,
Singapores first Mass Rapid Transit train
started running in 1987 from Yio Chu Kang to Outram
Today, the MRT line stretches to Woodlands, and is
used by at least 840,000 people a day.
To cut down on the number of cars on the road, the
vehicle quota system was introduced in 1990. Car
buyers now have to bid for a Certificate of
Entitlement to own a new car.
is set for Dollar Day tomorrow
(ST, June 11, 1967)
The Sing dollar
Two years after the separation from Malaysia,
Singapore issued its own currency with the orchid
motif. The Singapore dollar and Malaysia ringgit
ceased to be interchangeable in 1973.
In 1969, the jury system was abolished. This meant
judges were given the power to decide on capital
cases as well and, of course, no jury duty for
In 1966, the Family Planning and Population Board was
set up to curb the increasing birth rate. Almost two
decades later, the campaign tone changed. This time
it was not to "stop at two" but to have
"three or more if you can afford it".
In 1983, the Prime Minister sparked off the great
marriage debate when he commented that not enough
graduate women were marrying and having babies.
ad by SDU and SDS for new members in newspaper
(ST, Feb 9, 1996)
To help graduate women get hitched, the Social
Development Unit was set up in 1984.
Non-graduates could turn to the Social Development
Section which was set up in 1985.
to get new music director in new year
(ST, Nov 8, 1996)
ticket sales will fund new arts centre
(ST, Nov 26, 1997)
Since the formation of the Singapore
Symphony Orchestra (SSO) in 1979 with only 41
musicians, the SSO has firmly established itself as a
world-class orchestra with 90 professional musicians,
80 per cent of whom are Singaporeans.
The Singapore Arts Festival is organised
biennially while the Singapore International Film
Festival is held every year. Aside from watching
programmes on national television stations,
Singaporeans can also subscribe to a more varied
television diet via cable.
In 1996, the ground-breaking ceremony was held for
The Esplanade, a $513-million world-class arts centre
located at Marina Bay. Phase 1, consisting of
theatres and an amphitheatre among other facilities,
is expected to be ready in 2001. The arts centre will
help push Singapore into the forefront of the
international arts scene.
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