The Straits Times, June 4, 1956
Singapore's Chief Minister, Mr David
Marshall, will resign his leadership of the
Government after the next assembly meeting on
On his resigning, he is recommended by
his party, the Labour Front, to advise the Governor,
Sir Robert Black, to call on Mr Lim Yew Hock, now
Minister for Labour and Welfare, to form a new
The Straits Times, June 6, 1956
15 months of smiles and scowls
in the career of Singapore's first Chief Minister
Marshall, who is tendering his resignation after
today's Assembly session, has had a rough-and-tumble
time as Singapore's first Chief Minister.
diary of "outstanding" events shows the ups
and downs of Mr Marshall over the past 15 months.
Jubilant Mr Marshall takes office as
Chief Minister and Minister for Commerce. Causes
sensation by wearing bush jacket at first Legislative
Assembly meeting. Confident of future.
Riots by 2,000 students, strikers and
hooligans. Three people killed. Mr Marshall in
broadcast says: "The pattern of action of the
demonstrators conform to Communist techniques."
Mr Marshall lays foundation stone of
Colony's new $300,000 Adult Education Centre.
Speaking of future, he says: "This Singapore of
ours is on the move. Things are being set
Mr Marshall clashes with the Governor.
Criticises Rendel Constitution. Complains about
having to hold two portfolios. Seeks appointment of
four junior Ministers. Threatens to resign.
Colonial Secretary, Mr Alan Lennox Boyd,
arrives in Singapore. Hopes to solve crisis. Two
weeks later, Governor agrees to accept advice in
certain matters. Marshall happy.
Mr Marshall falls ill. All his public
engagements are cancelled for three days. Despite his
illness, however, he attends Government House talks
on the future constitution.
Fighting fit again. Announces names of
delegation to agenda-fixing talks in London. Labour
Front reiterates its support for Marshall and adopts
"merdeka" as the party slogan.
Mr Marshall speaks of
"trouble" in Front. He says: "If the
Opposition want me to resign, let them combine and
throw me out. It is absurd for anyone to suggest that
I should resign."
Mr Marshall in high spirits. Leaves for
preliminary talks on constitutional conference. Says
before departure on Dec 2: "... will discharge
my duties adequately as goodwill ambassador."
Preliminary talks a success.But trouble
ahead for the Chief Minister. Opposition parties
threaten to boycott merdeka talks. Marshall plans
The Chief Minister is happy again. He
has drawn up plans to invite British MPs to test
Singapore's "feeling and capacity" for
merdeka. He leaves for a holiday in Switzerland.
He returns from holiday. Predicts
"greatest crisis" in Colony next month.
Organises merdeka drive. Two weeks later riot breaks
out at rally at old Kallang airport. Fifty injured.
Leaders of all-party merdeka delegation
agree unanimously on constitutional memorandum.
Marshall says: "It justifies our case for
independence." Mr Marshall, jubilant, flies to
Merdeka talks fail on 16th. Mr Marshall
says it's day of mourning. Following day, he makes
surprise move to re-open negotiations. No success .
Returning delegates say "Marshall must go".
Today's Legislative Assembly meeting
will be Mr Marshall's last as Chief Minister. He has
declared that he will resign after this session
because "I have failed in my merdeka
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