VISNEWS filmed May 30 people of the multi-racial island of Singapore going to the polls to elect a new government and Legislative Assembly.
VISNEWS filmed May 30 people of the multi-racial island of Singapore going to the polls to elect a new government and Legislative Assembly. The People's Action party, led by Cambridge-educated lawyer, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, won an overwhelming victory, taking 43 out of the 51 seats.
These, the first elections to be held under the new constitution which gives Singapore full self government as an island state. Britain will remain responsible for defence and external affairs.
Outgoing Chief Minister, Mr. Lim New Hock, with his wife, arrived at the polling booth late in the afternoon to vote. He defeated Mr. Davis Marshall, Singapore's first Chief Minister who came to London for the early negotiations on self government. Mr. Ong Eng Guan, last year's Mayor of Singapore gained the largest majority for the People's Action Party.
For the first time voting was compulsory and long queues formed at the polling booths well before they opened. The day passed quietly in marked contrast to the campaign which has been bitterly fought over the past few weeks. The island's entire police force was mobilised for duty but their time was taken up in giving advice and information to those in doubt about procedure. By early evening most of the 590,000 electors had voted and polling stations in the 51 constituencies were almost deserted.
When the final results were declared Mr. Lee Kuan Yew said: "To-night is the night of the liberation of the poor. The people's verdict is decisive. Nothing more can be added. It is victory of right over wrong - the clean over the dirty - righteousness over evil."
Leaders of the victorious left-wing People's Action Party held a 3 1/2 hour meeting on Sunday 31 May. Afterwards Mr. Lee Kuan Yew stated that his party did not intend to take office unless the seven members of the party detained as 'subversives' after the riots in 1959, were released. There has been no indication that the Governor, Sir William Goode is prepared to free them.