Week 9: 26 Feb to 03 Mar

26 February

On 26 February 1994, Singapore Broadcasting Corporation held the first Star Awards ceremony (红星大奖) to recognise Singapore’s television talents. In that first year, the only awards given out were ten Most Popular Male and Female Artistes awards and the Most Popular Newcomer award.

From 1992 to 1995, Nick Leeson, who had no formal training as a dealer, made unsupervised and unauthorized speculative trades on Singapore’s International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX). It caused the collapse of Barings Bank, UK’s oldest investment bank (founded in 1762). Leeson made use of a “five-eights account” (88888) to carry out the daring and risky trading, primarily on futures contracts. It eventually led to a loss of £827 million ($1.3 billion). Leeson fled Singapore on 23 February 1995, and Barings was declared insolvent on 26 February 1995. Leeson was arrested in Germany and extradited back to Singapore on 2 March 1995. He was sentenced to six and a half years in Prison in Singapore, but was released in 1999, having been diagnosed with colon cancer that he survived.

Yishun Community Library opened on 26 February 1998 and is located at Blk 290, Yishun Street 22, #03-401, Singapore 760290. It is the fourth rental library and the thirteenth community library to be opened by the National Library Board.


27 February

The first horse racing meet at Farrer Park on 27 February 1843, William Henry McLeod Read rode the horse Colonel and won the Singapore Cup, a prize of $150.

The National Service Bill (Amendment) 1967 was first read in Parliament on 27 February 1967. After a spirited debate in Parliament, the NS Act was passed.

Mas Selamat bin Kastari an Indonesian-born Singaporean, was for more than a year Singapore's most-wanted fugitive after escaping from detention on 27 February 2008. The search for him has been described as the largest manhunt ever launched in Singapore. He was eventually recaptured in Skudai, Malaysia, on 1 April 2009, and has since been returned to Singapore.


28 February

A famous businessman, William Henry Read, a Scotsman who came to Singapore in 1841. When he came to Singapore, his residence was at Battery Road, then to Beach Road, and then to the old nutmeg estate, which is now the location of the Istana. In the almost 46 years of his life in Singapore, Treasurer of the first Singapore public library and Honorary Police Magistrate, among others. On 28 February 1887, laid the first cylinder for Read Bridge (at Clarke Quay along Singapore River) and retired and returned to England in this year. Read Bridge and Read Street are named after him.

On 28 February, 1942, some 300-400 Chinese civilians were killed along the Punggol foreshore by hojo kempei (auxiliary military police) firing squads. They were among tens of thousands who lost their lives during the Japanese’ Sook Ching operation to purge suspected anti-Japanese elements within Singapore’s Chinese population between 18 February to 4 March 1942. The victims who perished along the foreshore were among 1,000 Chinese males rounded up following a house-to-house search of the Chinese community living along Upper Serangoon Road by Japanese soldiers.

The Singapore Free Press, Singapore's second English language newspaper after the Singapore Chronicle, was published for the first time on 1 October 1835. It remained in circulation until 1869, but was revived in 1884. It was bought over by The Straits Times in 1946. On 28 February 1962, it merged with The Malay Mail and The Malay Mail became a national paper.

A white marble bust of Encik Yusof bin Ishak in suit and tie was presented to him in a ceremony at the Istana Negara (now known as the "Istana") on Monday, 28 February 1966. It was a token of appreciation for Encik Yusof's interest in the Singapore Arts Society, which commissioned the bust. The bust was done by Mr Lim Yew Kuan, a member of the Society. Mr Lim was an appointed sculptor of the first President of the Republic of Singapore and was awarded the Public Service Star in 1980 for his contributions to the local arts scene.

MRT's Boon Lay extension began operating from 28 February 2009. The 3.8-kilometre stretch along the East-West Line will consist of two stations - Pioneer and Joo Koon.


29 February

29 February is a day added into a leap year of the Gregorian calendar. This date occurs only every four years, in years evenly divisible by 4, such as 1996, with the exceptions in century years not divisible by 400, such as 1900.

Controversy has arisen from Raffles' own mistake in recording the date of the first landing as 29 February 1819 in his "Statement of the Services of Sir Stamford Raffles", a date which did not exist as 1819 was not a leap year.

The Leap Years (Singapore Movie) opens on 29 February 2008. Based on the novella Leap of Love by the author Catherine Lim. Cast includes Wong Lilin, Ananda Everingham, Qi Yu Wu, Joan Chen, Jason Keng-Kwin Chan, Vernetta Lopez, Nadya Hutagalung, Paula Malai Ali and Tracy Tan.


1 March

On 1 March 1886, Anglo-Chinese School was established at Amoy Street.

Walter John Napier was an Attorney-General of Singapore from 1 March 1907 to 31 December 1909, during which he was responsible for introducing a new Civil Procedure Code. Sir Walter Napier arrived in Singapore in 1889 after being admitted to the English Bar and joined Alfred Drew in the partnership of Drew & Napier.

Senior Minister of State for Education and Acting Minister for Social Affairs Dr. Ahmad Mattar officiated at the inauguration of Singapore Council of Women's Organisations on 1 March 1980.

The new Main Entrance and Linkway connecting the Science Centre (15 Science Centre Road) to Omni-Theatre was completed on 1 March 2000.


2 March

On 2 March 1981, the then Secretary-General of NTUC Lim Chee Onn, appointed a Pro-tem Committee chaired by Mr Suktwindar Singh to look into the formation of a union to represent members of the electronic and electrical division of SILO and PIEU. On 14 July 1981, the United Workers of Electronic and Electrical Industries (hereafter UWEEI) was formally registered with the Register of Trade Unions.

Empress Place Building

The Asian Civilisation Museum first opened its doors at the Old Tao Nan School building on 22 April 1997 at Armenian Street, with exhibits largely centred on Chinese civilisation. With the restoration of the Empress Place Building, the museum established its new flagship museum there on 2 March 2003, rapidly expanding the collection to other areas of Asia.

In 2010, Chiam See Tong tried to bring the Reform Party into the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA). He reportedly accepted the conditions the Reform Party set out for joining the alliance, however the terms of entry were opposed by other members of the SDA's Council who blocked the move. Chiam also suffered a mild stroke in 2008, following which he had to cut back on some of his political activities, and this led some members of the SDA's Council to question whether he was able to properly fulfil his role of Chairman of the alliance. On 28 February 2011, the SDA's Council voted to relieve Chiam of his role as chairman, however the Council stressed that they still hoped to field Chiam as a candidate at the next general election. (Chiam had earlier announced that he planned to stand in a GRC rather than in the Potong Pasir SMC at the next general election.) But two days later, on 2 March 2011, Chiam announced that the Singapore People's Party was withdrawing from the SDA, and that he would stand under the banner of the SPP instead of the SDA at the next general election.


3 March

Singapore Jewellers Association celebrated their 25th Anniversary cum opening ceremony of their new premise on 3 March 1963. It was officiated by our then Minister of Finance, Dr Goh Keng Swee.

The National Fire Prevention Council (NFPC) was established on 3 March 1986 with the mission of making the residential, industrial and commercial sectors of Singapore fire-safe through the promotion of greater fire safety and prevention awareness among the public.

Michael Peter Fay (born in 1975) is an American man who was the subject of international attention in 1994 when he was sentenced to caning in Singapore for theft and vandalism at age 18. Although caning is a routine court sentence in Singapore, its unfamiliarity to Americans caused controversy, and Fay's case was believed to be the first caning involving an American citizen. Fay was sentenced on 3 March 1994 to four months in jail, a fine of S$3,500, and six strokes of the cane. The number of cane strokes in Fay's sentence was ultimately reduced from six to four after U.S. officials requested leniency.