Week 12: 18 Mar to 24 Mar

18 March

After the war, on 18 March 1946, Lieutenant Colonel Masayuki Oishi and Lieutenant Colonel Haruzo Sumida, (commander of the Syonan Branch Kempeitai) with 21 other Kempeitai officers were charged by the Military Court at the Supreme Court Building, Singapore, for the torture and murder of civilians in a war criminal trial termed the "Double Tenth" trial. Both lieutenant colonels were found guilty of war crimes and hanged.

In March 1956, six British Members of Parliament visited Singapore to assess Singapore's ability to deal with internal security. A mass rally was organized on 18 March 1956 at the old runway at Kallang to demonstrate the people's desire for independence. There was a crowd of 25,000 carrying various banners and slogans. Mr David Marshall, the Chief Minister, the British Parliamentarians and other members of the Singapore Legislative Assembly were on a stage erected for them. The rally turned into a riot. The Chief Minister appealed to the crowd to restrain themselves; Mr Lee Kuan Yew also addressed the gathering to remain calm. Those on the stage made a dash to the old terminal building. About 50 persons including 20 policemen were injured in the melee that followed.

Shin Min Daily News was started on 18 March 1967. This light-hearted evening newspaper provides the latest on a wide range of local and international topics.

Resorts World opens the Universal Studio on 18 March 2010, at 8.28am, with 18 attractions and rides spread over seven zones to entertain visitors.


19 March

On 19 March 1855, the cornerstone of Saint Joseph Institution (SJI) was laid. With the laying of the corner-stone, the name of the school was changed from St. John's Institution to St. Joseph's Institution. SJI is a Catholic secondary school for boys and is the third oldest educational institution in Singapore.

The land that the former Sun Yat Sen Villa stands on was once part of a 404.7ha sugar plantation owned by Joseph Balestier, who went bankrupt in 1848. Ray Tyers (1976), in Singapore, Then & Now, mentioned an original grant of this land to Loh Jun Teck on 19 March 1856, by Conveyance No. 47, from The East India Company.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill was introduced in Parliament on 26 February 1993 and read a second time on 19 March 1993 when it was referred to a Select Committee of Parliament. The Bill is based on the UK Value Added Tax Act with some additions from the New Zealand GST Act.


20 March

Singapore's first general election was held on 20 March 1948, with 6 seats in the Legislative Council. The Singapore Progressive Party wins 3 seats.

On 20 March 1952, Wilfred Lawson Blythe was appointed as the Acting Governer of the Singapore.

On 20 March 2000, Asian operators M1 in Singapore and Cable & Wireless HKT Mobile Services in Hongkong have successfully carried out a GPRS roaming trial between the two GPRS core networks supplied by Nokia. This is the first such trial in the world for GPRS inter-operator roaming.


21 March

Together with Tan Kah Kee, Lim Nee Soon founded the Chinese High School (华侨中学), the first Chinese secondary school in Singapore, which opened on 21 March 1919. He had donated $10,000 to the school's building fund, and, from its beginnings, was made the school's treasurer.

On 21 March 1957, the Singapore Industrial Promotion Board was instituted as a statutory board following the enactment of the Singapore Industrial Promotion Board Ordinance. The main task of the board was to promote and develop the various industries in the Colony of Singapore.

The Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO) was incorporated on 21 March 1980. It is the national coordinating body of women's organisations in Singapore, and the non-governmental representative on the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW). It seeks to unite the various women's organisations, clubs, committees, groups and women leaders together, and co-ordinate these asociations into a national movement.

On 21 March 2008, Jemiah Islamiah terrorist head Mas Selamat bin Kastari escapes from prison.

From 21 March 2016, the Full-Day Bus Lanes will extend the operating hours, the lanes will operate from 7.30am to 11pm on weekdays and Saturdays excluding public holidays, the LTA said in its press release. Previously, the operating hours ended at 8pm. The Full-Day Bus Lanes can be distinguished by red solid lane markings.


22 March

On 22 March 1894, the Singapore Chamber of Commerce voted 17 to 9 in favour of the introduction of the British dollar to Singapore.

The Singapore Malay Football Club (SMFC) was established on 22 March 1909 and known then as Malaya Football Association (MFA) under the distinguished patronage of H. H. Sir Ibrahim (Sultan of Johore), H. H. Sir Alang Iskandar Shah (Sultan of Perak) and Sir Hugh Charles Clifford.

Shopping mall libraries are community libraries located within shopping malls in Singapore. This "shopping mall" concept is to bring the library closer to the people and encourage life-long learning among Singaporeans. The first shopping mall library, the Jurong West Community Library, located in the Jurong Point shopping mall, opened on 22 March 1996.


23 March

Lim Nee Soon, the illustrious rubber and pineapple planter, built a row of shophouses on Sembawang Road in 1912 and established the chop "Thong Aik" that dealt with rubber. Some of the shophouses were later used as housing units. Sembawang Road was the scene of the worst fire accident in Nee Soon. On 23 March 1951, a row of 22 shophouses housing various businesses caught fire making 500 residents homeless and destroying S$300,000 worth of property.

The Singapore Army Act (1965) also provide for naval and air force units under the Army's command. With the passing of the Singapore Armed Forces Act on 23 March 1972, two new services were formed - the Republic of Singapore Navy and the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

On 23 March 2015, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced his father's death at the age of 91. Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who was Singapore's first Prime Minister when the country gained independence in 1965, passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital at 3:18 am following a long illness.


24 March

The Cold Storage Company Ltd was established on 8 June 1903 and became the earliest supermarket in Singapore. It opened its first retail operation on 24 March 1905 at Orchard road with frozen meats, poultry and dairy products delivered from Queensland, Australia to Singapore. This first batch of cargo was stored in a 400-ton capacity refrigeration facility in a wharf at Keppel Harbour.

The Iras vacated Fullerton Square building in January 1996, while the last transaction carried out at the POSBank branch was on 17 February 1996. The General Post Office, then the oldest surviving post office building in Singapore, was the last to move out, on 24 March 1996.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a type of atypical pneumonia caused by a coronavirus now known as the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that is transmitted through direct contact with the respiratory secretions or body fluids of an infected person. The virus was brought into Singapore in late February 2003 by three Singaporean women who contracted the highly infectious disease while holidaying in Hong Kong. One of them, Esther Mok, was identified as the first “index case” as 22 other close contacts caught the virus from her, sparking the outbreak in Singapore. As more cases surfaced, a number of measures were introduced to deal with the national crisis. On 22 March, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the Communicable Disease Centre became the designated facilities for the isolation and treatment of SARS cases. As a precaution, the Ministry of Health invoked the Infectious Diseases Act on 24 March 2003 to impose home quarantine orders on persons who had been in contact with SARS patients. (Source: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/history/events/