Week 15: 08 Apr to 14 Apr

8 April

On 1 April 1823, Raffles called for a meeting to consider setting up a Malayan college, a process which included transferring the Malaccan Anglo-Chinese College to Singapore. The proposal was supported by Robert Morrison (Dr), a founder of the Malaccan Anglo-Chinese College and a noted missionary and educationist. The resulting birth of the Singapore Institution also led to a call for a library and museum as "a means of diffusing knowledge" to both the Chinese and Malay students equally. On 8 April 1823, the Singapore Institution obtained its first lease for land along Victoria Street (then known as Rochore Street) and Bras Basah Road (then known as College Street).

The Rendel Constitution came into force on 8 April 1955. Under this constitution, Singapore’s main legislative body, the Legislative Council, became the 32-member Legislative Assembly consisting of three ex-officios, four nominated members and 25 popularly elected representatives. In addition, the political party with a majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly would form a council of ministers. The constitution also allowed for a system of automatic registration that increased the electorate to around 300,000.

Yang di-Pertuan Negara Yusof bin Ishak opening the new extension of Paya Lebar Airport on 8 April 1961 at the beginning of an air show.

The driving force behind the Swiss Life’s foundation was the lawyer Conrad Widmer (1818-1903), who was born in Altnau in the Canton of Thurgau and worked in Frauenfeld. He headed the company as first director for approximately 35 years, until 1892. Swiss Life opened its Singapore office on 8 April 2008.


9 April

Gurkhas have their roots in Nepal. Those that have come to Southeast Asia were brought here as special soldiers on the payroll of colonial British masters. They have a reputation for their keen fighting skills and a loyalty to their masters. In Singapore, the Gurkhas represent a small community comprising about 3,000 men, women and children. On 9 April 1949, the Gurkha Contingent was formed as a part of the Singapore Police Force. They were made up of ex-British Army Gurkhas and replaced a Sikh Unit within the Police Force that had disintegrated during World War II. Major Scott Leathart was the contingent's first commanding officer. Besides having fought in the defence of Malaya during World War II, the Gurkhas proved themselves ready to defend whilst remaining neutral. This was evident during the racial riots of Maria Hertogh in 1950, the Hock Lee Bus Riots in 1955 and the 1958 riots by the Chinese High School. Gurkhas come to Singapore as young as age 18 and return to Nepal after 15 to 20 years of service. Whilst here, they reside at the Gurkha Cantonment, a self-contained community which has its own temple and schools. Built in the 1950s, the Cantonment or camp is located at Mount Vernon, off Upper Aljunied Road, and has remained closed to the public since its completion.

UNIQLO Tampines 1 Store, the first UNIQLO store in Singapore, opened on Thursday, 9 April 2009.

Tampines 1 is a shopping mall opened on 9 April 2009, construction began in March 2007 after the DBS Tampines Centre filled with Spotlight was demolished. It replaced the former DBS Tampines Centre and Pavilion Cineplex.


10 April

G. R. Lambert & Co., a photographic studio, was established by Gustave Richard Lambert on 10 April 1867 at 1 High Street.

The Singapore Railway line is the southernmost segment in the West Coast Line of what first began as the Malayan Railway, now known as KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) Berhad, a Malaysian corporation wholly-owned by the Malaysian Government. The terminus in Singapore is the Tanjong Pagar Station. Plans to build a railway line through Singapore primarily to service the New Harbour were tabled as early as 1869. The project, fraught with politics, only saw approval in 1899 after Sir Cecil Clementi Smith had raised the need in an 1889 Legislative council meeting. Works were initiated with the ceremony of cutting of the first sod in 16 April 1900. Mr C. E. Spooner, the General Manager of the Federated Malay States Railway, was appointed the supervisor of the project. Costing a total of $1,967,495, the Singapore-Kranji Railway line running from Tank Road to Kranji was finally completed in 1903. Opened in two phases, the first section was launched on 1 January 1903. It ran from Tank Road to Bukit Timah and consisted of four stations along the line: Singapore, Newton, Cluny and Bukit Timah. The second section, which extended the line to Woodlands, was completed three months later when the Woodlands station was opened for use on 10 April 1903. Soon after, work began on an extension of the railway line to the wharves. The extension was completed and opened to the public on 21 January 1907. With the extension, the stations along the railway line now consisted of Woodlands, Bukit Panjang, Bukit Timah, Holland Road, Cluny Road, Newton, Tank Road, Borneo Wharf and Pasir Panjang.

On 10 April 1943, tickets for the Konan Saiken, a lottery held by the Japanese and Singapore's first-ever state lottery, went on sale.

Malabar Mosque, known as the Golden Dome Mosque is situated at the corner between Victoria Street and Jalan Sultan. After some period the Malabar Muslim Jama-ath with the help of the Malabar Muslims had a plan to build a mosque at Victoria Street. With this plan in mind, a stone laying ceremony was held on 10 April 1956 by the Mufti of Johor, Tuan Syed Alwi Adnan who had represented the Sultan Ibrahim bin Abu Bakar of Johor.


11 April

Countries all over the world impose border control in some form or other because they want to prevent undesirable persons, cargo and conveyances from going into their countries. In Singapore, immigration control was first introduced on 11 April 1919, through the Passengers Restriction Ordinance. Even in Singapore's pre-independence days, we were already concerned about controlling the arrivals and departures. Those born in Singapore and Malaya were not affected.

The British government on 11 April 1957 allows the island colony of Singapore to govern itself under a new constitution agreed in London. Great Britain will continue to control external affairs and defense.

The inaugural Singapore Grand Prix motor race was won by Lee Han Seng of Singapore on 11 April 1966. The race would be discontinued after 1973, but revived thirty-five years later in 2008.


12 April

After the war, Geylang Serai's population increased and the uninhabited areas were gradually occupied. In the 1950s, when the better off Chinese moved out of the area, more Malay people moved in and the population of Geylang Serai became predominantly Malay. On 12 April 1964, during Indonesia's Confrontation, a bomb exploded at a block of flats at Geylang Serai, killing two men. Communal riots between Malays and Chinese broke out several months later on 21 July 1964 on Prophet Muhammad's birthday.

Bounded by New Bridge Road, Keong Siak Road, Kreta Ayer Road, Neil Road and Cantonment Road, the area was given conservation status on 7 July 1989. It contains two- and three-storey shophouses mainly of the Transitional, Late and Art Deco Styles. In addition, more shophouses along Keong Saik Road were given conservation status on 12 April 1990 and subsequently, those along Teck Lim Road and Keong Siak Road were given conservation status on 25 October 1991.

The official opening of the Singapore Girls' Home on 12 April 2007 signifies an important milestone in the history of MCYS's Homes. This year, the Singapore Girls' Home, together with the Singapore Boys' Home and Boys' Hostel, mark 60 years of residential-based care and rehabilitation of youths.

Kidzania Singapore opens its doors in Sentosa on 12 April 2016.


13 April

In Jan 1913, the Singapore Sporting Club rescinded its consent for polo playing on its grounds. Polo playing was to shift to the Sultan's palace grounds at Tyersall. On 12 March 1914, the Singapore Polo Club moved to its first permanent home at Balestier Road, bounded on one side by McNair Road. Play began that month. The official opening was held a month later on 13 April 1914, when a grand opening gymkhana was held.

On 13 October 1951, Ceylon Sports Club’s foundation stone was laid by the Rt. Honourable Mr. D. S. Senanayake, the first Prime Minister of Ceylon. Upon completion, the building was officially opened by the Rt. Honourable Mr. Malcolm Macdonald, Governor General for the United Kingdom in South East Asia on 13 April 1954.

The Ministry of Health announces a war on diabetes on 13 April 2016.


14 April

The foundation stone of the Masonic Hall (on Coleman Street) in Singapore was laid on 14 April 1879 and the building was completed and consecrated in 1886. Designed by Architect Donald McLeod Craik, the two-storey grey building once had an imposing gate of black spikes. For many years, the locals called the building rumah hantu, meaning "haunted house" in Malay, as few knew of what happened in this exclusive clubhouse and people often thought "strange ceremonies" took place here. Non-members are only allowed on the ground floor where there is a bar, a dining room, a billiard table and a jackpot room. The area upstairs is known to the Freemasons as the Temple, and is used for gatherings and ceremonies which have been continuing for more than a hundred years.

Construction and property Company Low Keng Huat has clinched a $66.3 million contract – awarded by Perennial Real Estate Group – to give Chinatown Point a major renovation and face-lift in May 2011. It was set for completion by November 2012. Tan Sri Dato’ Low Keng Huat is a co-founder of the Company and its Chairman since its incorporation on 14 April 1969.

S.League – Singapore’s first professional soccer league – was initiated following the decision of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to withdraw from the Malaysian Premier League and the Malaysia Cup in 1995. The FAS felt that the long-term interests of the sport in Singapore would be better served by developing its own national soccer league. The S.League was officially launched by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong to a 50,000-strong crowd at the National Stadium on 14 April 1996.