Week 20: 13 May to 19 May

13 May

On 13 May 1954, 500 students held a demonstration against the National Service Ordinance. 500 Chinese schoolboys and girls tried to march onto the Government House (Istana Negara) to lodge their protest. When they failed to disperse, the Riot Squad stepped in and the event turned violent. Twenty-six people (20 students and six police) were injured. The police arrested 44 boys and one girl, all above 16. They were released the following day on bail. Later, as the demonstration gained momentum, 1,000 students locked themselves in at the Chung Cheng High School. The police forced them out the next day.

The first air disaster at Kallang Airport happened on 13 May 1954. A BOAC Constellation, G-ALAM touched down too soon at the seaward end of the Kallang runway and crashed. Within moments the fuselage was enveloped in flames. At least 31 passengers and two crew members died in Singapore’s first and only civil air disaster.

Underwater World was an oceanarium located on Sentosa. Opened on 13 May 1991, it had more than 2,500 marine animals of 250 species from different regions of the world. The oceanarium was mostly underground and it was owned by the Haw Par Corporation. The Underwater World's ticket included admission to the Dolphin Lagoon at Palawan Beach. On 6 June 2016, it was announced by operator Haw Par that the venue would close on 26 June 2016. Its pink dolphins, fur seals and otters were been transferred to Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai, China the week before the announcement.


14 May

Singapore Malay Union was established on 14 May 1926. Formed as a Malay religious and cultural entity, it was the precipitation to the formation of Singapore UMNO although its leaders later reversed its decision to form it. In 1954, it was joined as part of the three-party LF alliance. When LF became a single party, it declined to merge and instead became a coalition partner to UMNO and MCA in 1955. In 1957, it was expelled by its alliance partners for fielding a candidate in that year's by-election. In the 1959 GE, it went on its own, making no headway. Falling into comatose, it did not register under the new Societies Ordinance passed on 16 May 1960. It was dissolved in 1961.

The National Junior College was established in 1969 and officially opened on 14 May 1970 by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, the then-Prime Minister. As the pioneer College in the Republic, its system has been the model for junior colleges established in successive years. Its vision is to nurture students who have sound moral values and a deep sense of responsibility to the college and the country, who are prepared to lead with sensitivity and serve with honour. The college provides a vibrant learning environment which fosters academic excellence, critical and creative thought and an enterprising spirit.

Medium Rare, Singapore's first full-length English film, released in local cinemas in late 1991. Loosely based on the bizarre Adrian Lim ritual murders of the early 1980s, Medium Rare was filmed and produced in Singapore. Shot in Singapore, the film used a variety of settings such as a Peranakan house in Tong Watt Road, a Mount Pleasant Drive house, Giok Hong Tian Temple at Havelock Road, East Coast Park and Pan Pacific Hotel. Shooting was carried out for five weeks and completed on 14 May 1991. A press conference on 16 May 1991 introduced the film, actors and other details to the public.


15 May

The Straits Times revived the Singapore Free Press on 15 May 1946, after the latter ceased publication in 1869. It cost ten cents and carried worldwide cable news. The Singapore Free Press also included features on special Army Welfare home and sports news. Friendly rivalry existed between the Straits Times and the Free Press. This proved beneficial to both papers. As the editors had their own independence, the newspapers sometimes took contradictory stands on issues. The Free Press appeared in the afternoon. It faced a constant challenge to produce a front page story that would outdo the morning paper.

The Area Licensing Scheme (ALS) was launched on 2 June 1975 with 27 gantries to mark out the Restricted Zone in the CBD. Prior to that, the government had taken extra efforts to educate the public on the ALS through a series of publicity campaigns. These included publishing and expressing the reasons and objectives of the scheme in newspapers and official speeches. At the same time, the government also began the sale of the area licences on 15 May 1975, about a month before the launch of ALS, at the Registry of Vehicles and 16 selected post offices.

338E River Valley Road Conservation Area is located along River Valley Road, the area was given conservation status on 15 May 1992 under the voluntary conservation scheme. It contains a two-storey Early Modern bungalow integrated with a new 10-storey condominium development.

Singa the Lion had been the official mascot of the Singapore Kindness Movement. On 15 May 2013, Singa the Lion was retired from the campaign through an open "resignation letter" posted on the movement's website.


16 May

Singapore became the 104th member of  the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and  the World Bank on 3 August 1966. Singapore had also previously benefitted from loans provided by the World Bank for two major projects: the loan for the construction of the first phase of the Pasir Panjang 'B' Power Station was approved on 16 May 1963, and the loan for the Johor River Water Project was granted on 2 March 1965.

Mr. Jek Yuen Thong, Minister for Culture, at the opening of the Kreta Ayer People's Theatre at Panda Hill on 16 May 1971.

As for Geylang Lor 1 Bus Terminal, it started off as a small terminus for City Shuttle Service (CSS) since the start of its operations on 16 May 1975, before it was expanded to include SBS buses terminating at this terminal.


17 May

Singapore Polytechnic was the first polytechnic in Singapore - established in 1954. The Singapore Polytechnic's Board of Governors adopted the present crest on 17 May 1960. It is in the form of a shield, red and yellow in colour. The colours are representative of a tropical environment. The upper portion of the emblem bears a lion on a red background. The lion represents Singapore and the red is associated with the Singapore flag. The lower portion illustrates an engineering wheel on a plain yellow background. The splinted wheel denotes engineering technology. The compass represents exact measurement and precision.

Finance Minister Goh Keng Swee opens Singapore's first factory making Swiss watches in Jurong on 17 May 1968. Owned by Swiss firm United Precision Instruments, the factory is a joint venture between the European company and local entrepreneurs.

PSC Corporation Ltd (formerly: Provisions Suppliers Corporation Limited) was incorporated in Singapore on 17 May 1974 to function as the central purchasing body for members of the Singapore Provision Shops Friendly Association. It is a home-grown company with three core businesses in food, healthcare and education.


18 May

Ace Dynamics Limited was incorporated in Singapore on 18 May 1964 and has been listed on the main board of Singapore Exchange Limited since July 1975. Their main core business is to provide welding application solutions & related services to their customers. This includes the supply of welding, safety products and industrial gases.

Ang, Sunny (1939– 1967) One of Singapore’s most famous criminals, convicted on 18 May 1965 for the murder of bar waitress Jenny Cheok Cheng Kid, whose body was never found. The prosecution alleged that on 27 August 1963, Sunny Ang, a Singapore Grand Prix driver, had hired a sampan (small boat) to bring him and Cheok to Sisters Islands south of Singapore, ostensibly to collect corals; but the real motive was murder— she was heavily insured. Ang was bankrupt whereas Cheok had been insured for a total of $450,000 with several insurance companies. Some of Cheok’s policies were renewed on the morning of her death, although Ang’s were not. The beneficiaries were Ang’s mother and Cheok’s estate. The case was the first murder trial in local legal history in which a person was convicted solely on circumstantial evidence.

As the construction sector expanded rapidly in the late 80s, the training capacity of the Construction Industry Training Centre became over-stretched. The need for a larger training centre became evident. In 1991, to meet the new training needs of the industry in the face of advances in construction technology, the Singapore government announced the construction of a new training centre at Braddell Road. The new centre, known as the Construction Industry Training Institute (CITI), was opened on 18 May 1994. CITI was re-structured and renamed as BCA Academy of the Built Environment in 2007 to gear itself for an expanded scope of professional education.

The Singapore Arts Festival (SAF) was inaugurated on 18 May 1999 following the merger of the Festival of Arts with the Festival of Asian Performing Arts (FAPA). Today, the SAF is recognised as the nation’s flagship annual arts event showcasing the “best of the artistic and aesthetic in the performing arts in Singapore and the rest of the world.”

On 18 May 2010, Singapore Airlines presents its first cookbook, Above and Beyond: A Collection of Recipes from the Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel, with a collection of 50 delectable recipes contributed by the ten celebrated chefs.


19 May

Incorporated on 19 May 1969 under the name 'Singapore Petroleum & Chemical Company (Private) Limited', and later named 'Singapore Petroleum Company Private Limited'.

The Dermatological Society of Singapore was establised in 1972. Among the many objectives of the Society is to advance the knowledge and practice of dermatology. One of their many activities included the Annual scientific meeting which the first meeting was held on 19 May 1985.

The Department of Physics is served by the Science Library, which is a Special Library within the NUS Libraries, opened its doors on 19 May 1986. Located in the Bio-Science Complex, the Library occupies the 4th, 5th and 6th floors, as well as part of the 3rd floor of the Science Library Building (Block S6). It serves primarily the Faculty of Science, Graduate School of Science, School of Computing and its Graduate Division.