Week 21: 20 May to 26 May

20 May

On 20 May 1972, Singapore Co-operative Union Ltd changed its name to Singapore National Co-operative Union Ltd.

City Satay was started on 20 May 1987 from a small shop in Bedok, east of Singapore. At that time, satay meat was manually marinated and skewered. As the business expanded, production was shifted to Tanjong Katong Road. It is also our retail outlet to provide customers with more choices and convenience.

A new Singapore Immigration logo was unveiled by Mr Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs, at the new Singapore Immigration Building's Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony on 20 May 1995.

The Float at Marina Bay opened on 20 May 2007.


21 May

Swan and Maclaren Architects was awarded the architectural tender for the new National Library Board building on 21 May 1999. Seven civic groups were formed to seek public inputs on the new building.

Changi Naval Base (CNB) is the latest naval facility of the RSN and was built to replace Brani Naval Base. Located on 1.28 km² (0.50 mi²) of reclaimed land at the eastern tip of Singapore, it was officially opened on 21 May 2004 by Goh Chok Tong.

SingTel successfully launches Singapore's second commercial satellite, ST-2, into orbit that lift-off from Kourou, French Guiana, on 21 May 2011, 4.38am Singapore time. ST-2 - which is almost twice as powerful as ST-1, SingTel's First satellite - will help the company to meet growing customer demand for fixed and mobile satellite services. ST-1, which was launched in 1998, will initially complement, and later be replaced by ST-2.


22 May

Capitol Theatre opened on the evening of 22 May 1930 with the musical comedy, Rio Rita, the film adaptation of a Ziegfeld Follies theatre production and starring Bebe Daniels.

The idea of setting up the CPF was raised in the Legislative Council on 22 May 1951 when the Central Provident Fund Bill was introduced.

On 22 May 1981, the GIC (the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, originally known as GSIC and now simply as GIC) was incorporated under the Singapore Companies Act and is wholly owned by the Government of Singapore. Singapore's foreign reserves were then managed by the MAS. Dr Goh Keng Swee convinced Lee Kuan Yew, then Prime Minister, that it was necessary to have a GIC, a separate institution to manage these reserves and specialize on investments. This would allow the MAS to concentrate on its function as a central bank, which was to ensure a healthy financial system, with sound banks and low inflation.


23 May

On 23 May 1994, then Nominated Member of Parliament Walter Woon introduced the Maintenance of Parents Bill in parliament, with the objective of giving abandoned parents the right to claim maintenance from their children.

On 23 May 2008 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced its verdict in a territorial dispute between Singapore and Malaysia involving the three marine features of Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge which lie in the Straits of Singapore. Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh is about 24 nautical miles east of Singapore while the Middle Rocks are two clusters of rocks situated 0.6 nautical miles south of Pedra Branca; and South Ledge is a maritime feature submerged at high-tide a little farther away at 2.1 nautical miles south of Pedra Branca. The Court awarded the island of Pedra Branca to Singapore by 12 votes to 4 and by 15 votes to 1, awarded the two clusters of small rocks of Middle Rocks to Malaysia. As to South Ledge, it belonged to the state in the territorial waters of which it was located.

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Singapore’s economic architect the late Dr Goh Keng Swee (photo) died early Firday morning after battling a long illness and will have a State Funeral held on Sunday, 23 May 2010. During his time in London, Goh met fellow students who were seeking independence for Malaya, including Lee Kuan Yew and Toh Chin Chye. He resigned from the civil service in 1959 to enter politics and was elected as the People’s Action Party representative for Kreta Ayer, his constituency until he retired in 1984. The Economic Development Board, Port of Singapore Authority, Jurong Town Corporation, Housing and Development Board, Ministry of Education, and Central Provident Fund – were inventions cast in Dr Goh’s extraordinary mind. When Singapore attained independence on the 9 Aug 1965, he became the first Minister of Defence. With the withdrawal of the British troops from Singapore, he saw an urgent need for a strong defence force. He established the setting up of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) with the implementation of compulsory national service for all male Singaporeans above 18 years old. Dr Goh who had served in public office from 1959 to 1984, was awarded Singapore's highest honour - The Order of Temasek (First Class) - in 1985.


24 May

The first Botanic Gardens, initiated by Raffles in 1822, was located on the slopes of Government Hill (now known as Fort Canning Hill). Its purpose then was the experimental cultivation of plants, such as nutmeg and clove, to evaluate their economic value and suitability as cash crops. It occupied 58 acres and was supervised by Nathanial Wallich (Dr), a Danish surgeon and naturalist who had previously been the Superintendent of the Royal Gardens in Calcutta. However, it proved to be too expensive to upkeep and was abandoned in June 1829. On 24 May 1836, the Agricultural and Horticultural Society was formed and one of its initial action was to call for the government of that day to encourage agriculture and its development. This appeal led to a grant of seven acres of land around the foot of Fort Canning Hill. However, by 1846, the society became defunct.

William Henry Macleod Read was an established businessman and an active contributor to political and social interests, in the almost 46 years of his life in Singapore, Treasurer of the first Singapore public library and Honorary Police Magistrate. On 24 May 1854, as Worshipful Master, he officiated the Masonic religious ceremony for the laying of the Foundation Stone of Raffles Lighthouse. One of Read’s last duties as a Singapore resident was laying the first cylinder of a bridge over the Singapore River – a bridge that today still bears his name, Read Bridge.

The Singapore Motor Sports Association was founded on 24 May 1969 through the amalgamation of the Forces Driving Club and the Singapore Motor Club.

Ang Mo Kio Swimming Complex was opened on 24 May 1982. There is a teaching pool which is not too deep that a child over 6 years old will be able to stand in the water with their heads up. As they proceed on, they are able to go to the competition pool which is the size of an Olympic Sized pool at 50 meters. Many individual tanning benches are available for sunning yourself to a nice golden brown on a nice sunny day.

The Stock Exchange of Singapore Limited was incorporated on 24 May 1973 and commenced full operation as an independent exchange on 4 June 1973.

Hougang interchange was split into two on 24 May 1998, Hougang Ctrl Int and Hougang Ctrl Ter.


25 May

On 25 May 1961, the Bukit Ho Swee fire, the biggest ever fire in the history of Singapore, devastated the area and rendered about 16,000 persons homeless. The fire broke out at about 3.30 pm at a squatter district along the hillside of Kampong Tiong Bahru. The Bukit Ho Swee Fire kills four people, destroys more than 2,000 attap houses and injured another 85 people in this Hari Raya Haji fire as it swept across Kampong Tiong Bahru through Bukit Ho Swee to Delta Road.

Ngee Ann College, an institute of higher learning established by the Ngee Ann Kongsi, was officially opened on 25 May 1963.

25 May 1991 saw the commissioning ceremony of the last three Missile Corvettes (MCVs) of 188 Squadron, officiated by Dr Yeo Ning Hong, Minister for Communications and Second Minister for Defence, at Brani Naval Base. The three vessels - RSS Valiant, RSS Vigour and RSS Vengeance forms half of 188 Squadon's fleet of MCVs. The MCVs represented a major upgrading of RSN's capabilities. They were the first ships to be armed with anti-submarine capabilities. The arrival of the MCVs enabled the RSN to better protect our vital Sea Lines of Communications (SLOC).


26 May

The first Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was a leader who was loved and respected by all Indians and admired by the world for his ideals and statesmanship. Nehru was a good friend of Singapore. A keen traveller, he first visited Singapore on 26 May 1937 as part of a pan-Malayan tour. During his trip, he spoke to a gathering at Farrer Park and to the Indian Chamber of Commerce, urging the local Indian community to be united and pay more attention to education.

Mobile Library Services were initiated by the National Library Board in 1960. This was mainly to ease the overwhelming demands made on its services at the main library building in Stamford Road whilst continuing to provide library services to more people. Mobile library services at Tanjong Pagar and West Coast Community Centres established in July 1964. The third service point at Nee Soon Community Centre began on 26 May 1965. A fourth service point began in February 1966 at Bukit Panjang Community Centre. In 1967, six new mobile library service points were started at the Community Centres of Chong Pang (January), Kaki Bukit (February), Kampong Tengah (March), Bukit Timah (July), Changi 10 m.s. (October) and Paya Lebar (November). This was made possible by a New Zealand government grant of £$10,000 (S$85,000) which enabled the purchase of 23,519 books in 1966 for the mobile library service.

The Pharmaceutical Trade Association (PTA) was founded on 26 May 1966. The necessity of forming an association came about when Singapore imposed an import quota on pharmaceutical products soon after Singapore became independent. PTA made representations to the Government, which finally resulted in the abolishment of the quota system.

Singapore’s first imported case of H1N1-2009 (Influenza A) was confirmed on 26 May 2009. Patient zero was a 22-year-old female third-year business undergraduate at the Singapore Management University (SMU). She had travelled to New York, United States, with 18 other SMU students and a university lecturer for a 10-day study trip  from 14 to 24 May.